Carriker packs on muscle to increase intimidation
March 23, 2006
As Adam Carriker strolled in front of the room full of cameras and reporters, everything his teammate Corey McKeon said just minutes earlier finally made sense.
After seeing just how much bigger, buffer and downright more intimidating the senior-to-be defensive end had gotten since last December, it was no wonder why McKeon could only describe Carriker as a ``freak of nature.''``He's gotten so much bigger, stronger and faster, it's ridiculous,'' McKeon said. ``He's a freak of nature, that's the best way I can put it.''
Coming off the best season of his career in 2005, Carriker showed up for the first day of Nebraska's spring practice on Wednesday a massive 6-foot-6, 295 pounds - the majority of it pure muscle.
Last season when he broke out with a team-best 9.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, Carriker weighed in at just 280 pounds.
Not only that, Carriker also reportedly clocked in a hand-timed 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the Cornhuskers' winter conditioning.
To put that time in perspective, most 300-pounders average about 5 seconds flat in the run. McKeon, arguably one of Nebraska's fastest linebackers, ran a 4.5.
``He is scary,'' said NU Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove. ``He's gotten bigger and stronger, and he really challenged his body in a short period of time. We really appreciate all of his hard work.
``He's about as physically impressive as anybody I've ever been around.''According to Carriker, the biggest adjustment he made to his training regiment during the offseason was in his diet.
After admittedly eating Burger King and Taco Bell nearly three or four times per week, Carriker met with Nebraska's team nutritionist James Harris and developed a strict eating schedule.
With chicken breasts, fruits and vegetables making up practically every meal, Carriker said he saw quick results in his size and muscle tone.
``Before I never really cared what I ate,'' Carriker said. ``When I started this new diet, at first it really sucked because I hated chicken breasts. But it definitely made a difference.''
For Carriker, a change in diet was only a small piece of a much bigger plan to make the most of his final season as a Husker.
Following Nebraska's victory over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl in December, Carriker opted to turn down a chance at entering the NFL Draft to return to Lincoln for one last shot at a Big 12 Conference championship - something the Huskers haven't won since 1999.
In his opinion, NU's talent, depth and newfound confidence this season were simply too much to pass up.
``Our goal is to play in a BCS game and win a Big 12 title,'' Carriker said. ``Every team says that's their goal at the beginning of the year, but you honestly have to have the personnel to do it, and we do.''
``You battle through so much stuff to where you get to the point where there's no excuses.''
If Carriker can somehow replicate his 2005 success this season, combined with his new physique, there's no telling how far his draft stock could rise by next April.
Considering that there are only three combined offensive linemen on the rosters of Nebraska's first three opponents this season - including Southern California - that weigh more than 10 pounds of Carriker, there's no telling just how dominant he could be in 2006.
As far as McKeon goes, he's just glad he and Carriker will be on the same side of the ball this season.
``You look at him and you're like, `Yeah, he's on my team,''' McKeon said
Oh yeah baby. I can't wait to watch him this year. I just hope that he plays like he can. 290 and still runs a 4.68 40. Thats what I want to see