Eagles rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith was a legitimate phenomenon in college, one of the most dangerous playmakers on a championship offense at the University of Alabama, and he rightly became a rare wide receiver to earn a Heisman Trophy on his way to the NFL.
That the Eagles drafted Smith — and the way they drafted him — immediately increased interest in the team’s 2021-22 season. It was already exciting to consider what the Eagles would look like in a rebuild with quarterback Jalen Hurts and a new head coach, but adding a player of Smiths caliber to the team will make any offensive possession much more compelling.
The tradition of welcoming a new Heisman Trophy winner to the NFL has in recent years been marked by a commercial series in which previous winners all live under one roof together after strange rituals that somehow explain their greatness.
Smith, who appears as a man of few words, is hard to project as a sports and entertainment star. But in a way, his true character lends itself to an understated comedy.
The novice has now made his debut in two “Heisman House” commercials from Nissan, joining Eddie George, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Tim Tebow, Derrick Henry, Bo Jackson, Archie Griffin and Desmond Howard, who was the last broad recipient who received the honor in 1991.
In the first commercial, Smith is introduced to the chores and routines of life in Heisman House. Brown’s quarterback Baker Mayfield lures him to buy 40 Nissan Pathfinders that Smith could actually afford with his rookie contract, but still (let’s sound like his parents now) what if Mayfield told him to jump from a bridge?
In the second commercial, Eddie George Smith takes a ride with Alabama mascot Big Al, an elephant who relentlessly shakes his pom-poms.
It could have been worse.
Did you know that before Big Al, the University of Alabama’s mascot was a real living elephant?
Pictured is Sue Donegan, University of Alabama Homecoming Queen, riding the elamite Alamite.
– Crimson Tide Cruise (@CruiseTide) July 30, 2018
Smith enters his rookie year with pencils as the Eagles’ seemingly wide receiver No. 1, which is a big responsibility and pressure for a young player to carry. If he makes a strong impression and confirms his Heisman choice at the professional level, we can probably expect to see Smith in more commercials going forward.
Without expecting Mike Vick and Darren Sproles to get spots with Cure Auto Insurance and their bold bird themes, it’s been a long time since the Eagles had a player of this magnitude for big advertisers. The Sixers have made Joel Embiid a famous face in Hulu ads, but you’ll have to go back to Donovan McNabb and Campbell’s Chunky Soup for the Eagles. It will be interesting to see if and where Smith can be slotted to represent a brand at some point.
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