Lakewood Ranch trainer sends 15 to NFL

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The list of athletes Mike Gough has helped reach success in professional sports is getting lengthy.

He recently added 15 more.

Fifteen athletes who trained at Gough's Athletic Edge training facility in Lakewood Ranch were either drafted in last month's NFL Draft or recently signed as free agents.

The list of athletes includes Philadelphia Eagles second-round pick Vinny Curry, a defensive end out of Marshall University; Baylor offensive lineman Phillip Blake, who was taken in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos; and former Maine safety Jerron McMillian, 2011 Phil SteeleAll-American who was drafted in the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers. Gough has trained 85 NFL players, which includes five first-round picks. He has trains pro baseball players, tennis players and golfers.

"It's great," Gough said. "It's the most I ever had. Hard works pays off and these kids put the work in. They saw the results of all their hard work on their testing days. I couldn't be happier."

Gough's NFL resume includes training former University of Massachusetts receiver Victor Cruz, who won the Super Bowl as a member of the New York Giants, and former Virginia offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, who was selected eighth overall in the 2009 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Gough trained several college athletes at his two-story, 8,500-square-foot facility on Main Street and at the 22-field Premier Sports Campus in January and February in Lakewood Ranch.

Along with his two-man staff, Gough tailored specific training and meal plans for each NFL prospect.

"I'm known for doing this, but with the percentage of guys and total of number I had drafted or signed, it helps with players recognizing this is a training destination," he said. "It's good for the training facility on Main Street, Lakewood Ranch and the Premier Sports Campus. Hopefully the word will spread."

Nick Williams, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411 ext. 7049. Twitter @_1NickWilliams