"I had to change my eating habits a lot," Andre Smith said following the Tide's spring practice on Tuesday. "When I got my weight up it became harder, and in the long run it pays off in being more healthy. When you lose weight you feel better. I'm almost there. I'm just going to continue to work hard and eat healthy."
Smith gained weight as last season progressed, and finished the year at around 345 pounds. He's down to 335 now with a goal of losing 10-15 more. When asked what food he missed the most, Smith said, "Burger, fries, pizza, things like that. Ice cream. "
A partial list, it seemed.
Even out of top condition, Smith was a monster force at left tackle for Alabama last season, playing more snaps than any other member of the team, offense or defense. Tide Head Coach Nick Saban said the offensive line, including "Smitty" as Saban calls him, has been one of the most impressive areas of the team.
"We're just working hard, having fun and paying attention to the different techniques Coach Pendry has brought to the team," Smith said. "I felt things were going well because of the way we worked out during winter workouts as far as finishing, working hard, running together with each other and pushing each other. I had a good feeling we were going to be close knit in spring practice."
There were few specifics, but Smith said the techniques were "pretty much the same ones we already learned, but there are different things about them."
Smith caught a lateral from John Parker Wilson in the Independence Bowl against Oklahoma State for a touchdown. Even with his trimmed down physique, "Coach Pendry said they're not going to throw me the ball," Smith said. "Maybe one day, just one day. Pray about it."
As for his thoughts on Saban, and how he motivates, Smith said, "Do what you're supposed to do and you don't have to worry about anything. That's my theory."