July 28, 2006

Atkins' diet keeping his weight under 280

After playing tackle last season and moving to end in the spring, Baraka Atkins knows keeping his speed at a maximum is the goal.

To that end he says he's lost a little weight.

He currently says he weighs "in the 275 to 280 range."

Last year he played at over 280 pounds.

"I'm trying to stay under 280 now," he says. "When I went down inside I took the approach of being a defensive end, but you have to be a little more stout in there."

With Atkins expected to start at end opposite Bryan Pata, the first team tackles in the fall will likely be Kareem Brown and Teraz McCray. Behind them there's little experienced depth.

Atkins says he thinks the tackle position will be fine without him.

"Every year there's always a new position that's going to be young and not have much depth," he says. "But as you've seen in years past, we've still been able to maintain a top three level defense and been able to play with the best of them. With those guys that we have we can continue that trend and the tradition we have with the University of Miami defense."

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