The game they grew up loving is now a business, and their bodies are now the product.
For so many young players entering their first year in the NFL, it's hard to overlook the process of maturation from college to the NFL and the importance of taking care of their bodies on and off the field.
Raider Maven's Editor and Publisher Hondo Carpenter cohosts Silver and Black Radio on Monday and Wednesday on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE). He recently interviewed Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and asked him about the process of transitioning from college to the NFL.
"It's not something you necessarily think about from high school to college. You're just out there playing the game you love, and really it took me two or three years at Clemson to kind of realize that nutrition is really important, sleep is very important, you got to take care of your body off the field, just as much as you want to win on the field," said Renfrow on realizing the importance of taking care of his body off the field.
The gap between high school and college football is big, but there is a bigger gap between college and the NFL.
That's why only less than two percent of college athletes make it to the NFL.
Sleeping and eating well is as important as studying and learning the playbook for any player entering the league.
"Everybody wants to get on the field and they want to play well. They want to look good in front of the cameras and make plays, but it's everything you're doing in between the whistle, it's everything you're doing in between gametime, that's going to help you set up and prepare you and that's where you get your separation," said Renfrow on focusing on the other things other than the glamorous tv time.
Renfrow was very fortunate to go to a university where they had the resources to teach their student-athletes, "It was big for me coming out of college, thankfully I went to a university, Clemson, that had everything we needed and kind of thought us those things but you got some data coming out these schools that really don't, some of these small schools that really don't teach that, and hey really don't have the resources to kind of drive nutrition in and you making sure you're getting your sleep, and so it's important."
As simple as it may sound, having a nutritionist and full-time strength and conditioning coach can help the players be ready all year long.
Many don't understand that aside from their football skills, the most important asset to playing football in the NFL is their bodies.
Their bodies need to be in shape physically and mentally to perform at the highest level.
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