Eating Right To Play Right

Taylor Thompson

After a busy day covering Conference USA media day, PonyStampede.com decided to drop in to watch voluntary workouts. As always, sophomore defensive end Taylor Thompson was working hard. We caught up with him after practice, come inside to hear his story! If you don't have a premium membership, you are missing out!

Have you ever consumed a protein shake? They are not the tastiest drinks in the world, but that has not stopped sophomore Taylor Thompson from consuming at least three a day for the last couple of months. The defensive end is currently weighing in at 288 pounds, 30 more pounds than he weighed during spring football. I once gained 30 pounds in three months during college. Let's just say I wasn't drinking protein shakes.

"This summer I have been putting a lot more effort into adding body mass, but at the same time getting in better shape. It's really tough," stated Thompson to PonyStampede.com. "You have to make sure you eat the right foods to put on mass, but at the same time not eat bad foods. Otherwise you will come out here not in shape."

Besides for the shakes, his diet has consisted of various lean meats, chicken breasts, rice, bread, and any other carbs he can digest.

"You have to diet right to play right. You can't be eating crappy foods and come out here expecting to dominate," said the second year player.

One area of concern for SMU fans is whether Thompson has lost any speed? When a world class athlete gains weight, it takes time to adjust running with the extra pounds. Your muscles are not used to it.

"It was a lot tougher. It wasn't my lungs, but in my legs. It was a lot harder to carry the weight at the same speed I was running before," stated the expected starter. "I think after two weeks of hard running during voluntary workouts, my body is used to it. I don't think I have lost a step. I'm in shape."

With various players noting Thompson's muscle gain and the Mustang coaching staff praising his NFL like body, it would be easy for the sophomore to be content with what he has accomplished already. This hasn't been the case so far for Thompson.

"I try to not listen to what people are saying. I'm trying to stay on the right path. I don't want anything going to my head. I think when people listen to that, they tend to drift away from their hard work and their team," said the Prosper High School product.

While he might have the body of a future NFL draft pick, he must now go from impressing in the weight room to impressing on the field. As a true freshman, he appeared in nine games, starting the last three. In SMU's second to last game, the defensive end recorded a career high eight tackles. A performance that senior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders expects more often this year.

"The dude is going to be a beast this season," stated Emmanuel Sanders. "He has been working hard in the weight room and is looking great. He is ready to come at it hard. I'm proud of him."


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