Grant Rohach and Sam Richardson walked through the dining hall line armed with a card, a plate and a mission to gain weight.

The two Iowa State quarterbacks spent the offseason trying to get bigger, and they did their jobs. Rohach and Richardson arrived for the start of spring football practices noticeably bigger last week.

“We’ve all bulked up,” Rohach said. “This is the heaviest I’ve been, and I think it’s probably the heaviest Sam’s been, too.”

The gains were hard to miss on the two quarterbacks, who are expected to be the front-runners for the starting job.

Rohach, who weighed 210 pounds last season, arrived for the first spring practice listed at 224. Richardson, 205 a season ago, was at 223 last week.

Gaining weight and muscle is critical to improving strength, speed and protection on the field.

To accomplish the goal, the duo worked with Yancy McKnight, the team’s director of strength and conditioning.

McKnight put the quarterbacks through a variety of activities in the weight room, including Olympic lifts, squats and dead lifts.

Some of their most unusual work came in the dining hall, though, where Rohach and Richardson were given “gain” cards to help add weight. The card assisted them while they picked out their meals.

Other players received “maintain” cards if their weight is considered ideal, or “loss” cards if they needed to shed a few pounds.

Rohach and Richardson loaded up their plates, adding extra servings to their meals.

“Just eat when I’m hungry and eat a lot,” Richardson said.

McKnight preached the importance of three major meals and three snack meals each day. A nutritionist also was available to help with their menus. The focus, Richardson said, was on leaner foods.

“I’m definitely eating a lot,” Richardson said. “A lot more than I’m used to. I’ve put on a lot of weight.”

Every bite helped, as Rohach and Richardson already have seen improvement in their games.

“It’s definitely helped a lot,” Richardson said. “That was something I was really wanting to work on this offseason was arm strength.”

McKnight said he’s seen improvement in arm strength from both players and that both players have handled the weight adjustment well.

“I think it’s good, just in the couple of practices I’ve seen,” McKnight said.