Everyone knows all about DeVonta Smith’s sharp route-running. The rookie for the Philadelphia Eagles has burst onto the scene and gifted the franchise with a true number one receiver, the first for the franchise in a long time.
Smith leads the Eagles with 42 receptions for 603 yards and four touchdowns. Fresh off his breakout game against the Denver Broncos, the Heisman Trophy winner chatted with Heavy.com about his recent success and promising future. Tops on the list was his new partnership with VRST, a new men’s athletic and lifestyle apparel line, exclusively offered at DICK’S Sporting Goods. Smith is the first and only athlete to represent a brand that caters to today’s active males.
Smith could have chosen the traditional route and signed on with Nike or Adidas, but the 6-footer preferred to blaze his own path. He comes from humble beginnings in Amite City, Louisiana and wanted his clothing line to reflect his unique personality.
“VRST gave me an opportunity to create my own path as the first and only athlete with the brand and feature apparel that fits my lifestyle,” Smith told Heavy.com. “Whether I’m in the gym working on my craft, out in public, or at home with my family, I want to be comfortable and most importantly stylish. VRST provides all of that, so at the end of the day, it was a no-brainer.”
VRST launched in March and the early returns have “outperformed the company average,” according to DICK’S CEO Lauren Hobart. Credit Smith for raising awareness as the face of the brand. The 23-year-old is far from a fashion designer, although he does have legitimate input on stylish elements.
“I’m always able to provide input that I think will make the brand even more successful,” Smith said. “They cater to today’s active male and if there’s anyone who can give insight on what athletes want to wear, why look to anyone else other than me?”
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Burgeoning Fashion Icon in Philadelphia
Smith has a secret passion for fashion, just peep his social media channels for proof. The former Alabama standout takes great pride in the suits he wears on gamedays, like a clean pink ensemble he donned prior to a 122-yard performance versus Kansas City.
It gets competitive in the Eagles’ locker room, according to Smith, as guys seek to earn the honor of team fashion plate. Smith believes he has earned that badge of honor after just 10 professional games.
“I think I do,” Smith said. “It definitely gets competitive on gamedays, though. I like to wear a different suit for every gameday look. You can see some of the different suit looks on my Instagram. Let me know if you agree.”
When Smith isn’t trying on fancy suits, he’s mellowing out in sweats. His latest favorite is VRST’s Merino wool sweatshirt and pants that just hit the shelves. He likes to slip on the comfy loungewear after practices and at home while playing video games.
No Individual Goals, Team Success
Statistically, Smith is the third-best rookie receiver in the NFL behind Ja’Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts. Both those guys were off the board when the Eagles took the diminutive playmaker with the 10th overall pick. Some players, like Chase, keep tabs on what their draft classmates are doing. Not Smith. He believes in charting his own course. Whatever helps the team win is what he’s concerned about.
“Leading others in stats isn’t my main focus,” Smith said. “My focus is on doing whatever I can to help the Eagles win every week. The Eagles traded up and took me No. 10 overall so they put their faith in me, and I’m here to prove them right.”
Playing for legendary college coach Nick Saban at Alabama helped establish his unselfish identity. Smith hasn’t had a hard time adjusting to the NFL because of the competitive nature of the SEC.
“You play against NFL guys every weekend,” Smith said, “so I always felt I was ready for the next level.”