Juan Neave is a 20-year-old Austin construction worker. He’s also ranked No. 23 among competitive eaters by Major League Eating. He once ate a 33-ounce cow tongue in one minute, 39 seconds. He ate 14 corn dogs in eight minutes and 18 doughnuts in three minutes. Last year, he qualified for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island — the big kahuna of eating contests — but things didn’t go so well. "I was over my head," he says.

This year, he’s qualified again. And this year, he says, he’s ready to compete and show what he’s made of on July Fourth.

Go to mystatesman.com to read more about how Neave got his start, how he trains and what it’s like to sometimes eat as much as 12 pounds of food in one sitting.