Were all big guys: To hit their weight goals without provided meals, BSU football linemen had to adapt – The Star Press


Posted: June 30, 2020 at 8:47 pm

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Ball State's Anthony Todd stands on the sideline during the annual Spring Game at Scheumann Stadium Saturday, April 13, 2019.(Photo: Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press)

MUNCIE, Ind. Depending on the intensity of the workout a lineman with Ball State football experiences on a given day, and what the needs are for that individual, that athlete could eat anywhere from 4,000 to 7,500 calories each day.

Assistant strength and conditioning coach Harry Gilbert said the amount might help a player maintain their weight. It might help a player gain weight, whether its because the person is in the midst of a position change from tight end to the line or something else. Either way, during a usual fall and spring, and summer as well, athletes would be on campus working closely with staff to ensure theyd hit their goals.

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Theyd be provided three meals each day five days each week during the school year, and three meals each week during the summer when voluntary workouts took place.

But as redshirt senior offensive lineman Anthony Todd put it, when the situation COVID-19 created brought BSU sports and more to a halt in mid-March, the responsibility to do what was necessary to hit their goals literally fell on them. And, Todd continued, were all big guys that have to eat a lot of food to maintain our weight.

So, away from campus, Todd and his fellow linemen adapted.

Obviously everybodys in a different situation at home, and colleges provide a lot for you, especially linemen, when it comes to food, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Joseph Boggs said. I can understand a guy going home and his parents cant afford to help him keep on weight. Its going to be a really difficult situation, especially when you got guys who arent naturally used to being this big.

Players such as Todd and Boggs, in the first and second phases of athletes to return to voluntary workouts on campus, respectively, are receiving those three provided meals each week now. When theyre coming in to work out they can pick up items, such as pretzels, fruit snacks and chocolate milk, that would have been available in what Gilbert described as the teams fuel room. And Gilbert even considers it harder to manage the weight of skill players such as receivers and defensive backs, because of the potential of those individuals to drop weight quickly and the resulting need to build it back up.

But the sheer volume of what linemen have to eat, sometimes on top of what's provided even during the school year,is undeniable. Todd and Boggs both have goal weights they are attempting to maintain where the number of pounds they want to see when they step on the scale is in the low 300s. So there were no doubt challenges they encountered when they were home, Todd in Indiana and Boggs in Ohio, which Gilbert tried to help them and everyone through.

The approach I try to take with these guys is teach them how to eat and easy ways to keep their calories where they need it, said Gilbert, whod add the provided meals are tailor-made for each position group. Thats basically, kind of, where all of it starts in my opinion:educating these guys. Because I spend a good amount of hours of the day with them. But say we have three hours with them a day, they still have another 21 hours that Im not with them.

Todd, who lives with three other redshirt seniors offensive lineman Dylan Koch, fullback Cody Rudy and offensive lineman Chris Beech said it took him a few weeks to develop the rhythm he needed to eat right. Boggs said he had some issues adjusting that first month, too, before he got into the right habit.

Id wake up, eat breakfast, workout, said Todd, describing a routine that would also sometimes have him going to the grocery store multiple times in a week. Eat after my workout. Eat a lunch and then eat a snack before dinner. Eat a dinner. Eat a snack before I went to bed. That way I was getting my five-to-seven meals that I should be getting in a day.

Ball State's Cody Rudy runs in a touchdown against Fordham's during their game at Scheumann Stadium Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo: Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press)

Because the burden fell more on the athletes and their families, Gilbert talked to them about ways they could stretch their dollar while continuing to eat well for which Boggs and Todd commended him. Gilbert also helped those who were losing weight develop strategies to address that.

Now, though, with the phased return athletes are making a transition back toward normality.

It was definitely a little different and challenging, Todd said.

Jordan Guskey coversBall State and East Central Indiana high schools at the Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5813, jmguskey@muncie.gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.

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Were all big guys: To hit their weight goals without provided meals, BSU football linemen had to adapt - The Star Press

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