Below is the transcript from our Q&A, in which Smith gives an overview on his upcoming season, where he expects to play, how the offense will look and brief notes/scouting reports on two true freshmen in the passing game.
Ben Love: Do you feel like you’re being prepared to play in the slot as well or is it mainly just in tight?
DeSean Smith: Absolutely. I feel that me being in the slot is going to throw off defenses, allow me to come down and help our team out in the running game. It’ll confuse defenses because Logan [Stokes] can do the same thing, Travis [Dickson] can do the same thing and so can Dillon [Gordon]. I’m looking forward to seeing our new offense this year.
BL: What makes you different than any of the other tight ends on the roster?
DS: What makes me different? I feel like I’m quicker, but Travis could possibly be faster. I feel like I can improve my game in blocking, but Dillon can be the better blocker. I’m in between, and I just want to be that all-around guy that’s able to block and run routes.
BL: What did you see this summer from (freshman) Jacory Washington coming in?
DS: Jacory, I feel like he’s just like me. He didn’t come in weighing as much as I did. I came in overweight, like at 255 (pounds). Jacory came in a little skinny, a little small, but our strength and conditioning coaches over here, led by Coach [Tommy] Moffitt, they’re unbelievable and they’ve begun to pack weight onto him. He’ll develop as a great tight end.
BL: Where are you now, weight-wise?
DS: Now I’m at 243. And I measured at 6-foot-4 and a half. But 240 is (where I want to play).
BL: How did you lose the weight? Was it diet or workout routine?
DS: All the running we do here, you just drop, man. (Laughs) We have very crucial workouts and it definitely shows.
BL: One more guy I want to ask you about, Tony Upchurch. I know he comes in starting off at receiver. Is he a guy that could play some tight end and possibly in an H-back role?
DS: Absolutely. Tony’s a big guy. I feel like Tony’s a 230/235 guy. He’s probably losing weight, but he could probably do the same things that we can do. He’s definitely a great athlete.
BL: How much did you get to throw with each quarterback this summer?
DS: A lot, a ton really. Our timing is very consistent and we’ll definitely be on the same page together.
BL: Pretty even battle in your opinion?
DS: The quarterbacks, they both have different arms. Everybody’s different. All the timing’s different. You know where you need to be for this quarterback, and you know where you need to be for that quarterback. So having had the chance to get a lot of reps (with both) is very good for me.