Frank Warren Sets His Sights on the Pros
The buzz surrounding the upcoming pro football draft has been all about the media-anointed breakout talents--Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, and perhaps the most compelling athlete of them all, Heisman Trophy recipient and national-championship-winning quarterback Cam Newton.
However, real draft experts know that it's the later rounds that make or break a team's draft day and their subsequent long-term success. Which team will uncover the "diamonds in the rough" as the draft progresses into the later rounds at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall April 28-30? Which athlete will end up being the next Tom Brady (drafted 199th in 2000) or Bart Starr (the 200th pick by the Packers in 1956)?
One such diamond-in-the-making is a decorated running back from Grambling State who spent his four-year college career nearly chasing down the Southwestern Athletic Conference's all-time leading rusher, the late great Chicago Bear legend Walter Payton.
As it is, Frank Warren finished up as his school's top running back of all time, amassing 3,910 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns, along with 82 receptions for 640 yards. In his senior season, Warren was named the SWAC Football Offensive Player of the Year, and it's no wonder when you check the stat line of the 5'11", 202-pounder out of Pleasant Grove High School in Alabama: 1,592 yards (good for third overall in the country) and a scoring average of 10.4 points per game.
Despite his stats, 21-year-old Warren didn't garner a deserved invite to the NFL combine, a slight that only makes him more determined to bring his stellar talents to the pros. Recently, ProSource caught up with Warren for a few minutes to talk about his accomplishments, his future plans, and the training and nutritional regimen he uses to keep in top athletic form.
Frank Warren: My athletic goals are to be known as a hard worker, and to one day become part of an NFL team. Athletic competition can be a range of things from fun to tough, and sometimes disappointing. All of these emotions can be seen as vital to the growth of a person, which, in my opinion, makes athletic competition important.
ProSource: Has there been a moment on the field or in training that proved particularly influential to your development?
Frank Warren: In the 2008 season, my sophomore year, my team won the SWAC Championship, going 11-2 (capped with a 41-9 victory over Jackson State in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game). We were named the Black College National Champions, finishing number one in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network and Boxtorow.com/BASN polls. That season pushed me to work harder on and off the field in hopes of reaching that status again.
ProSource: Did you have to overcome any challenges in order to compete at the college level initially?
Frank Warren: Before I started college I was not at the ideal weight of a college running back. Over the course of a few months I was required to gain about 20 pounds. The football staff really helped me with changing my diet and workout regimen. My biggest obstacle was breaking habits and realizing making changes takes time and does not happen overnight.
ProSource: How did you develop your weight training and cardio program?
Frank Warren: A lot of the training I do on my own are workouts with my dad; I also have specific routines I have come up with. When scheduling permits, though, I work with a trainer too. As for cardio, it's a huge part of my workout regimen because being in great shape is one of the most important things an athlete should worry about.
ProSource: What foods do you rely on most? What are the staples of your meal plan?
Frank Warren: I rely mostly on balanced meals, with a lot of protein. Vegetables are a staple in almost every meal I consume.
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Frank Warren: Before and after workouts I rotate between bars, such as the Supreme Protein line, which all taste incredible, and drinking a protein shake made with NytroWhey Ultra Elite powder, which delivers really high-quality protein quickly. I do both even on days when I take a rest from working out, because protein is so important to recuperation from intense training. I know with ProSource I'm getting superior ingredients, and being careful about what I use nutritionally can make a noticeable impact on my performance.
ProSource: How have Supreme Protein bars and NytroWhey Ultra Elite protein powder made a difference?
Frank Warren: They have helped me gain and retain muscle in my upper body. After just two weeks I noticed changes.
ProSource: As far as your physique is concerned, what do you regard as your greatest strength? What needs the most additional work at this point as you ready yourself for the next level of competition?
Frank Warren: My greatest physical accomplishment is the strength in my legs. I need to work on becoming more flexible, though, which can help you move even more quickly.
ProSource: Is there another athlete who serves as a particular inspiration to you?
Frank Warren: There are a lot of athletes who I admire, but if I had to choose one I would say (New York Jets running back) LaDainian Tomlinson, because we have a similar playing style and he shows great discipline on and off the field.
ProSource: What do you envision for yourself next?
Frank Warren: My future goals are playing for a NFL team, making commercials, breaking records, and being a role model for other football players. In the next five years, I see myself as being a great running back playing in the Super Bowl.