AUSTIN, Texas -- Malcolm Brown desperately misses his Little Debbie Zebra Cakes.
Joe Bergeron pines for soda and sweet tea.
Both are gone. Maybe not forever. But for now because now the Texas running backs are on a diet of sorts. Not necessarily one to lose weight but one that helps make sure they will not lose time this season.
“Last year I was unhealthy,” Brown said.
“I used to eat a lot of junk food,” confessed Bergeron.
The simple fact was that neither of the players really knew what fuel to put in their bodies and eventually their bodies ran out of just that. Brown hobbled from the midseason on. Bergeron pulled a hamstring against Texas Tech and never really was the same.
“The games that we lost we could’ve won if we would’ve had a lot more healthy players,” said Bergeron, who had 72 carries in 2011. “We were brought on this team to help and when we’re not helping this team then we’re hurting the team.”
Dr. Amy Culp, a sports dietician, was brought on the staff during the offseason to help the team as well.
“[It’s] something that just about everybody in the country now is using because we have to change the habits of some of the guys,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Some are too thin, don't eat enough. Some eat too much. We're in a position where we're trying to find the right combination of foods and drink for the guys to eat so they can be at the optimum when it comes to their conditioning.”
Malcolm Brown and Bergeron believe they have that right combination now.
“I feel a lot better,” Bergeron said. “You can tell it in practice, you’re not getting tired as much. You can go harder in plays and you can go longer in drives.”
The other thing the players have been focused on is taking care of their bodies by spending time in the training room and some extra time in the cold tub.
“[Last season] I would slack in stretching,” Bergeron said. “I wouldn’t stretch at night like Coach told me. There was a lot of stuff that played into it. We won’t have another incident like that again.”
“Certain things like hamstring and stuff like that you need to take care of your body,” said Brown, who had 172 carries. “We have to do certain things and me and him have certain type of body that we have to warm up. We can’t just go out there and play every down like we did in high school without stretching and everything. This is a different type of game and different type of grind.
“We have to do those little things to prepare for the games.”
It just so happens that one of those little things is Little Debbies.
“I got to stay away from those,” Brown said.