His muscles might ache and his legs will feel tired at times in practice.
Fresno State receiver Isaiah Burse, though, knows that come game day, he'll feel in top shape.
Some of that is pure adrenaline.
But there is also a method to getting Burse and other Bulldogs players to feel in top form for games, and it stems from Fresno State's in-season workout regimen.
While offseason lifting and conditioning is crucial for players to become bigger, leaner or quicker, Fresno State's in-season workouts have been just as important.
And with No. 17 Fresno State (5-0, 2-0 Mountain West) about to begin the second half of its season Saturday against UNLV (4-2, 2-0), the wear and tear on players could impact how the Bulldogs finish.
"That's why I think it's important to work out during the season," coach Tim DeRuyter said. "We want, at minimum, to maintain strength. Hopefully, we gain strength during the season. When guys are in shape and getting stronger, their bodies don't break down."
Fresno State also would prefer to be playing its best and be in its best physical shape down the stretch, with a potential Mountain West championship to play for at the end of the regular season.
Led by strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese (Bo-zay), Fresno State players who are part of the 64-player travel squad participate in three workouts per week: conditioning Monday, a leg-intensive weight room workout Tuesday, then an upper-body workout Thursday.
Wednesdays are for recovery, as are Fridays when games are scheduled Saturday.
Boese adjusts the workouts weekly for travel-roster players based on fatigue and which unit played the most during each game.
"I hear people say all the time, 'What do you do during the season? Is it maintenance lifting?' " Boese said. "I hate that. It's not maintenance anything. What is maintenance lifting? To me, it has a negative vibe to it, like you're just going through the motions.
"I think our players do get stronger during the year. They did last year. We're not trying to max out. But the intensity of the weights will be high. And we try not to back off a lot because if you start lifting lighter weights, you're going to get weaker. I try to push them during the season."
Nutrition plays a big factor as well.
Fresno State doesn't have a training table to offer specialized meals geared for athletes once a day like some programs throughout the nation. Of the 12 teams in the Mountain West, Fresno State is just one of three without a training table along with Utah State and Wyoming.
The Bulldogs do have a nutrition consultant, registered dietitian Kim Tirapelle, to help manage specific players' diets and caloric intake.
And scholarship players do receive one meal a day at Fresno State's residence dining hall that's open to all students with a meal plan. But for the most part, coaches must rely on self-discipline when it comes to players' diets — that on their own they will eat healthy and with the proper amount of food portions, especially when they're not eating with teammates.
"You cannot out-train a bad diet — you just can't," Boese said. "You're not going to go anywhere. You're not making any progress. Luckily, we have good leaders on this team (who) know how to keep guys in line. They all understand the program goal here of winning and the sacrifices and effort that it takes to do that."
Fresno State did have a training table for a couple of seasons in 2004-05 before Athletic Department budget cuts. DeRuyter is hoping to bring it back at some point.
"Athletes who want to play at an elite level have to train at an elite level and eat as part of that training at an elite level," DeRuyter said. "We try to teach guys that, how to eat properly to refuel their bodies. But you never really know if they're practicing it.
"With a training table, you can make sure guys eat a tremendous meal, get loaded with good calories. That helps them stay in good shape."
Until last year, the late-season results were not good. From 2005-2011, Fresno State was 18-19 in games played in November and beyond. The Bulldogs never went undefeated during those stretches in any season and in three of the seven years, they had a losing record in November.
In DeRuyter's first season with the Bulldogs and under Boese's conditioning direction a year ago, Fresno State was 3-0 in November but then lost to Southern Methodist at the Hawaii Bowl.
Players, Burse said, seem to understand the importance of their in-season workouts and proper eating.
"It is hard, working out, practicing, working out again, and practicing some more," Burse said. "It's easier to lift in the winter when you don't have practice. But if you want it enough, you put in max effort and find a way to push yourself. And Boese, he's intense. He'll find a way to push you if you don't push yourself.
"The eating part's a little tougher," Burse added. "A lot of times, eating healthy means cooking. Most guys don't know how to cook or don't want to put in the time to cook, so we're going to a drive-through. It's not the best for you, and I know that. But as long as I'm feeling good on game day and know we're prepared, that's what's important."
'DOGS ON DISPLAY
The Bee kicks off a four-day series of commemorative Fresno State football posters with wide receiver Davante Adams in Thursday's paper.
The series continues through Sunday:
Friday: Isaiah Burse
Saturday: Derek Carr
Sunday: Coach Tim DeRuyter
Pick up extra copies of The Bee at newsstands or at the main lobby at 1626 E St. in downtown Fresno during regular business hours.
You can also purchase prints by clicking on the posters for a link to our "Buy Photo" feature at fblinks.com/posters. Purchased prints can be put on anything from a coffee mug to a T-shirt.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6362, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Banteola_TheBee on Twitter.