Playing sports in college is difficult. Playing for a Division I program is even harder. Playing for the cream of the crop—like the Florida Gators—is, for most athletes, just a dream. Brandon Petty, a 6-foot-4 lineman out of the Sunshine State, is working to make that dream a reality. He's drawn interest from a few D-I programs, and he's working extra hard in hopes that his senior season will catapult him to the upper echelon of college football. We talked with Brandon about his training and nutrition habits, and what he's doing to maximize his recruiting potential.
STACK: What was your training like this summer, before football practice started?
PETTY: My team has a summer training camp from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday. We did 90 minutes in the weight room in the morning. Then we headed into the wrestling room to do things like Fireman's Carries and four-on-four wrestling. The rest of the time, we watched film and did conditioning or position work.
Are you doing anything else?
I work out at home after practice. Whatever we did that day, I hit the same muscle group for 45 minutes at home. Some nights, I go for a mile or two-mile run to improve my conditioning. On Sundays, I do footwork drills with a buddy of mine.
That's a lot of activity. What's your diet look like?
I tend to eat 5,000 to 6,000 calories each day. Breakfast is a big glass of milk, some scrambled eggs, toast and a few packets of oatmeal. At lunch I do two PB&J's, a protein shake, and some fruit. I eat one or two more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches around 3:30 p.m. Then, I eat two plates of whatever we have for dinner. That puts me at about 4,800 calories. After my [evening snack], I'm between 5,000 and 6,000 calories. That's my diet most days.
You're putting in a lot of effort. How has it paid off in recruiting?
I've had a chance to get recruited by a few schools. The first school that sent a letter was Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. I've also gotten [interest] from Tulane and Florida International. I went to the FIU camp and felt like I did really well, and that I stood out to some of those coaches. It wasn't just FIU, either: we had Georgia Southern, Mercer University, Florida Atlantic, and others.
What goals have you set for your senior season?
Academically, I want to get a 3.5 or higher. The team goal for this year is to make the playoffs, and we want to get to a state championship. As far as individual goals, I want to lead the team in sacks, with eight or more. I'd also like to have over 80 tackles. If I do those things, it'll put my name in front of the bigger schools. It'll say, "this guy can make plays, and he can play for us."
Learn and Apply: Do The Legwork
If you want to get a head start on the recruiting process, you can't wait for college coaches to reach out to you. You need to get in touch with them. "I filled out a bunch of recruiting questionnaires my freshman and sophomore years," Petty said. "It let the coaches know that I'm interested in their programs, and it put my name in their database. If they ever had interest in me, they could look me up and contact me—they have all my information right there."
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