Quentin Groves has a problem the majority of Americans wish they had. Groves has to force himself to eat.
"I had to develop a craving to eat. I'm not ecstatic to eat. I'm not so much forcing myself, I'm just investing in my future," Groves said of his recent weight gain.
Groves, the Jaguars' second-round draft choice last year, saw his weight drop to 251 pounds near the end of the season. Keeping weight on has always been a problem for the defensive end from Auburn.
When Groves' rookie season ended, he dedicated himself to an offseason training and eating regimen that would help gain weight. He's already up to 262 on the way to 270 pounds, his target playing weight.
"I did it by taking protein shakes and lifting weights. Eating is the big thing. I wouldn't feel like eating. I dialed myself in so that even when I'm not hungry, I'll drink a protein shake," Groves said.
Being unable to keep weight on would be a problem most Americans would love to have, but it genuinely is a problem for an NFL player who relies on power to win the pass-rush battle against massive offensive tackles.
"Eating is money. That's how I push myself to eat," Groves said.
His rookie season wasn't the big hit Jaguars fans hoped it would be. He finished the season with 2.5 sacks. Expectations were probably too high for a player who was used in a part-time role.
"The biggest thing I learned is to go hard on every play. Go until the whistle blows and when the whistle blows, keep fighting," Groves said. "It was a learning experience. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how to lift weights. I didn't know how to approach the veterans, how to approach the coaches. I kind of got pushed around a little on the field but it was all because I didn't know how to train for it. Now I know how to train for it."
In year two, Groves hopes to take strides toward becoming an every-downs defensive end, even though he changed his jersey number from 93 to 54, which is usually reserved for linebackers. It had been his number at Auburn.
"I'm kind of superstitious," he said. "I want to be respected in the NFL as a guy who can play the run and rush the passer."
Groves knows what it'll take to become that player.
"To be bigger, faster, stronger, of course, and to be more of a student of the game," he added.