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LSU player's love of Popeyes led to 25-pound weight gain while injured

Too much spicy chicken combined with a hamstring injury had LSU receiver Travin Dural looking like a tight end.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When LSU starting wide receiver Travin Dural tore his hamstring last fall, he couldn’t train for months. The only exception were some quick runs — to his local Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

The senior wide receiver gained approximately 25 pounds over the offseason thanks in part to a diet filled with spicy chicken and sides. After weighing in at 203 pounds for the 2015 season, Dural swelled up to around 230 after tearing his hamstring in a game against Ole Miss in November. The injury kept him off the field and prevented him from doing any cardio more strenuous than walking for an extended period.

As a result, the food the young receiver never used to worry about began sticking to him. With a little discipline and a return to practice, however, he’s back down to around 205 pounds.

For Dural, a little peer pressure worked wonders for his diet. Abandoning meat, however, did not.

“I didn’t like the fullback and tight end jokes, so I knew I had to slim down,” said the LSU wideout. “I had to stay away from Popeyes. Oh man, I tried to do a no-meat diet, but that failed miserably. That failed miserably in like two days.”

Dural, who had his first full-speed day of practice in nearly nine months last week, joins the list of Tiger athletes with excellent opinions about fried chicken. Assuming he stays healthy during two-a-days, he should be able to eat all the Popeye’s he wants without having to worry.