ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- At a very light 315-pounds, sophomore defensive tackle Bryan Mone knew he needed to add some significant poundage prior to spring football.
“Coach (Kevin) Tolbert got us in the weight room and eating right and everything is just falling in place,” Mone said.
Trying to be leaner, Mone says his diet consists of protein, protein and more protein. But with such a heavy chicken menu at Schembechler Hall, he does leave room for a cheat day.
“Don’t tell my coach,” he said laughing. “Usually Wendy’s; but that’s just once a week.”
On the field, the weight gain is showing up big time for Mone, already a very powerful defensive lineman on the inside.
Enrolling early as a freshman a year ago, Mone feels light years ahead of where he was last January.
“Personally, I think I got better with my hands and technique,” Mone said.
“I feel like I’m better,” added Mone. “I need to pick up my speed just a little bit but I know my strength is up there.”
Starting all 12 games as a true freshman at left tackle a year ago, now sophomore Mason Cole is seeing time at center in spring practice.
Now sliding inside and taking on Mone quite a bit in practice, Cole sees the improvement as well.
“Bryan’s a big boy,” Cole said. “But it’s been good. Coming under center working against him is a lot different but he’s a good ball player.”
Given his size and ability, Mone could be a perfect fit as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Although it’ll likely be the spring game or even the fall before rumors of a 3-4 component can be confirmed, Mone says he’s adjusting well to the added responsibility.
“It’s a big change but Coach Durkin and Coach Mattison is giving us the right technique,” Mone said.
“It’s going the way we want it to go. Mostly head up but two gap is mostly what we go against with the offense. So far we’re doing good with it.”