Tipping the Scales

Eight Irish players gained or lost more than 10 pounds during winter conditioning/2011 season. 14 others added/dropped five or more…

Senior-to-be Tyler Stockton did not play in 2011. Part of his season on the sidelines was due to a PCL injury suffered last spring. But after missing the final half of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury (also requiring surgery), Stockton's formerly familiar name on the team's up-and-comers chart was cast aside, due largely to the emergence of three true freshman along the defensive front last fall and another classmate-in-waiting.

Now 17 pounds lighter at a fighting trim 285, Stockton is ready to compete in what could be his final season in an Irish uniform (he could earn a 5th-year in 2013 as well).

Also trimmed down is punter Ben Turk (from 196 to 186), redshirt-freshman guard Conor Hanratty (315 to 305), and junior quarterback Tommy Rees (215 to 210 – no other quarterback experienced a weight change according to the spring roster).

The quartet above represent weight loss notables under Paul Longo's tutelage. Below is a look at those gaining between five and 15 pounds since the last official weigh-in in August 2011 with the 2012 season still five months away.

10-Up Club

The following players added the most weight since the last official numbers were released in August 2011.

Jordan Cowart (LS): Gained 15 pounds, up to 230. Cowart's added weight could be necessary to hold up for additional short-snapper duties for his senior year, a position he held down after Braxston Cave was injured in early November.

Nick Tausch (K): Gained 11 pounds and weighs in at 201 pounds. Tausch will challenge incumbent kick-off specialist Kyle Brindza and the pair will also go head-to-head for place-kicking duties vacated by David Ruffer.

George Atkinson (KR/RB): Up from 200 to 210 pounds in hopes of adding rotational running back duties to his kick return gig.

Ben Councell: Gained 10 pounds, up to 240 pounds as he prepares to compete for a starting/rotation role at outside linebacker (Dog). Regardless, the 6'4 ½" redshirt-freshman is a near lock for special teams duties.

Tony Springmann (DT/NG): Now at 6'5 ½" 290 pounds, the redshirt-freshman will likely experience weight/strength fluctuation as he recovers from off-season back surgery.

Five or More: Redshirt-freshman safety Eilar Hardy (185) added eight pounds as did junior right guard competitor Christian Lombard (309). Junior linebacker Justin Utupo is up seven pounds to 258 while sophomore kicker Kyle Brindza (225), redshirt-freshman safety Matthias Farley (200), 5th-year senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (306), and junior linebacker Danny Spond (6), each added six pounds since the last weigh-in.

Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (190), center Bruce Heggie (285), defensive end Aaron Lynch (270), offensive guard/tackle Nick Martin (285…his brother Zack gained a pound, up to 304), wide receiver Luke Massa (225), and tight end Alex Welch (250), all gained five pounds.

At 253 pounds (the same as last August), sophomore Ben Koyack remains the heaviest of the team's five tight ends. New addition Troy Niklas is up two pounds from last August, weighing 252 pounds while looking to add in the off-season.

At 286 pounds, freshman defensive end Sheldon Day weighs the same as his listing on National Signing Day (February 1) as does fellow early enrollee Gunner Kiel. Expect both numbers to change next August.

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