by Richard Obert – Aug. 24, 2009 09:56 PM
The Arizona Republic
Sara Burciaga started to cry when she saw her 18-year-old son, Juan, walk into their south Phoenix home this summer.
For nearly a month, the Laveen Cesar Chavez High senior lineman lived with assistant coach Bill Patterson at his Mesa ranch home. Burciaga poured and shoveled cement. He ripped apart concrete slabs. He cleaned horse stalls and fed buffaloes. He ran. He lifted weights. He did rope drills in sand. He pulled out river rock from the bottom of a pool.
A remarkable transformation of body, mind and spirit turned Burciaga from a guy who couldn’t get into a three-point stance last year to a possible four-year-college football prospect as he enters his final season.
Since last season, the 6-foot-3 Burciaga went from carrying 50.6 percent body fat to 28 percent, from weighing 370 pounds to 269. He had not been under 300 pounds since he was 11. Continue reading