Oct. 3, 2005
Tipping the scales at 305 pounds, offensive guard Matt Meinrod is an imposing figure on the field, but it is off of the gridiron where he is a Monster.
He wasn’t always this big, however.
Four years ago, when he first came to Florida State University, Meinrod was a spry 275 pounds.
“I think the coaches really took a chance on me,” Meinrod said. “I was really rather small when I got here, but I knew that through hard work I could get big enough to start and then one day play on Sundays.”
And that is what Meinrod has positioned himself to do.
“In high school, the NFL was not something I spent a lot of time thinking about. Heck, I wasn’t even thinking about playing college football until my coach gave me the call up to varsity and I started getting letters from different schools. I eventually got scholarship offers, and that was when I knew I could play at the Division I level.
“Once I got to Florida State, playing in the NFL became my main goal. It’s the reason I spend so much time in the weight room. Now if I can stay healthy and have a good season, I feel like it has the chance of becoming a reality.”
The weight room has become home for Meinrod, especially in the off-season.
“It’s not like we can really go out and practice throwing or catching. Our work is done on the bench and inside the squat rack,” he stated. “Spending five days a week in there will definitely give it the homey feel. I really don’t feel complete if I don’t get to work out every day.
“I got my start on the weights in the eighth grade, about the same time every-one else got started. I had great coaches that brought out my natural strength. I found a niche in there. My coaches told me that if I worked hard, I could play college football. I worked hard then, but nothing in comparison to the amount
that I do now. By the time I graduated, I was benching 225 pounds and squatting 315 pounds.
“My sophomore year I got into the weights more than I had before. Working with coach Jost has helped me immensely. I’m now benching 500 pounds, squatting 635 pounds, and a dead lift of 715 pounds. I have the goal to get up to 800 in my dead lift. Maybe one day I’d love to be able to compete in ESPN’s World’s
Strongest Man competition.”
In the summer of 2004, Meinrod’s hard work in the weight room paid off when he was named `Pound 4 Pound, strongest man on the team.’ He defeated Lorenzo Booker, who had won it in 2003, to earn
the honor. Meinrod’s 485-pound bench, 580-pound squat were enough to vault him to the top of the strength charts.
Due to coaches’ concerns, Meinrod was held out of the strength competition for fear of injury.
“The coaches were concerned that I would hurt myself,” Meinrod said. “They knew how badly I wanted to be the champion, and what I would do in order to get it again. Lorenzo wasn’t able to top any of
my numbers from last year, so at least in my mind, I’m still the strength champion.”
Through three games this season, Meinrod and his counterparts have allowed the stable of FSU running backs to scamper free and score seven rushing touchdowns. They also have done a good job at protecting the quarterback in allowing only two sacks on Florida State’s young duo of quarterbacks.
A fan following is something that an offensive lineman rarely gets, but that’s exactly what has come about for this senior from Tampa. Meinrod’s supporters have created the Web site www.monster-matt.com, which tracks his stats through-out the season.
Not only does Meinrod get the job done on the field, he also gets it done in the classroom. He has already earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management. In 2004 and 2005, Matt made the All-ACC Academic Football team, earning better than a 3.0 grade point average.
By A.J. Henderson
FSU Sports Information