When it came to shedding weight, Will Campbell tried the no-wheat diet. It zapped his energy. Then, he tried the no-sweets diet. That worked. But like giving up any indulgence, Campbell quickly discovered his weakness.
"Honey Buns," the senior defensive tackle said Monday afternoon, after Michigan's first practice of the 2012 preseason.
The sweet, crusty goodies from Little Debbie could have been Campbell's downfall. But in order to gain a hold on a starting position with the Wolverines, Campbell had to think more along the lines of baby carrots and less along the lines of Little Debbie.
Campbell started camp at a "svelte" 310 - at least 12 pounds less than his weight from last spring. He added more protein to his diet and followed a summer-long exercise regimen that shed whatever excess baby fat lingered.
Entering the 2012 season - believe it or not, the season opener against Alabama in Texas is less than four weeks away - Michigan coach Brady Hoke has set high expectations for Campbell, who is poised to be one of the anchors on a revamped defensive line.
"He's got a great attitude, and he's really become a tremendous leader," Hoke said. "He worked his tail off during the summer. From everything I heard from players form this team, he really was a guy who led by example. When he had to get after somebody, he wasn't afraid to do that."
But when asked to elaborate on what he did specifically to prepare for his senior season, Campbell deflected the topic of himself and went with a company line.
"It's not about me," Campbell said. "It's about Michigan and how the team works every day."