We recently sat down with New York Giants linebacker Devon Kennard - USA Today’s 2008 High School All-American and son of Super Bowl XXX Champion Derek Kennard - to talk books, brownies, injury recovery, and Joovv light therapy!
Most people know you as a hard-hitting linebacker in the NFL, but what they don’t know is you have a strong passion for reading. If you could only recommend a few books, what would they be and why?
If I could only recommend 3 books, they would be “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, and “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. These 3 books have had a tremendous impact on my life. I would highly recommend them to everyone!
Who was a big inspiration for you growing up as a young kid in Tempe, Arizona?
My biggest inspiration was Terrell Suggs. Not only did we play in the same position, we’re also from the same town, so it was a great example of what I could accomplish by working hard. Ironically, I’ve actually been able to compete against him--which is a great example of past idols becoming present rivals!
If you could travel back in time and give young Devon some advice, what would you tell him?
I would tell him not to stress! I’ve spent so much time questioning whether or not I could accomplish my goals. Looking back now, I see it was all unnecessary stress. Just take it one day at a time and do your absolute best!
What type of food is your Achilles’ heel? In other words, if it’s sitting on the counter, you can’t help but take a bite?
I’ve always been a big sucker for sweets. Brownies and cookies have always been my Achilles’ heel. If you put either in front of me, it’s game over!
You have dealt with some tough injuries throughout your football career. What is some advice you would give younger athletes when dealing with similar challenges?
REHAB, REHAB, REHAB! Take each session of rehab seriously, because they’re equally as important as game days. Healing is tough, but never give up! Keep chipping away and eventually the results will come.
You do a lot of traveling throughout the year. What are a few things you can’t leave home without?
My portable phone charger! I travel a lot, so my phone battery is always about to die. A portable charger is a life saver and always keeps me connected with the rest of the world.
Are there any current professional athletes that you’re in awe of? What are some moments/plays that blew you away?
I’m in awe of Derrick Johnson from the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s a veteran linebacker and has battled back from many serious injuries. He pushes through and bounces back stronger every time. His work ethic is something I really admire.
If I was to call up Mrs. Kennard, what are a few things she would tell me you need to work on?
Make your bed Devon--and stop being so stingy! My mom always had to yell at me as a child for that. I was terrible at making my bed and never wanted to share with others.
Who is the toughest person in the NFL that you’ve tried to tackle?
Todd Gurley. He runs the ball so hard and he never goes down easy!
You have gone through an entire NFL season with the Joovv Light. What are some of the benefits you’ve noticed--and would you recommend the Joovv Light to other athletes?
I use my Joovv Combo Max every day. It’s had a tremendous impact on my recovery time! I’ve never felt so fresh in my entire career. I take cold baths on a regular basis and love relaxing with my Joovv immediately after. The Joovv Light is the best light therapy product on the market. It’s a great investment for athletes of all ages!