LeCharles Bentley, the former Pro Bowl center for the Saints, now works as a personal trainer specializing in getting offensive linemen into NFL shape. And he says he hasn’t seen many linemen like Lions rookie Larry Warford.
Bentley told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that as soon as Warford’s senior season at Kentucky ended last year, he moved to Arizona to train with Bentley. And when the holidays came around, that’s when Bentley realized what kind of work ethic Warford has.
“Larry says, ‘Hey, we’re training on Christmas, right?’ Wow,” Bentley recalled of Warford insisting he didn’t want any days off. “He could have gone and ate cake and stuff and had a good old time on Christmas Day, but Larry Warford wanted to come into the gym and work on Christmas Day. And not do arms and not do upper body, he wanted to do legs. There aren’t many players that want to train legs on any given day, especially on Christmas Day.”
So Warford and Bentley spent Christmas Day together, doing squats and watching film.
“At that point in time, I said, ‘OK, there’s something here that can be pretty special,’” Bentley said.
Warford also cleaned up his diet while working with Bentley, and although Warford is a naturally enormous man who will never be thin, he got down to 330 pounds, after being listed at Kentucky at 343.
“He’s never going to look like a running back,” Bentley said of Warford. “That’s just the reality. He’s never going to look like Calvin Johnson, that’s just genetically what he is. He’s an endomorph in terms of his body composition, and that’s just genetics. But he can be the best looking endomorph he can be. He can be the best that he can be, and he’s not there yet, but I can guarantee you he’s going to be there.”
The Lions, who lost three starters from last year’s offensive line and didn’t sign anyone to replace them, need Warford to be there right away. Bentley is helping make that happen.