I’ve been seeing Ben Garland out at spring football practices. He’s giving advice and pointers to the Falcons’ returning defensive linemen.
Garland, who was a force as a nose guard in 2009, looks like he still could suit up and be a difference maker. And there’s a reason for that. Garland is staying in playing shape to impress scouts at Air Force’s pro day.
That means Garland is at about 290 pounds.
That’s particularly interesting because Garland has earned a pilot training slot and will begin pilot training after graduation.
According to Garland, before he goes to pilot training, he’s going to have to get down to about 220 pounds (he needs to weigh no more than 235 with gear before he flies).
But, as he’s going through pro day, he still holds some dreams of the NFL. Could he really go from 290 down to 220 and then back up to 290 (or thereabouts) after a couple years of flying to try to make an NFL roster?
Is that possible?
“It’ll be tough,” Garland said with a smile. “But (former academy defensive lineman, pilot and NFL player) Chad Hennings did it.”
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun wouldn’t bet against Garland.
“Any time you use the word ‘possible,’ and it involves Ben Garland, it is,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. “That’s just what he’s made of. … He’s a good football player, and he’s a phenomenal kid. He’s one of those guys you want in the Air Force. In 15, 20 years he needs to be in a capacity, leadership-wise. All the way around the block, the guy’s a stud. There’s just no other way to put it.”