BARTOW — It’s almost TGI Pushups. No, not Friday’s — pushups.
NO. 8 L.J. CUMMINGS
POSITION: Defensive end, linebacker, tight end
HT/WT: 6-4, 210
OFFERS: Oregon State, Kentucky, Louisville, Central Florida, South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida International
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Wednesday is the ninth part in a 16-day series on Polk County’s top-16 college recruits heading into the 2016-17 prep football season. The list was developed by Ledger staff writers Roy Fuoco and Bill Kemp, with significant input from area coaches as well as national recruiting services. Check back each day for the countdown to No. 1.
Lionel Cummings, the Bartow defensive end, outside linebacker, punter and tight end, aka L.J., looks forward each week to Friday, but not to go pig out and relax at his favorite eatery.
It’s because Friday means pushups — 100 of them.
Cummings, who claims 20 football offers — mostly Division I — which include Oregon State, Kentucky, Louisville, Central Florida, South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida International, hits the ground several times every Friday until 100 pushups are completed.
“It started back in JV (basketball) when my coach said, ‘If you miss a shot you have to do 10 pushups.’ And I missed like 10 shots, so I had to do 100 pushups, and that was on a Friday,” said Cummings, who decided to keep the regimen for training purposes.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete, who has been playing football for seven years and is now entering his fourth season on varsity since being called up from junior varsity midway through his freshman season, said he was able to do 30 pushups in a row on his first attempt, and it would take him 12 sessions to complete 100 when he first began the training technique.
“Now I’m in the 50 range on the first set and can hit 100 in four to five sets,” Cummings said. “It teaches me to push myself to do better. That is basically why I do it.”
In order to conserve strength for game nights during the football season, Cummings won’t start his pushup discipline until after the game, and then it may continue over to Saturday morning.