Last month, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little gave partial credit to his slimmer physique to cutting out the seven to 10 cupcakes he would down every Thursday. Another factor in Little's added size as a rookie was the 11 pounds of muscle he had gained while training for the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.
While suspended from North Carolina by the NCAA for the 2010 season, Little worked out with Wayne Hunter -- the MMA fighter, not the New York Jets right tackle -- who put the receiver through grueling workouts to keep him motivated on realizing his NFL dream. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Little says those workouts were his "saving grace".
"I was very lean and cut when I worked out with Wayne," said Little of his pre-combine training physique. "I lost about four or five pounds, but I still had a big body for a receiver."
Selected in the second round, Little caught 61 passes for 709 yards and two touchdowns as a starter in 12 of 16 games as a rookie. Little was also among the league leaders in dropped passes. To slim down, Little worked out at Bommarito Performance Systems in the Miami area and is reportedly at 219 pounds after weighing 231 pounds at last year's Combine. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur thinks a slimmer Little will be quicker and more consistent going forward.
"Iâve seen him look a lot quicker, a lot more sudden," Shurmur said after a recent OTA practice. "To this point, heâs caught the ball at a much more consistent rate and he just looks like a different guy to me, a guy thatâs been through it once. To his credit, heâs done a really nice job of getting his body in the right kind of shape he needs to be in to be a receiver in this league."