Ball moving in on goal

ATHENS – At the turn of the year Neland Ball had hoped to be around 255 pounds by this fall.

He's not far off... Ball is sitting right around 250 right now.

"I think I can maintain my speed because of the way that we workout," Ball said of the weight gain.

That's something he's going to have to do – maintaining his speed will be vital to the Jackson native's success in Athens. While Ball's body type isn't similar to former Georgia defensive end Marcus Howard right now his game is. Ball uses his speed and long frame to get to the quarterback as fast as he can.

The easiest body-type comparison for Ball is to former Georgia defensive end Quentin Moses. Like Moses, Ball is lean and well over 6-5. Also like Moses, Ball redshirted his first season at Georgia to grow.

"I knew that I was way too small to play in the SEC last year," Ball admitted.

The year off meant spending time on Georgia's scout team and going up against the first team offensive line.

"I let them know that I wanted them to push me," Ball said. "I pretty much worked on technique the entire time."

Still, Ball says he needs to get bigger in order to really make a push the rest of his career.

"After I get bigger and stronger I think I'll be better able to compete with the first and second team," he said.

Ball says that he wins his fair share of battles in pass rush drills, but that he wants to get better in running situations.

"That's been the challenge for me," he admitted.

Meanwhile Ball will concentrate on the little things, which he must have to succeed – no matter his weight.

"I was so small last year that I really had to work on my leverage," he said. "That's the best way to keep the big guys off you. In high school I was so used to running through guys and being bigger and faster than everyone else. I think you could even be a little lazy in high school – and you can't do that out here. You have to go full speed every day."

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