November 25, 2009

The Love boat's final voyage

Possibly one of the biggest improvements on Mississippi State's roster this year comes from literally one of it's biggest players.

But he is not as big as he used to be.

Senior defensive tackle Kyle Love shed over 30-pounds in the offseason and has already doubled his output on the field with one game left on the schedule.

The 6-foot-1, 303-pounder has made 34 tackles, two tackles for loss 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry this season after making only 17 stops in 2008.

"I credit it to the shape that I'm in and the strength coach," Love said. "Coach (Matt) Balis has done a lot for me. He's done the most that any strength coach has done not just for myself but anybody on the team. He's got me a whole lot more in shape. He's got my body fat down and my weight down. Everything is just going great for us and I believe Coach Balis has a strong role in doing that for us."

Love stated that he was at 334-pounds when Balis arrived in January.

"I've always struggled to get it off and he helped me do that," Love said. "I really appreciate that."

Shedding the weight also helped alleviate some of the added pressure on Love's toes. He struggled through most of last season with the nagging injury but now has some specially padded Adidas cleats that have also helped.

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