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Official Husker Locker Blog

2011 Mar 30

SPRING FOOTBALL: Diet Produces New A-Rod

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By HuskerLocker

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At the end of his true freshman season, left guard Andrew Rodriguez weighed 340 pounds. That's not precisely fat for a guy with 6-foot-6 frame and a head the size of a small globe, but the Aurora native thought at least some of that poundage was “bad weight” that limited his time on the field.

So he shed 30 pounds in two months. His choice. No prompting from the coaches or the training staff.

“I've noticed a big difference,” he said. “I'm quicker. It helped me a lot.”

Rodriguez's diet: Go organic. Fewer fillers.

“Organic fruits,” he said. “Shakes. Gluten-free pancakes. Stuff like that.”

He had to swear off pizza “with a lot of meats on it.” The world's culinary jury is still mostly out on the merits vegetarian pies – that triangular slab of salt seems insufficient without chunks of charred flesh – but it's the play Rodriguez had to make.

He's 310 now, back to his playing weigh in high school, where his quick first step drew the attention of college scouts from several major conferences. Upon Rodriguez's at NU, offensive line coach Barney Cotton called him one of more the ready-made bodies for college football that Cotton had ever coached. That's why Rodriguez didn't redshirt.

But he didn't play much, either. When starter Keith Williams hurt his ankle in the Big 12 Championship, Cotton opted to stay with his hobbled senior rather than insert a healthy – if heavier – Rodriguez.

“We decided not to make a change,” Cotton said last week. “We talked about it. But we still thought Keith gave us our best chance.”

The left guard job is generally believed to be Rodriguez's to lose now. NU added another offensive line coach, John Garrison, to help Cotton develop relatively inexperienced players.

“Repetitions get me better,” Rodriguez said. “Still getting me better.”

A simplified scheme should allow the offensive line to think less and move faster on the field, too,

“They're attacking defensive tackles,” quarterback Taylor Martinez said of his line. “They're firing off the ball.”

Tags: spring football, andrew rodriguez, barney cotton

Comments (2)

Profile image for huskermaniac28Locker Pass member
huskermaniac28

As a Nutrition student, the organic aspect of Rodriguez' diet had no effect on his weight loss (in other words, he could eat "inorganic" fresh fruits and still lose that weight), but cutting the fatty foods quite obviously helped. Good for him.

– Mar 31, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Profile image for huskerfinatic5
huskerfinatic5

Good for Andrew!! We could really use someone like him on this O-line. Glad he decided to become a Husker!!

– Mar 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

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