"If it truly is your dream, make it your priority" -Andy Levitre
Andy Levitre, an 8 year veteran of the NFL, lead the Atlanta Falcons to an NFC Title in 2017 and competed in his first Super Bowl.
Levitre (6’2, 305 lbs) grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, (San Lorenzo Valley High School) and played his college football at Oregon State University before being drafted in the second round by the Buffalo Bills in 2009. In 2013 he left Buffalo as the top Guard in free agency, signing with the Titans who traded him in 2015 to The Falcons.
Watching Levitre on film is simply astonishing. What he lacks in “ideal” NFL OL height and weight he makes up for with his technique, quickness, craftiness, footwork and shear strength on the field. He is absolutely an undeniable force to be reckoned with, and was a huge factor in the Falcons’ success this year.
We caught up with Andy to get his thoughts on size, diet, durability and attitude when it comes to becoming and remaining an NFL O-LIneman.
LineproTips (LPT): Being 6’2” you are considered to be below average height for an NFL Guard. Maybe more impressive, you were an All-American Left Tackle at Oregon State. What gives? Do you feel height is that important in O-Line play?
Andy Levitre (AL): “I think height is more of something coaches only look at when they have a piece of paper in front of them. What they really need to see is on the film. Competitiveness and toughness are much bigger assets you can have as a player.”
LPT: You’ve also developed a reputation as an iron man in the league. according to NFL.com you’ve started every single regular season game possible since being drafted in the 2nd round in 2009- 128 games straight, not including playoffs. Is there a secret to your durability? Can you share some tips for taking care of your body?
AL: “There really is no secret. You need your body to play this game so you must take care of it at all times, whether you’re injured or not. Keeping your body healthy during the season is hard enough so spend the extra time stretching, lifting, foam rolling, using the hot/cold tubs, etc. They may seem unnecessary at the time but will help you through a long season.”
LPT: You’re currently listed at 305 lbs and looking svelte- but in your early college days you carried a little more weight at times. How do you manage your weight now in the NFL? Do you struggle at all to stay big or keep from getting too heavy?
AL: “I wouldn't say I struggle with my weight... (but) I can fluctuate a lot throughout the week. I can move anywhere from plus or minus 10 pounds during a week. Over the years I have figured out my body and been conscious of the things I eat so I know when I can treat myself or back off during the week. The hardest part during the season is to keep all the muscle mass I put on during the offseason and keep it going through to the end of the season.”
LPT: We do know linemen love a nice cheat meal! Do you have any favorites?
AL: “I don’t have a favorite, It really just depends on what I am in the mood for on my cheat day. Sometimes it's chinese food, others it's pizza or going to a steakhouse and getting the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye.”
LPT: You’re making us hungry! How about on game day, do you have a favorite pre-game breakfast?
AL: “As of recent, my pregame breakfast consists of: four egg omelette with cheese and veggies, plus a belgian waffle with peanut butter, banana and syrup.”
LPT: So, now we know about the NFL star Andy Levitre, let's hear about Andy the High school football recruit. Were you highly rated or under the radar?
AL: "I think I was a 2 star player coming out of high school and I grew up in an area that isn't heavily recruited for football. I had to make my own VHS highlight tape and dub it to send to college coaches just to get recruited!"
LPT: And, receiving the full-ride to Oregon State, we assume that paid off?
AL: “Yes, actually from those tapes I got my first college scholarship offer from Nick Saban when he was coaching at LSU just after they came off the national championship.”
LPT: That is outstanding. Now finally, Andy, Linepro exists to help guide young linemen toward their dreams and future football achievements. Now that you have played on the biggest stage in football, what advice can you give to the aspiring future stars of the Lineman world?
AL: “If it truly is your dream, make it your priority. Make sure you get your lifting/running in every week to help you develop into the player you want to be. When you get on the field, it's time to work. Have the mentality to finish every snap until you hear the whistle blow (coaches love this and will help you and your team’s success). Play extremely physical and always know your assignments. Having talent will only get you so far- especially in the NFL. You must have the right work ethic to go along with your talent to give you the greatest chance for success.”
Thanks and Good Luck to Andy and the Falcons in 2017 and beyond- The Linepro community and Linemen worldwide will be rooting for you!