Trent Murphy is making the move from linebacker down to defensive end look easy—but even he’ll be the first to tell you that it’s anything but a simple switch.
The body of a defensive lineman is built in the weight room and in the kitchen, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It starts with a lot of heavy weight in the gym, because after all, you have to lift big, to get big.
“I brought down the volume, as far as reps go, and increased the weight a ton,” Trent explained. “That’s my biggest thing. I’m running less now, and I’ll have to move bigger bodies a shorter distance, so that’s kind of where that capacity has changed.”
Gaining weight isn’t a new task for Trent. Though one might not believe it looking at his now-285-pound frame, Trent was always a tall, lanky kid, more than a thick, immovable NFL defensive lineman. He went through weight gaining phases to add more than 20 pounds while at Stanford University, so he knows the drill when it comes to tacking on mass.
“Just increasing the meals and making a couple shakes a day,” he revealed. “It’s kind of the biggest thing for me is shakes because I can drink calories in between meals.”
It might sound like a dream for some: consuming as much as possible with the hopes of actually gaining weight. But his new eating plan isn’t just a dirty bulk filled with greasy bacon cheeseburgers and super sized fries. He’s still eating as cleanly as possible, which makes the journey to 285-plus a bit more difficult.
“It’s not as easy or as enjoyable as it sounds,” Trent says. “Everyone is like, ‘Oh, I’m so envious of you, you get to eat everything you want.’ Like I wish I could eat that. But it’s not like just adding 20 cheeseburgers a day. I’m constantly stuffing my face with healthy food which is like torture almost. So it’s a small price to pay but I think it’ll be worth it in the end.”
His coaches think so too. Washington head coach Jay Gruden recently talked about his team’s plans for Trent, and it’s all centered around one idea: keeping the vicious pass rusher on the field as much as possible.
“I think he can play inside, outside, standup, put his hand down and gain some more weight. I think we’ll have to play with him a little bit,” Gruden said. “He will have the ability to put his hand down, maybe play five technique or something like that. Because he’s got great hips I think and he’s got a great motor, he plays extremely hard. We’ve got to find a place for him to keep him on the field.”
Willing to do whatever he can to help his team, Trent is on the exact same page as his coaches.
“I’m just Mr. Versatility right now. Wherever I can add value to the team, I’m happy to be there,” TM says. “The coaches have tried to simplify it for me. It’s a smaller space. I’m not on the edge of the defense anymore, so all the moves are going to have to be quicker and more explosive. But on the positive side, there’s a shorter distance to the quarterback, so that’s how I’m looking at it.”