Gavin Andrews had a guilty pleasure, a tasty one.
Chocolate milk taunted him the colder, the better.
Last summer, the Oregon State right tackle would gleefully open a case of the goods and gulp down a pint. Another was followed by another, like a spinach-devouring scene from an old Popeye cartoon. Only this didn't add strength. It added pounds.
"I got up to about 340," said Andrews, a sophomore out of Granite Bay High School. "Loved the taste (of chocolate milk), but I didn't like what it was doing to me. I knew I had to stop when I'd look down and couldn't see my toes."
He sees them just fine now. The 6-foot-5 Andrews trimmed down to 325 and contributed to the Beavers' nine-win season, mostly on special teams. He is now a projected starter as Oregon State opens camp Sunday. Andrews, a quiet young man who said he grew up craving sports and discipline, embraces the opportunity at Oregon State.
"I'm very grateful and appreciative of the scholarship," Andrews said. "I went through a lot, personally, growing up and sports helped me."
Andrews overwhelmed opponents in high school, helping power the Grizzlies to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship in 2011. He now has a better grasp of the technique of his position hand placement, footwork and is in the best shape of his life.
Andrews works out regularly in the offseason with Jon Osterhout, the former Sacramento State All-American and founder of LinemenWinGames.
"I've learned a lot from Osterhout," Andrews said last week. "This position isn't just pushing guys around."
Said Osterhout: "Gavin has a very, very bright future in this game."
Dakarai Allen, The Bee's boys' basketball Player of the Year from Sheldon, wants to borrow 40 pounds from his uncle, Larry Allen.
Why not? The elder Allen is retired while Dakarai is preparing for his freshman season at San Diego State on scholarship as a lithe 6-6 wing man.
Larry Allen will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame today in Canton, Ohio, capping a 14-year NFL career with the Cowboys and 49ers as proof large packages do emerge from small schools.
Allen played at Butte College in Oroville and then Division II Sonoma State, which no longer has a football team. Allen's late mother, Vera, was so worried he would fall prey to gangs in Compton that she shuttled him to Lodi, Stockton and Napa as a young teen. Sonoma State will hang a banner in its gym to honor Allen.
Dakarai's brother, Marcus Paige-Allen, also a Sheldon graduate, is a defensive lineman at Cal Poly. The Mustangs are coached by Tim Walsh, who coached Larry Allen at Sonoma State.
Allen's son, Larry Allen II, is a standout lineman for high school powerhouse De La Salle, the preseason national No. 1 program in Concord that will host Del Oro on Sept. 20.