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The time off also gave Skov a chance to rest his knee and focus on losing weight. Skov admits he'd "never been a beach-body kind of guy." A big reason? His typical Taco Bell order: "A cheese gordita crunch, two double-decker tacos, steak chalupa, Mexican pizza and then usually like a crunch wrap supreme."
Former teammate Thomas Keiser gave Skov the nickname Chubby Bunny. Now Skov amuses his teammates by acting out a dialogue between his dueling gustatory personalities: Chubby Bunny and Fat Rabbit. While Chubby Bunny, in the squeaky voice of a six-year-old, tries to convince him to eat grilled chicken and brown rice, Fat Rabbit tempts him with a pepperoni cheesesteak.
The Chubby Bunny has won a majority of the duels lately. Skov's body fat is down to 11.5%, from 15.1% two years ago. (He celebrated this news by immediately going to Taco Bell for his customary order.)
Skov has also struggled with his flexibility, which he is addressing by doing hot yoga. "I hate downward facing dog," Skov says. "My shoulders feel like they're about to break off."
But the results—he's above or near his personal bests in virtually every running or weightlifting measurement—have everyone in the Cardinal program approaching a state of nirvana. Two plays into spring practice his teammates were chirping, "Shayne's back!"
"We won't know until I'm on the field for football-specific movement," says Skov, "but right now I'm ready to perform at as high of a level as I ever have in my career."
So once again, Shayne Skov's journey has taken a strange turn: A three-month suspension from school allowed him to strengthen his family ties and put himself, once again, on the precipice of stardom. To give blows instead of taking them. "I wouldn't change it for the world," he says. "I wouldn't change anything I've gone through—the good and the bad."