The offseason affords college football players a few different opportunities, among them, ample time for film study, a chance to improve technique, and, of course, the opportunity to alter one's physique. In a game of leverage, weight is of the utmost importance; it's certainly different from one position to the next, but too much can render a player ineffectively immobile, while too little can result in being dominated by an opponent.
On Wednesday, Florida State distributed the first rosters of the 2016 season, which include updated player measurements. 16 FSU players experienced double-digit weight gain or loss, and tight end Jalen Wilkerson led the way for those who gained some size, going into his second year on campus after redshirting in 2015. He packed on 25 pounds, going from 253 to 278. Long snapper Stephen Gabbard was right behind him, adding 22 pounds and bulking up from 229 to 251. Punter Jonathan Hernandez gained 18 pounds (216-234), while two players put on 11 pounds of good weight: quarterback Deondre Francois (203-214) and linebacker Sh'Mar Kilby-Lane (212-223).
The majority of significant weight change came in downsizing, though, as 11 players dropped double-digit pounds. The biggest purge came from a pair of players who each dropped 16 pounds: starting left tackle Rod Johnson (323-307) and tight end Jeremy Kerr (266-250). Right tackle Brock Ruble is presently taking first team reps, and he, along with linebacker Delvin Purifoy, lost 14 pounds; Ruble went from 307 to 293, while Purifoy now weighs in at 243 after previously coming in at 257. Purifoy is also one of just two returning players to have registered an increase in height, growing from 6-2 to 6-3 (the other: kicker Kevin Robledo, whose height increased from 6-0 to 6-1).
Another couple of players lost 13 pounds: injured defensive tackle Keith Bryant (294-281) and a player who really needed to add some weight, cornerback Malique Jackson (176-163). Another 'Nole who needed to add some weight led the trio of Seminoles to drop 11 pounds: defensive end Lorenzo Featherston (229-218), along with tackles Demarcus Christmas (301-290) and Adam Torres (285-274). And a pair of Florida State players slimmed down by ten pounds: receiver George Campbell (202-192) and defensive tackle Darvin Taylor (308-298).
I'm not going to catalogue players who gained or lost less than five pounds, as fluctuation is quite common for athletes (as well as everyone else, for that matter). However, another group of 'Noles, while not notching double-digit changes, still changed their body type by adding or subtracting higher single digits. I've included them below, in order of those adding weight to those losing it:
+9: DT Fredrick Jones (302-311), OL Derrick Kelly (312-321), OL Abdul Bello (307-316), DT Justin Shanks (322-331)
+8: WR Nyqwan Murray (171-179)
+7: RB Mario Pender (196-203), DT Arthur Williams (318-325), LB Ro'Derrick Hoskins (238-245), OL Chad Mavety (337-344)
+6: OL Ryan Hoefeld (299-305), OL Rick Leonard (281-287)
+5: OL Ethan Frith (312-317), OL Keith Weeks (294-299), TE Mavin Saunders (248-253)
-6: WR Da'Vante Phillips (210-204), WR Ja'Vonn Harrison (202-196), LB Tyrell Lyons (219-213)
-7: LB Jacob Pugh (239-232), OL Alec Eberle (294-287)
-8: DE DeMarcus Walker (281-273)
With regard to position groups, a few trends stand out. Of the offensive lineman noted, seven added weight, while three shed pounds. All three defensive ends to register changes of note lost weight, whereas three of four receivers did the same.