Chapter 6Be 5 Percent Stronger and Faster

When I played football in college I immediately noticed that every player on the team experienced some success in high school, whether it be all state, record breaking at their school, or just leading their league in some statistic. What I also realized is that for the most part we were on a pretty level playing field. I joke around and say we were all high school heroes but now we are starting as college zeros.

By the time I was a junior, the sophomore class was pretty well stocked with talent. There were a couple of guys who got a lot of playing time and a few who seemed to stand out. One guy who played center on offense was a standout in more ways than one. He was an incredible physical specimen at 19. Now, he wasn't the biggest guy on the team and wasn't that big at all, but he was all muscle, and it was rumored that he held the title of Mr. Teen USA. He always seemed to work just a little bit harder than others. When we were finished with our required weight training, he would stay longer. He wasn't the most gifted athletically, but he was always working harder than his peers in his class and the rest of the team. This guy also just stood out in other ways. He seemed to take things slightly more seriously than everyone else; he cared more about football.

He eventually started at center. Now, we were a Division III team, so we weren't that big, but for a center he was barely 210, which is usually the weight of a running back or safety. ...

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