More than most other athletes, the transition from high school to college football can be a difficult for offensive linemen. In high school, they may be able to skate by on size, natural talent and hard work. To be successful in college requires knowledge expanded playbooks and usually a significant increase in training and nutrition regimens to get to and maintain the physical size required to be dominant on the line.
First year Pitt linemen Terrence Rankl and Terrence Enos enrolled in January, giving them a head start at the Division I grind. Even so, the transition has been extreme.
“It’s like drinking water out of a fire hydrant, you know, it’s a lot of information at once,” Rankl said.
A 6-foot-5, 309-pound three-star recruit out of Massillon Washington (Ohio) High School, Rankl doesn’t have a set position yet. Enos, a 6-foot-4, 325-pound three-star out of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, is slated at left guard. Enos commended Pitt’s coaches for getting him used to college athletics, particularly Strength and Conditioning coach Michael Stacchiotti.
“[Stacchiotti] brings energy every day. He makes me want to get better,” Enos said. “It’s a perfect fit for me.”
Both Terrence’s put a big focus on weight: Rankl in bulking up, and Enos in cutting down. Getting to their desired playing weight is only half the battle. They need to get accustomed to the weight and get there in a healthy manner.
Rankl wants to play at 320 pounds and is combining exercise and diet to get there.
“I’m hitting the weight room, [turning fat] into muscle,” Rankl said.
He can’t do that without eating though.
“I’ve been eating about six, seven peanut butter and jelly [sandwiches] on top of the really good dining [hall food],” Rankl said.
Enos, on the other hand, has cut down on portion sizes and focused on running in order to slim down. The COVID-19 pandemic provides and limits opportunities for incoming college athletes. Rankl decided to enroll early because of it.
“It’s not the same as any other senior year,” Rankl said. “Before you’d have prom… you’re not walking at graduation… I’m not missing anything [now].”
Because the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility, however, there’s another year of incumbent players that new athletes have to jockey for position with. Enos readily accepted the challenge.
“We’ve just gotta work harder,” Enos said.