Rebel Tailback BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who gained 1,000 yards as a junior in an offense that, well, didn't have much passing game to loosen things up for the run, is ready to go for the 2007 season.
222 pounds of solid muscle packed on to his 5-11 frame, he's an imposing figure.
"I had to pump up for picture day," BJGE laughed.
Picture day has nothing to do with it. BenJarvus stays in shape by taking on a year-round workout routine that never allows him to get out of shape.
For him, it's the only way - a proven method that has taken him this far and, he hopes, beyond.
"We've all been working hard all summer," noted Ben. "Me and Kendrick Lewis, Mike Wallace, Marshay Green and Jamarca always stay after and get some extra work. We have caught a lot of balls this year to make sure our passing game is up to par and better than it was.
"The quarterbacks are taking on a leadership role and are looking good in 7-on-7. We are basically just making sure our timing is down and we are moving forward. The QBs are doing a good job and working hard, like all of us."
Green-Ellis is excited about the running back position with him and fellow senior Bruce Hall and sophomore Cordera Eason in the fold.
"We are approaching this year like we are the weakest point of the team so we will be motivated to work and not let the team down. We are not resting on what we did last year," he continued. "I think we will all be ready to go and have big years."
BenJarvus drew a lot off his 2006 performance, but the biggest thing, he says, is staying healthy.
"I had a nagging shoulder injury that I could never get well until I rested it during our late open week. It wasn't big, but it was a little bothersome," he explained. "You must do everything you can to prevent injuries - eat right, get your rest, work out hard, get in top shape. You have to take care of your body. That's number one.
"To go along with that, you have to prepare yourself for every Saturday game starting Monday. You can't wait until Friday to get prepared. It's a process that takes a week for you to be mentally sharp and physically ready.
"Then, it's all about competing 110% on every snap on this level. The guys on the other side of the ball will be, so you better be doing the same, or more. If you take a play off in this league, it comes back to haunt you."
Ben has high hopes the offense will include getting him the ball more via the pass to get him in the open field.
"If it will help the team, I'd like to catch some passes out of the backfield and be more than a bruising runner," he stated. "I know the coaches emphasized getting the ball in the hands of our playmakers more, whether that's me or anyone else, and do it in a variety of ways. I've been working hard on my receiving and routes and hope I'm utilized like that some."
BJGE likes the attitude of the team.
"We have a great attitude. We are hungry because we want more than to just come close. We realize we have to be more consistent and efficient and we all feel we can do that," he ended. "We reached a wall last year and didn't have a sharp enough hammer to break through it. This year, we want to knock it down.
"I think we have enough talent and experience to do that."
You can lay a big wager that BenJarvus will do his part of swinging the hammer.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis update -
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