"I'm not going to lie, I miss it a lot," he said. "It was my first love. But I'm here now and this is my job and I'm going to go and do what I've got to do and keep trying to get to that next level and try to get better and better every day."
The ironic thing about Cumbie's passion for baseball is that it hindered his readiness for football.
Last year at this time, Cumbie came to Clemson weighing a scant 248 pounds. That may not sound small, but for someone who stands 6-foot-7 and plays on the defensive line, it is.
But ever since the 2006 season ended in late December, he has busted his tail in the weight room and on the practice field doing everything necessary to make him a better defensive end.
"When I came in, I was totally unprepared," he said. "I was playing baseball and I came in real weak. … But I had a real good spring. I felt real comfortable. I think I'm on my way and that this is going to be a big year for me, so I've get my name out there and do some stuff."
All the hard work has paid off as Cumbie now weighs 272 pounds, which is nearly 25 pounds heavier than he was last year. But that extra weight doesn't look bad on him. He doesn't look pudgy like Gaines Adams. The weight suits his frame.
"It's 25 pounds of good weight," Cumbie said. "I want to play around 260 or so, because I'll feel lighter. Just as long as I don't lose my strength, I'll be alright at that weight."
Cumbie's new body as a result of all the spring and summer workouts has all the coaches impressed. So much so that defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said that Cumbie looks so good that he should be the first one off the bus before every game.
"That's fine with me," Cumbie answered when told what his coach said. "I'm real excited. This is my second year here and I've got a chance to go in there and sack Drew Weatherford from Florida State in Death Valley. Right now, everything is working out perfect and I think I'm going to have a successful year and do big things and get my name out there."
But apparently it's not only Cumbie who has been hitting the weight room and practice fields hard. He couldn't be more psyched about his teammates work habits and the results he thinks are going to come as a result of them.
"The team's been working great," he said. "I tell you, we've been working extremely hard. You just don't know. We've been out there busting our tails out there. It's been hot and we've been working hard. Everybody's coming together right now."
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