From the fall of 2015 until last Wednesday, LSU sophomore offensive lineman Justin Mikush lost a five-gallon jug of water, an armless dining room chair, a small table lamp, a guinea pig and four sticks of butter.
Or 67 pounds of things, in other words.
Imagine hoisting the quintet of items in the air with your arms. Heavy right? Mikush dropped it, but not literally.
He lost weight, cutting from 67 pounds from 348, to be exact, making him 281 heading into LSU’s fall camp last week.
Mikush’s 67-pound trimming mirrored the results of many Tigers from spring training until now, but in a far more extreme fashion.
The offseason proved to be a time of body trimming to be more elusive and evasive for LSU’s football team, or a time to beef up for more power and strength. In Leonard Fournette’s case, it was a chance to respond to a challenge dealt from LSU coach Les Miles.
Miles tasked Fournette to lose roughly 10 pounds, which would’ve shred the tailback from 235 pounds — which he weighed during the spring — to 225-230.
Fournette responded in May to “the big man,” as he called Miles in a since-deleted tweet in May, before weighing in at 235, again, at fall camp.
“I lost that weight for you big man,” he tweeted at Miles, who supported Fournette’s weight at SEC Media Days on July 14.
During the offseason, Kendell Beckwith still laughed at the idea of fellow linebacker Duke Riley beating him in a race.
“Oh yeah. 20 yards, I’ll give him everything he can handle,” Beckwith, the Tigers’ 247-pound middle (“Mack”) linebacker said. “After that, I mean, the race is over. My first 20 yards I can get with him. I tell him all the time if I was a little lighter, I’d get him.”
Beckwith is the same soft-spoken jokester who threatened he would defeat former Tiger middle linebacker Deion Jones in a race last season. Jones went on to post with 4.39 40-yard dash during LSU’s Pro Day on March 14, so it is possible Beckwith’s confidence is, and was, partially misguided.
The Tigers starting linebacker has cut nearly five pounds of weight from his 6-foot-3 frame, and for the lighter, more soft-stepped Riley?
He’s bigger (as are a lot of Tigers), Beckwith giggled, as he said Riley added 10 pounds to the center of LSU’s defense during the Tigers summer workout period from June to August.
“Duke, he’s a, he’s gained a lot of weight,” he said. “Duke’s good, though. He’s still fast.”
Along with Riley, 28 other Tigers beefed up and added seven, or more, pounds of muscle. For the veterans, the gain may have come over the course of the year - from last fall to earlier this week. For the newbies, their initial weight was taken either during an official visit or was pulled a recruiting service, LSU said.
Like Beckwith’s race spiel, other Tigers shared their muscle addition/subtraction stories, too:
- Greg Gilmore wanted to be thinner. Gilmore is now a competitor for LSU’s starting nose tackle after Christian LaCouture’s knee injury Monday may move Davon Godchaux to defensive end. Gilmore said he weighed nearly 312-320 pounds in the spring. He’s 308 now, which “helps his team,” he said.
“I wanted to move better, got stronger. I didn’t need to gain any, I’m not going to get pushed around or anything like that … I just felt like if I lost a little bit of weight I could slam better, move better, pass rush better. You know, help my team."
- Travin Dural, LSU fullback. Sounds strange, right? Well, LSU running back coach Jabbar Juluke thought so, too, when Dural shined a 227 on the scale between March and April after four months of recovery from surgery in November to repair a torn hamstring. No worries, Dural has since returned to wide receiver, and he’ll stay there, he quipped on Saturday.
“I was 207 when I came in to do our physicals,” Dural said. “I lost a lot of weight. I had to slim down, lose some weight for the season. Coach Juluke told me he would line me up at fullback and (offensive coordinator) Cam (Cameron) told me he’d line me up at tight end. He can’t tell me that anymore.”
- K.J. Malone packed on 10 pounds. It has helped him, he said. Malone has lined at left tackle since Maea Teuhema began nursing a sprained ankle prior to LSU’s fall camp. Malone was sub-300 pounds before this summer, which wasn’t enough.
“I put some pounds on,” he said. “Reporting (on Wednesday) I was 310. So just putting some weight on has really helped me.”
- Maea Teuhema wasn’t an everyday starter to begin the 2015-16 season, but he worked his way into the mix during the second week of the season against Auburn and started the final 11 games. During the summer, Teuhema kept dropping weight to improve his game. As an expected left tackle, he needed quicker hands, faster feet and the strength to fight off the SEC’s shifty, muscular defensive ends from smothering Brandon Harris.
“Maea really took the initiative this summer,” Will Clapp said. “He got in shape, probably dropped 10-15 pounds. He’s starting to run a lot better. He’s got naturally quick feet, so he can slide out there with the best of them. He improved in the weight room, you know, he doubled a 1,300 pound tire like it was nothing. That kid’s strength is off the chart.”
- Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes’ ideal weight for a guard ranges from 330-335. Josh Boutte settled at 346 at camp this week. He’s not happy with that, either.
“Um, no. I actually want to be 320,” Boutte said. “Coach’s ideal weight is 335, and I’m close, but I want to be way under and be able to go all five quarters."
Ex: name: previous weight -- new weight | +/- differential
QB Brandon Harris: 206 -- 218 | +12
DB Kristian Fulton: 178 -- 188 | +10
S John Battle: 194 -- 202 | +8
RB Lanard Fournette: 187 -- 199 | +12
DB Andraez “Greedy” Williams: 165 -- 175 | +10
WR Jalen Williams: 208 -- 221 | +13
RB Reshaud Henry: 191 -- 199 | +8
LB Rahssan Thornton: 211 -- 222 | +11
LB Michael Divinity Jr.: 224 -- 234 | +10
OLB/DE Tashawn Bower: 240 -- 253 | +13
TE Zach Von Rosenberg: 228 -- 250 | +22
FB Bry’Keithon Mouton: 255 -- 265 | +10
DE/OLB Arden Key: 231 -- 238 | +7
DL Marcus Roberts: 282 -- 313 | +31
OL Jakori Savage: 289 -- 300 | +11
OT Toby Weathersby: 292 -- 302 | +10
OT George Brown Jr.: 283 -- 290 | +7
OL Willie Allen: 303 -- 310 | +7
OG Garrett Brumfield: 294 -- 305 | +11
TE Jamal Pettigrew: 218 -- 250 | +32
TE Colin Jeter: 244 -- 254 | +10
WR Jazz Ferguson: 215 -- 223 | +8
OLB/DE Sci Martin: 217 -- 240 | +23
TE Jacory Washington: 228 -- 249 | +21
DE Louis Neal: 264 -- 272 | +8
DT Glen Logan: 284 -- 315 | +31
DE Frank Herron: 289 -- 305 | +16
DE Deondre Clark: 253 -- 272 | +19
(RB Leonard Fournette: 230 -- 235 | +5)
The biggest losers:
RB Derrius Guice: 222 -- 212: | -10
QB Danny Etling: 226 -- 215 | -11
PK Connor Culp: 195 -- 186 | -9
DB Abraham Wallace: 196 -- 189 | -7
LB Kendell Beckwith: 252 -- 247 | -5
OL Justin Mikush: 348 -- 281 | -67
OL Donavaughn Campbell: 349 -- 344 | -5
OG Adrian Magee: 324 -- 309 | -15
OT Maea Teuhema: 327 -- 315 | -12
C Ethan Pocic: 309 -- 303 | -6
TE Foster Moreau: 261 -- 250 | -11
DL/NG Rashard Lawrence: 310 -- 301 | -9
NG Greg Gilmore: 313 -- 308 | -5
You can reach Christian Boutwell on Twitter, @CBoutwell_TDR