All this college basketball is just making me want college football to return that much more.
Spring Practice starts TOMORROW and things are looking up for the Huskies. This should be one of the more interesting springs yet with strong competition across the board. It sure did seem like the season just ended yesterday, but the Huskies have gone to town in the weight room ever since that 3-27 loss to South Florida in the International Bowl.
John Sahly did it again with an exclusive interview with Coach Kill (Part 1 / Part 2) to start things off with a bang this spring. Last year he did a superb job with coverage and I can't wait to see what is in the works this year. There's a ton of info there and it's a great read and a ton of material to take in.
One of the more interesting things how Kill goes on and on about how athletic this team is. He rattles off bench & squat numbers like an encyclopedia throughout the interview. It brings me back to the media guides of a few years back (2005?), crammed with so much info that we knew exactly how much Sam Hurd lifted, who he was recruited by, what his favorite TV show was, etc.
2008 is when we took the job. We only had 10 people that could squat 450 pounds or more. Now we have 45.
Who is the mad professor behind all of this?
Sports Performance Coach Eric Klein. The man has transformed this team so much these past couple years. This program is slowly turning to being completely overmatched by bigger teams to coming close to matching them. Let's take a closer look at some of these offseason changes:
Joe Pawlak is up 20 lbs (281 to 301) this year and looks to solidify his starting position at right guard. The Int'l bowl was a good example of him just getting pushed around by NFL prospects, but it looks like that can turn the corner with the added weight.
Logan Pegram (+19 lbs from 293 to 312) is certainly positioning himself to take the open left guard spot for himself this spring. Former defensive lineman Ed Jackson (+17 lbs from 297 to 314) is going to be right on his heels.
Trevor Olson (+12 lbs from 294 to 306) continues to improve at left tackled is looking for All-MAC accolades this year. Keith Otis (+10 lbs from 314 to 324) is going to fit in somewhere at the tackle position.
Jason Schepler (+10 from 255 to 265) is looking for a healthy season at the tight end position as well:
Jason Schepler weighed 257, now he weighs 265. He benched 300, now he's 330. He's at a 435 squat in the fall. Now he's at 470.
Other gains were pretty moderate in change, but showed up on the weight charts including Scott Wedige (+4 lbs from 296 to 300), Jared Volk (+6 lbs from 302 to 308) and Matt Krempel (-1 lb from 297 to 296). The latter two redshirted this past offseason.
Eddie was strong. [Center Scott] Wedige is 300 pounds. He's up to benching 365. He's squatting 525, so he's got a little bit to get as strong as Eddie was. But he's [power] cleaning 335. He had a great offseason. We need him to do well. [Jared] Volk is 308. He's benching 350, squatting 585 and cleaning 282. That's pretty good strength. But that's a freshman. [Matt] Krempel was sick when we maxed out, but he weighed 296, is benching 365, so he's up and that's when he was sick. He squatted 500 and cleaned 304. So that's not bad.
DE Sean Progar (+0 lbs from 255 to 255) stayed in perfect equilibrium, but he went bonkers in the weight room changing his body around and adding a ton of muscle. He must have made an impression, because he was right off the tip of Kill's tongue when talking about the weight room:
We'll take a kid, (defensive end) Sean Progar, he benched in the preseason 355 (pounds). He's benching 390 right now. He squatted 495 in the early season, he's at 520 now. Then he power cleaned 309 pounds, with about a 20-pound increase. That's just one example...
Alan Baxter was one of the top gainers this offseason (+18 lbs from 241 to 259) after seeing significant time on the field as a true freshman. Imagine what he can do this year:
Let's look at (defensive end) Alan Baxter. He weighed 251, now he weighs 259. I think that's about what Larry [English] weighed. He went from benching 375 to 415. He went from squatting 425 to 525. But part of that, you've got to understand, is that freshmen will jump like that. And part of that might have been a technical thing. He's so technical down in the weight room. He hang cleaned 309. And he can run.
Other notable gains on defense: DT Ron Newcomb (+18 lbs from 265 to 283), SLB Alex Kube (+16 lbs from 212 to 228), MLB Devon Butler (+15 lbs from 209 to 224), DE Stephen O'Neal (+13 lbs from 219 to 232), DE Anthony Wells (+13 lbs from 232 to 245) & SLB Tyrone Clark (+12 lbs from 202 to 214).
Kube's gain was probably the most vital, since the senior leader had a bit of a down year last year. Butler, O'Neal & Clark were all true freshman last year.
Gone is the notion of the "Frail freshman receiver" with Martel Moore (+14 lbs from 168 to 182), Perez Ashford (+12 lbs from 168 to 180) and Anthony Johnson (+12 lbs from 177 to 189 lbs) all making significant progress in the weight room.
Perez Ashford, he came in benching 290, which is pretty good for a freshman. He's benching 295 now, increased five. He increased 40 on his squat and increased 23 on the power clean. He's going 273 now, which is pretty good for a receiver.
Landon Cox went from 217 to 220. He was benching 320, he went to 355. He was squatting 405, now he's at 445 and he's hang cleaning 342, which is a heck of a hang clean.
Zach Anderson (-10 lbs from 298 to 288) is looking to showcase a more toned body after a year of redshirting and offseason conditioning on the defensive line.
Adam Coleman (-7 lbs from 266 to 259) will make the transition from defensive line to tight end this season.
But he's a physical son of a buck and we need that. That's been a weakness since we've been here.