Cornerback Brandon Boykin says he’s getting more and more comfortable with his role on the Eagles now that he’s going into his third season with the team … So comfortable, in fact, that the University of Georgia grad says he doesn’t mind when his teammates call him a pretty boy.
“They think all I want to do is upper body and fitness shoots,” laughs Boykin, chosen by the Eagles in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.
But the cornerback, who closed out last season tied for second in interceptions in the league with six, says his body is the product mostly of genetics, not of his work in the weight room. “I was born with low body fat and muscles popping out,” he says. This seeming congenital gift doesn’t mean Boykin doesn’t appreciate the advantage his physique gives him on the field. “I think it helps me from the standpoint of staying away from injury—being strong enough to take on blocks and having enough muscle mass over the season to keep from getting soft-tissue injuries,” he says. “Then it looks good on top of that.”
Indeed, Boykin is not beyond occasionally satisfying the pretty-boy image his teammates tease him with. “When I put a picture up on Instagram, the girls are loving it,” he says. “So you have to do it a little bit for that, too.” Of course you do.
23 years old
Training grounds: Philadelphia and Pensacola, Fla.
Nickname: Bam-bam. “I got it in high school from sports, and it’s stuck with me all the way through my professional career. Some of my teammates call me that now.”
Body fat: 3 percent.
Hours spent training per day: Four
Days spent training per week: Four during the off-season, three in season
Hours spent in the weight room per week: Up to six
Go-to workout: Bench press and curls. “For someone like me to be a defensive back, having upper body strength to get off the blocks and jam receivers is key. I’m always doing a lot of upper body and triceps.”
Secret workout: Simulated high-altitude training. “I train every day with an altitude mask over my face so it will help expand my lungs and make my workouts that much more challenging. Most of my teammates actually think it’s a good idea, and some of them have even bought the mask and starting using it, too.”
Biggest physical challenge: Maintaining his weight. “I train so much that my weight fluctuates a lot, and it’s hard for me to have enough weight and energy to endure the season. So I have to eat more than normal.”
Best recovery tip: Alternating hot and cold tubs. “I do that probably every day just to get my legs fresh even if I didn’t work out that hard.”
Calories consumed per day: More than 3,000.
Favorite pre-game meal: Tilapia with rice and macaroni. “Tilapia is one of my favorite foods, and it’s good protein.”
Favorite post-game meal: Seafood bake. “I love seafood a lot. After the home games, my dad will make a big seafood meal with lobster and crab.”
Celebration meal: Double cheeseburger with bacon from Five Guys. “I would go real crazy and get everything you could get on it.”
Biggest dietary vice: Purple Skittles. “I love purple Skittles. I’m always eating purple Skittles and Sour Patch Kids.”
Alcohol use: “I drank in college, of course, but now that I’ve gotten older, I don’t need to drink much anymore. If I’m out and about, I might have a wine cooler—something real girly and fruity.”
Whether he can top the six interceptions he made last season: “I feel really good, I feel confident. I feel like the game has slowed down, but I’m not trying to get more interceptions than last year. I just want to keep the same energy up and have the same tempo on game day and be around the ball more. Because when you’re around the ball, things happen.”