Ole Miss junior Offensive Lineman Mark Jean-Louis is naturally big. A wide body.
He can't afford to be inactive and expect to control his weight.
That's exactly what happened to the personable Jean-Louis the last game of his JUCO career. He broke hsi foot and could not exercise for a couple of months.
By the time he could resume physical activity, he was in the middle of his first spring training at Ole Miss and his weight had shot up to "nearly 370 pounds" on his 6-2 frame.
"I was out of shape, overweight and my foot still didn' thave much flexibility," said Mark about his spring experience.
When spring training concluded, Jean-Louis knew what he had to do.
"I had to keep working on getting my foot 100% - getting the flexibility back in it, and I had to get my weight down and my conditioning right," he continued. "Now, my ankle is giving me no trouble. I'm 100%. And I have lost 25 pounds, and still losing.
"August practice will take more weight off me too. I think I will be in good shape by August and when the season begins. We ran 110s yesterday and I made it fine in the heat of the day. Being from Florida, I've adjusted to the Mississippi heat and humidity and I'm in pretty good shape."
Jean-Louis has involved himself heavily in all the voluntary OL workouts this summer and feels more confident in knowing what to do within the OL and offensive system.
"I still need to work on some techniques in the run game, but at least now I know what to do. How to do it will come. I want to get everything down where I'm just playing and not thinking - let it flow. I think I can accomplish that when August practice begins," he said. "I was second-guessing myself some in spring and was uncertain. I'm more comfortable now."
Mark is impressed with the offensive line talent at Ole Miss, but he feels he fits in nicely.
"We have some very talented guys on the OL. We are going to be pretty good as a unit, one of the better ones in the SEC. We have a lot of experience coming back and our work ethic is very good. They have helped me a lot and have set the bar high in terms of our expectations and the effort we give. That has helped me adjust," Jean-Louis noted.
After spring training, Jean-Louis, who has played both guard slots to this point, said there was some talk of him learning to snap the ball.
"Coach (Art) Kehoe wants me to learn to snap and learn the center steps. I'm willing to do that. I have snapped before, but I've never played center in a game. Maybe something will develop there - I'm willing to try," he stated.
Jean-Louis enters the season as the number two right guard behind incumbent starter John Jerry, but he also worked at left guard in spring when backup Darryl Harris injured his knee. He expects to work at both this year.
"My first goal is to show the coaches what I can do in August. My second goal is to help my team in any way I can," he closed. "I'll just keep working to reach those goals."
Kehoe and Head Coach Ed Orgeron have talked some in the offseason about the OL having better, and reliable, depth. Mark Jean-Louis factors into that equation.
Mark Jean-Louis update -
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