Bloomington, Ind. – Adam McClurg found himself going in a different direction than the rest of his teammates this summer.
While just about everyone else on the roster was busy in the weight room trying to add weight, the Hoosiers' starting middle linebacker was dropping pounds in bunches. Listed at 230 pounds at the start of the 2006 campaign, the Greenwood, Ind., native shed more than 20 pounds from his frame.
"(The coaches) were asking me, ‘what are you doing? Are you going to eat?'" McClurg said.
McClurg's decision to drop weight, though, was by design. He had surgery in December to clean up his knee, which in turn kept him out of the weight room and away from the conditioning drills that the rest of his teammates were going through. At that point he knew that if he did in fact stay at his playing weight of 225-230, it wouldn't be the right kind of weight.
"I didn't want to put on bad weight," McClurg said. "I couldn't run. I've been to the point where I put on a lot of bad weight (in the past). I didn't want to do that, so I lost weight and built it up throughout the summer. Now, I'm to where I want to be."
After dipping down to 207 in the spring, McClurg said he weighed in at 225 pounds when camp started. He's been a player who's dealt with a handful of injuries during his IU career, but he said he's as healthy as he's been in some time.
"Every camp I've gone through since my (first) knee injury (a torn ACL in 2005), I've been dealing with my knees swelling," McClurg said. "This is probably the first year my knees have been pretty strong. I got them real strong in the weight room this summer, and I feel pretty healthy halfway through camp."
That's a good sign for the Hoosiers, who will be counting on McClurg to anchor the defense from his middle linebacker position. He's one of three starting linebackers who is returning from a year ago, along with junior Geno Johnson and Will Patterson.
"Adam looks good at about 225," said IU linebackers coach George Ricumstrict. "He feels strong and he says he feels good and he's playing fast."
While things are looking up for McClurg this fall, he did have an off-the-field incident over the summer that had him in the coaching staff's doghouse. He was one of three people, including teammate Sean Edmundson, who was arrested for theft last month after failing to pay a taxi driver for a ride from downtown Indianapolis to Greenwood.
"It was one of those mistakes," McClurg said. "You look back and say I did it, and you have to deal with the consequences."
McClurg said the incident was handled internally by the IU coaching staff, and he won't be facing any suspension once the season gets underway.
"It's one of those things where I've gotten to the point in my life where I need to start growing up," McClurg said. "The thing is, I have. But then I have one minor setback, lose concentration for one second and it comes back on me."
While he has dealt with some sort of punishment from Coach Bill Lynch in the aftermath, he's glad to have the incident behind him and how has his senior season on the horizon. It's one that will culminate an improbably successful career for the one-time walk-on who's developed into a second-year starter at middle linebacker.
"I feel like maybe after this season, I'll be like, ‘wow, I did what I wanted to do, I accomplished some things that I really wanted to do in my life,'" McClurg said. "College football at IU was one of the big things I wanted to do as a kid growing up.
"So I feel satisfied, but you have to get to a bowl game. Things thorugh this season will make it even more satisfying."
McClurg In the Middle Of It All
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