DeVonta Smith will be stepping on the biggest stage of his life yet next week when he attends the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, but this year’s Heisman Trophy winner remains humble and focused on the path ahead, telling Fox News that his plan is to just “continue being the person that I am.”
Smith spoke about his future in the NFL in an interview with Fox News, saying his expectations for his rookie season are to remain true to what got him to this stage in his life.
“Just to go in and be myself,” he said. “Continue being the person that I am and just work hard and everything is going to fall where it’s supposed to.”
The 22-year-old wide receiver became the first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard did it in 1991 and just the fourth overall. He earned two College Football National Championships with the Crimson Tide and recorded his best season in 2020, totaling 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Smith told Fox News he plans to attend the draft with a few of his family members but he revealed little regarding which teams he’s had conversations with.
“A lot of teams have [expressed] interest in me, no one particularly stood out, but I’ve talked to a lot of teams,” he said.
When asked if he spoke to the New England Patriots after he was spotted wearing the gear of newly retired Julian Edelman during Alabama’s spring game last week, Smith said: “Yes, that was one of the teams I’ve spoken with.”
With the No. 15 pick, it’s unclear if Smith will still be available for the Pats. He is one of the top receivers heading into the draft but his exact position has been difficult to project.
His size, listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, is a big contributor to that and has reportedly been cause for concern for some teams. He skipped out on measurements during the Senior Bowl, and according to new reports, Smith weighed in at 166 pounds and just a little over 6 feet during the medical combine in Indianapolis earlier this month.
But Smith brushed that sentiment right off, telling Fox News: “Size don’t really matter.”
“In the game of football, size don’t really matter,” he said with confidence. “It’s about if you know how to play, you know how to play. I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m best at. So I’m going to go out there and do what I do. Size has nothing to do with it.”
Smith said he’s been using the offseason to focus on his strength and keeping healthy.
“The offseason, it’s been smooth,” he said. “Just really staying in the weight room, getting stronger. Just taking care of my body, making sure that I keep my legs fresh, keeping my hamstrings strong and just going on the field and staying in shape — being in the best condition I can be in.”
Smith caught the attention of the pros during the National Championship game, where he had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in just the second quarter before leaving in the third with a dislocated finger.
He said the best advice he’s received since then was to remain true to himself.
“The main thing was just to continue being me, the person I am. Don’t try to be somebody that somebody else wants me to be. Just continue being who I am, what got me here,” he said.
When asked about what teams he could possibly get drafted by, Smith kept it simple. “I’d be excited to suit up anywhere. I just want the opportunity.”
Smith announced a new partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods on Thursday when he was named as a brand partner for its new men’s apparel line, VRST.