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Players take "weight and see" approach

8/11/2010

Following Monday's practice, sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince acknowledged that he put on some pounds in the offseason to help him "take more hits." Prince is listed at 230 pounds in this year's media guide, up from 219 at the start of fall camp last season.

Prince said he does not feel the added bulk because he's become used to running with it. Based on roster listings for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, only 10 players added more weight than Prince. With that in mind, let's take a look at other significant weight gains, based on how much players weighed a year ago (pounds gained are represented by the number on the far left):

8... So. ATH Damien Thigpen (170 to 178). We're not sure how much the added bulk will affect Thigpen's main attribute: Speed. It should at least help him size up at cornerback.

9... Fr. LB Isaiah Bowens (232 to 241). After redshirting last fall, Bowens appears to have grown into his frame. He is pushing for time in a backup role, so the nine-pound gain can't hurt.

10... Jr. LB Glenn Love (210 to 220). The former safety has tried hard to add pounds since switching positions. He'll get bigger if his hyperactive metabolism allows it.

11... So. QB Kevin Prince (219 to 230). With the added pounds, Prince believes he'll be able to absorb more hits. The coaching staff would rather see him slide when he takes off on his feet.

12... Jr. LB Sean Westgate (205 to 217). The special teams standout is making a case for himself as a linebacker and is one of the team's quickest defensive players. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough is probably smiling, knowing there will be 12 extra pounds behind every Westgate hit.

12... So. OT Brett Downey (290 to 302). With the way things have unraveled for UCLA's offensive line, Downey's weight gain can't be a bad thing.

12... Jr. DT Justin Edison (278 to 290). Edison will likely play an important role as backup to defensive tackles David and Donovan Carter.

15... So. CB Sheldon Price (163 to 178). Despite the gain, Price is still one of the lankiest players on the team. His teammates have given him the nickname "Sticks," for obvious reasons.

17... Fr. DE Keenan Graham (228 to 245). Datone Jones' broken foot opens the door for Graham, who might be heavier if not for a broken jaw last season.

19... Fr. CB Marlon Pollard (158 to 177). Like Price, Pollard has reached a better playing weight. He remains quick, even after putting on nearly 20 pounds.

20... Jr. DL Nate Chandler (270 to 290). It's unclear whether Chandler's added weight will be a negative now that he's sliding to end to fill in for Datone Jones.

33... So. DT Donovan Carter (247 to 280). Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the biggest gainer. Carter figures to plug holes alongside David Carter (unrelated) at defensive tackle.

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Not everyone had seconds and thirds at the dinner table this summer. The three major weight-loss gurus are:

11... Jr. C Kai Maiava (309 to 298). The center's 11-pound loss can only make the offensive line more mobile.

25... Sr. DT Andy Keane (301 to 276). Keane adds depth at defensive tackle and is competing with three freshmen for time as a backup.

36... Fr. OL Connor Bradford (285 to 249). Bradford shed a mind-numbing 36 pounds since he arrived on campus a year ago -- a move that suggests his desire to be more mobile on the edges.