Addison Bounds bulks up for position change

Blake Nash, Staff Reporter

Red-shirt sophomore Addison Bounds has transitioned from quarterback to tight end in two years after gaining almost thirty pounds through lifting and dietary changes.
Chynna Miller
Red-shirt sophomore Addison Bounds has transitioned from quarterback to tight end in two years after gaining almost thirty pounds through lifting and dietary changes.

If a former high school teammate were to look at red-shirt sophomore Addison Bounds, he would notice that former 196 pounder has put on some weight and bulked up. But if he saw Bounds playing tight end for Eastern on Saturdays, he would recognize all the changes Bounds has made since high school.

Bounds was an All-State quarterback at Prairie Central High School in Fairbury, Ill., passing for over 1,000 yards in both his junior and senior seasons. Former Eastern coach Dino Babers noticed his talents, and signed him to play for a Panther team that was led by former quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Bounds served as a red-shirt in 2013, when the Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. With Garoppolo graduating later that year, the quarterback position was wide open, until something happened that would change Bounds’ career.

Babers agreed to become the head coach at Bowling Green, and took most of the previous staff with him. When current coach Kim Dameron arrived, he believed that Bounds could help the team in a different way.

Bounds’ ability to catch the football encouraged Dameron to move him to tight end in 2014. The next year Bounds had added weight and became a starter for the Panthers.

“He’s a smart kid and normally has really good hands,” Dameron said. “He’s sacrificed a lot for this football team, and it’s been showing.”

Bounds arrived at fall camp weighing in at 220 pounds. He said it was a combination of continuous workouts in the summer and a change in his diet.

“I had to eat about five small meals a day to increase my weight and size,” Bounds said. “I have to eat a lot of eggs for breakfast. Other meals are chicken and rice. But mostly I try to bulk with good, lean protein and stuff like that.”

Eastern strength coach Ty Webb gave Bounds a weight gain basics program, which educated him on what he should try to eat so he could gain weight. Most of those diets call for consumption of proteins and carbohydrates. But Bounds brought something else to his new routine that only he could bring.

“His intensity on a day in and day out basis was untouched,” Webb said. “He was raised as a farm boy, and he has that country strong work ethic.”

Bounds lifts weights three times a week with the team, usually in the morning. Since he has to face guys that outweigh him on the line, he said he works hard to increase his upper body strength.

Webb has the Panthers committed to an Olympic-based lifting program, which consists of leg lifting every day. Compound squats, pulls, bench press and full-body movement sets have become the norm in the Panther weight room.

Bounds work ethic enabled him to adapt to some sets quicker than a few teammates. But there was one thing he didn’t do that stands out.

“He didn’t complain or make excuses,” Webb said. “He always went for the best he could be.”

Whenever the two are in the weight room together, Bounds always has Webb’s attention, whether it’s critiquing his form or pushing him to do extra reps.

“So much credit goes to him,” Bounds said. “He pushed me hard in the weight room, and I appreciate that. If I wanted to work on something, he definitely shifted gears for me a little bit.”

Bounds already has 235 receiving yards and three touchdowns, which came during the Panthers’ current five-game winning streak. The Panthers will look to make it six on Saturday when they host No. 1 Jacksonville State.


Blake Nash can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]