EAST LANSING — After having an up and down season last year — as did most of the Michigan State receivers — senior wideout Bennie Fowler has not only tweaked his game on the field, but he’s tweaked his lifestyle as well.
During the 2012-2013 season Fowler stood at 6-foot-1 and weighed about 212-pounds as he led the Spartans in receiving yards (524) and ranked second in receptions with (41). However, heading into this season he felt it was necessary for him to change his lifestyle to better perform on the field.
“I lost 10 pounds,” Fowler said in regards to what he did to get better this summer. “I eat a lot healthier, and I feel a lot better.”
Michigan State wide receiver Bennie Fowler. (AP Photo)
According to MSU wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel, those 10-pounds made a difference, and he can see a change in Fowler’s game from a year ago. Both mentally and physically.
“I think he understood he could have played faster and quicker if he lost the weight,” Samuel said. “Credit to him and his perspective and maturity. He lost the weight, and he’s moving faster. He’s faster now. I’m expecting good things from him.”
Senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell, Fowler’s locker neighbor, said that he tried to convince his receiver not to drop the weight because he thought that “he could play at the 215- pound range.” However, Fowler insisted that he wanted to make that change for himself, and Maxwell notices the difference as well.
“You can see the quickness and you can see the explosiveness,” Maxwell said.
While Fowler had team-high statistics at the receiver position, he, like the MSU football team, was inconsistent for a lot of the season, and this year he’s ready to show what kind of player he really is and what kind of team the Spartans really are to all of the doubters.
“I go out to prove something every day,” Fowler said. “Especially when we went 7-6, that’s not who Michigan State is. That’s not who we’ve been the last couple of years. We are a winning program and we need to get back to establishing those winning performance, especially offensively.”
The Bloomfield, Mich. native is the only senior on this years receiving corps, and with only three practices completed thus far, coach Samuel has liked what he’s seen from Fowler as an older member of this team.
“Benny is doing his job as a leader and senior,” Samuel said. “I’m expecting him to make those jumps in his effectiveness.”
Fowler’s work hasn’t only been noticed by his coaches, but his teammates as well. Sophomore receiver Aaron Burbridge wants to send Fowler out on top as he’s dedicating this season to him.
“Bennie Fowler put in a lot of work this summer,” Burbridge said. “It’s his senior year, so I’m doing this for him and the whole team.”