When Texas A&M hired Mike Sherman, one of the first things that he did was meet with Jorvorskie Lane and explain that he was moving from tailback to fullback—a meeting that did not sit well with Lane. The 290-pound running back had chosen Texas A&M four years earlier because it was the only school that recruited him as a tailback instead of a fullback, a position that he saw as a lead blocker who didn't get many opportunities to carry the ball.
"It was devastating until coach (Nolan) Cromwell and the staff sat me down and told me what my role was," Lane said. "They're going to utilize me, they're not going to keep the ball away from me. After hearing that, it was motivating."
Lane said that Cromwell compared him to Seattle's Mack Strong and
"He told me that's how they're going to utilize me," Lane said. "I looked at Matt Strong and he caught the ball, carried the rock and he blocked. (Under Coach Sherman) the fullback has averaged about 45 catches a year. You can't complain about that. As long as I get the ball, I'm good."
Lane said that the new staff, which is loaded with NFL experience, including Sherman's stint as general manager in Green Bay, convinced him that the move would be best for his career and for the Aggies' hopes of winning in 2008.
"If I want to make some money or a lot of money, this is the best route for me," Lane said.
Now that he's okay with the move to fullback, the next step is reaching his goal weight of 270 or less, as he enters fall camp around 290 pounds. Lane said he has worked hard in the spring and summer to get there, he just still has a ways to go.
"Summer workouts went good. Coach Kennedy did a real good job," said Lane, who came to Tuesday's interview with a sandwich from Subway as he tries to eat healthier. "It was a lot different than the last few years. Coach K does a really good job of understanding the guys weaknesses and he'll pull you aside and let you know what you need to focus on. If you need extra work, he'll set up a time where you can come in and get some extra work. As a team, I think we're in the best condition of our lives."
Lane said that Kennedy had him spend extra time on the stair climber, which helped him get down to the 290 range, while getting an extra cardiovascular workout in as well. As an added bonus, that extra work has helped his legs get stronger.
"Now when I go out on the field and do what we do, it doesn't bother me at all," he said.
Sherman said that after the first practice of the year on Monday night, he was impressed by Lane's footwork and hands, but that he's still not where he needs to be physically.
"He's going to do some stuff inside to get in better shape," Sherman said. "He made some nice catches, had a nice run, made a nice cut, but we still want to get him lighter than he is right now."
But Lane knows that he still needs to lose more weight, and that it's not going to be easy.
"I'm going to continue to work hard. It's hard, but I'm going to continue to do it. I've just got to do what's right," Lane said. "There's a big difference between a million dollars and a thousand dollars, so I think I can sacrifice."
He added that the new staff has made his total body makeover easier and that they seem to understand the physical capabilities of their players.
"They understand our bodies," he said. "We get our work in, don't get me wrong, but Sherman doesn't try to kill us and Coach Kennedy understands us and isn't going to put us in a situation where we can't do the conditioning. The whole mindset is different. I really like it."
Another thing that Lane likes is the idea of getting to hit opponents even harder now that he won't be carrying the ball.
"I love delivering blows against linebackers," he said. "Without the ball, it just means I'll have a little more impact."
Lane: I'm going to work hard
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