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Winter Testing Results

I will take an athlete who has ideal body condition (lean mass to body fat ratio) with speed and agility to a more powerful athlete any day.
Especially in the trenches. You can't out power an athlete that is already past you and the line of scrimmage.
GBR!
 

Husker In Oklahoma

All Big 10
15 Year Member
This may be a really bad analogy, but I'm hoping that our approach to S&C ends up being like that of a bodybuilder...they focus initially on building size and strength, and then shift to cutting it down to something they can take on a stage. The NU S&C team has spent plenty of time building mass, now it's time to focus on adding the speed and quickness.
By the time they do that they have graduated. Lol.
 

Husker In Oklahoma

All Big 10
15 Year Member
Yep, I heard that refrain in 2019 and 2020. And now 2021 the fourth year of SF and his staff yet still the same ol, same ol.


C
I’m just saying, there isn’t enough time for all that. I mean, most good athletes nowadays don’t want to wait 3 years before seeing the field. You will probably lose them, if they are good athletes. These guys need to be contributing by year 2, or early year 3, so redshirt freshman, or redshirt sophomore. The way college is now, most will jet if they don’t see playing time pretty quick, at least the 3* and 4* guys.
 

solesrfr

Pura Vida!
5 Year Member
I’m just saying, there isn’t enough time for all that. I mean, most good athletes nowadays don’t want to wait 3 years before seeing the field. You will probably lose them, if they are good athletes. These guys need to be contributing by year 2, or early year 3, so redshirt freshman, or redshirt sophomore. The way college is now, most will jet if they don’t see playing time pretty quick, at least the 3* and 4* guys.

I hear you and I agree. Been hearing it every year and you are dead on, if it takes 3 years to get the "weight, strength, etc..." you are left with one year of working on flexibility, cutting down. Need to get them conditioned in size, strength and flexibility within a couple years. No reason they can't work on everything at the same time.


C
 

CrabHusker

Shut up and color
5 Year Member
I hear you and I agree. Been hearing it every year and you are dead on, if it takes 3 years to get the "weight, strength, etc..." you are left with one year of working on flexibility, cutting down. Need to get them conditioned in size, strength and flexibility within a couple years. No reason they can't work on everything at the same time.


C

I still have never seen a definitive 'This is what were doing' piece on our S&C to be critical of, but one part of it is a problem. Or at least it's at the core of what can be perceived as a problem.

You mention 'No reason they can't work on everything at the same time' and that's accurate to an extent, IF you're not asking a kid to gain huge amounts of weight in short order, naturally and without synthetic help. No two bodies respond identically to weight training and increased caloric intake, but one thing that is consistent is a hyper calorics state will lead to an increase in body mass. Some of it muscle, some of it fat. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in 2 1/2-3 years and while it's not a problem, you're still likely to see an increase in body fat, depending on the kid. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in an off season and a half, naturally, and you're going to see more added body fat. Is it enough to effect performance? Likely to a degree. Is it part of the flexibility issues we've seen with guys like Benhart? Maybe.

Benhart came into the program at a little less than 290. At 6'9". That's a pretty big kid. He's listed at 330 now after two years in the program. Is that too much weight? Not for a 6'9" frame, but thee 40lb weight gain is likely part of why he looks stiff. I didn't say 'stiffer' because I didn't see him play high school football and even if I had, he likely physically dominated his opponents to the point that any technical deficiencies would have been masked by his sheer size. Last year that wasn't the case. Too much weight on one foot or the other or half a step slow and he's having to recover....at 6'9" 330 against an equally large adult male. The result was he looked stiff or slow at times and got beat. A lot of that has been attributed to our S&C program. I don't know how much of that is actually accurate, but with Benhart, he's still learning to adjust to his new size and the kid across the line from him. Looks bad sometimes. If he was a fifth year senior who had gone backwards from an athleticism and performance standpoint, sure. I get it. Piper had a similar trajectory.

Jurgens is another matter. While I understood/understand the staff making the switch from TE to C, the weight gain that was required in such a short amount of time was likely overall detrimental to him physically. It couldn't have been more than about 75% lean body mass in a perfect world. Likely even less than that. So now you've got a kid, a strong, quick athlete at his coming in weight of 240, playing a new position against bigger, more physically mature kids who've been playing at their football/weight training enhanced weight for some time. Again, it looked bad and he carried bad weight in 2019. Looked leaner last fall and his play improved. Still gets lumped in with the S&C conversation and while I'll buy that in 2019, it wasn't his only problem and the only reason he didn't play like a seasoned center.

My point is we have a lot of moving pieces, headed by a losing record, that we're trying to lump into the S&C programs deficiencies and I'm not sure we're even close to accurate. At least some of my theory will be proven correct or incorrect this fall. If we stay static from a performance standpoint with another year at the training table, in the weight room and to mature on and off the field, we have issues beyond youth/inexperience. If we see a big jump in the right direction, isn't it possible if not probable that we've wrongly tagged 'getting beat' as a deficiency of the S&C program?

Just something to think about.
 

NUinID

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
I still have never seen a definitive 'This is what were doing' piece on our S&C to be critical of, but one part of it is a problem. Or at least it's at the core of what can be perceived as a problem.

You mention 'No reason they can't work on everything at the same time' and that's accurate to an extent, IF you're not asking a kid to gain huge amounts of weight in short order, naturally and without synthetic help. No two bodies respond identically to weight training and increased caloric intake, but one thing that is consistent is a hyper calorics state will lead to an increase in body mass. Some of it muscle, some of it fat. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in 2 1/2-3 years and while it's not a problem, you're still likely to see an increase in body fat, depending on the kid. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in an off season and a half, naturally, and you're going to see more added body fat. Is it enough to effect performance? Likely to a degree. Is it part of the flexibility issues we've seen with guys like Benhart? Maybe.

Benhart came into the program at a little less than 290. At 6'9". That's a pretty big kid. He's listed at 330 now after two years in the program. Is that too much weight? Not for a 6'9" frame, but thee 40lb weight gain is likely part of why he looks stiff. I didn't say 'stiffer' because I didn't see him play high school football and even if I had, he likely physically dominated his opponents to the point that any technical deficiencies would have been masked by his sheer size. Last year that wasn't the case. Too much weight on one foot or the other or half a step slow and he's having to recover....at 6'9" 330 against an equally large adult male. The result was he looked stiff or slow at times and got beat. A lot of that has been attributed to our S&C program. I don't know how much of that is actually accurate, but with Benhart, he's still learning to adjust to his new size and the kid across the line from him. Looks bad sometimes. If he was a fifth year senior who had gone backwards from an athleticism and performance standpoint, sure. I get it. Piper had a similar trajectory.

Jurgens is another matter. While I understood/understand the staff making the switch from TE to C, the weight gain that was required in such a short amount of time was likely overall detrimental to him physically. It couldn't have been more than about 75% lean body mass in a perfect world. Likely even less than that. So now you've got a kid, a strong, quick athlete at his coming in weight of 240, playing a new position against bigger, more physically mature kids who've been playing at their football/weight training enhanced weight for some time. Again, it looked bad and he carried bad weight in 2019. Looked leaner last fall and his play improved. Still gets lumped in with the S&C conversation and while I'll buy that in 2019, it wasn't his only problem and the only reason he didn't play like a seasoned center.

My point is we have a lot of moving pieces, headed by a losing record, that we're trying to lump into the S&C programs deficiencies and I'm not sure we're even close to accurate. At least some of my theory will be proven correct or incorrect this fall. If we stay static from a performance standpoint with another year at the training table, in the weight room and to mature on and off the field, we have issues beyond youth/inexperience. If we see a big jump in the right direction, isn't it possible if not probable that we've wrongly tagged 'getting beat' as a deficiency of the S&C program?

Just something to think about.

Nice analysis. A couple of things. I would attribute much of Benhart's problems last year to the fact that he was a RS freshman. Asking an offensive linemen to start and be really good at that age doesn't happen all that often.

Jurgens I think was closer to about 260 when he came to Nebraska, so I think he may have been adding less wt than you think. Otherwise I agree with your assessment.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
This may be a really bad analogy, but I'm hoping that our approach to S&C ends up being like that of a bodybuilder...they focus initially on building size and strength, and then shift to cutting it down to something they can take on a stage. The NU S&C team has spent plenty of time building mass, now it's time to focus on adding the speed and quickness.
I suppose that could be the case. Hang with me here, but just sticking with a guy like Farniok we were talking about due to recent comments at Pro Day, he played 2017 at 315 pounds, went up to 330 in 2018, 335 in 2019, and down to 330 in 2020. Pro scouts told him to get back down to 315 and work on your back and your core strength. That lends to what i've been saying about piling on weight just to do it to get bigger. What if we would have had a program that kept him at 315 where he was and the pro scouts told him to get, and we worked on speed/agility from there?

Jaimes was 280 in 2017, he needed to get bigger. But what worries me about his comments is that we packed on the 20 pounds for him, but the scouts main concerns are that he was too stiff and inflexible. He even got hurt before his 40 and couldn't run it for the scouts.

I've said it before, but anything works for your first 6-12 months. To go vulgar, these kids have so much testosterone they are sitting in high school classrooms getting hard ons. Whatever program you do will pretty much work with what your goal is. Alabama, Purdue, Oklahoma, Indiana, they all talk about gaining speed. It's pretty obvious what our goal is, we want to put on pounds and lift heavy weight to get it done. That's fine, but there are byproducts to that such as getting unathletic which I believe doesn't jive really well with what we try to do offensively. To be fair, the way Indiana did it and now Alabama is doing it has setbacks as well such as not getting as big. But Alabama is bringing in ready-mades that already have the weight on, that staff only has to get them faster and keep them the same size.
 

NorthwoodHusker

Travel Squad
I still have never seen a definitive 'This is what were doing' piece on our S&C to be critical of, but one part of it is a problem. Or at least it's at the core of what can be perceived as a problem.

You mention 'No reason they can't work on everything at the same time' and that's accurate to an extent, IF you're not asking a kid to gain huge amounts of weight in short order, naturally and without synthetic help. No two bodies respond identically to weight training and increased caloric intake, but one thing that is consistent is a hyper calorics state will lead to an increase in body mass. Some of it muscle, some of it fat. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in 2 1/2-3 years and while it's not a problem, you're still likely to see an increase in body fat, depending on the kid. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in an off season and a half, naturally, and you're going to see more added body fat. Is it enough to effect performance? Likely to a degree. Is it part of the flexibility issues we've seen with guys like Benhart? Maybe.

Benhart came into the program at a little less than 290. At 6'9". That's a pretty big kid. He's listed at 330 now after two years in the program. Is that too much weight? Not for a 6'9" frame, but thee 40lb weight gain is likely part of why he looks stiff. I didn't say 'stiffer' because I didn't see him play high school football and even if I had, he likely physically dominated his opponents to the point that any technical deficiencies would have been masked by his sheer size. Last year that wasn't the case. Too much weight on one foot or the other or half a step slow and he's having to recover....at 6'9" 330 against an equally large adult male. The result was he looked stiff or slow at times and got beat. A lot of that has been attributed to our S&C program. I don't know how much of that is actually accurate, but with Benhart, he's still learning to adjust to his new size and the kid across the line from him. Looks bad sometimes. If he was a fifth year senior who had gone backwards from an athleticism and performance standpoint, sure. I get it. Piper had a similar trajectory.

Jurgens is another matter. While I understood/understand the staff making the switch from TE to C, the weight gain that was required in such a short amount of time was likely overall detrimental to him physically. It couldn't have been more than about 75% lean body mass in a perfect world. Likely even less than that. So now you've got a kid, a strong, quick athlete at his coming in weight of 240, playing a new position against bigger, more physically mature kids who've been playing at their football/weight training enhanced weight for some time. Again, it looked bad and he carried bad weight in 2019. Looked leaner last fall and his play improved. Still gets lumped in with the S&C conversation and while I'll buy that in 2019, it wasn't his only problem and the only reason he didn't play like a seasoned center.

My point is we have a lot of moving pieces, headed by a losing record, that we're trying to lump into the S&C programs deficiencies and I'm not sure we're even close to accurate. At least some of my theory will be proven correct or incorrect this fall. If we stay static from a performance standpoint with another year at the training table, in the weight room and to mature on and off the field, we have issues beyond youth/inexperience. If we see a big jump in the right direction, isn't it possible if not probable that we've wrongly tagged 'getting beat' as a deficiency of the S&C program?

Just something to think about.
You couldnt have nailed that any better.

Losing, minds made up, biases, but mostly losing creates thoughts that prevent your clear minded and more complete approach to a perceived problem.

Post of the day
 

HuSkaBob

Husker Geek
5 Year Member
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread, especially @NorthwoodHusker, @ShortSideOption, and @CrabHusker. You have identified a problem, proposed possible positive solutions, all without getting too deep in I mud. Well done!
Found the solution... break dancing!


I remember some linemen from the late '80's doing ballet to help balance and footwork -- I can't find the DN article right now. Sign up here for your group fitness class:


/tongue only slightly in cheek.
 
Last edited:

solesrfr

Pura Vida!
5 Year Member
I still have never seen a definitive 'This is what were doing' piece on our S&C to be critical of, but one part of it is a problem. Or at least it's at the core of what can be perceived as a problem.

You mention 'No reason they can't work on everything at the same time' and that's accurate to an extent, IF you're not asking a kid to gain huge amounts of weight in short order, naturally and without synthetic help. No two bodies respond identically to weight training and increased caloric intake, but one thing that is consistent is a hyper calorics state will lead to an increase in body mass. Some of it muscle, some of it fat. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in 2 1/2-3 years and while it's not a problem, you're still likely to see an increase in body fat, depending on the kid. Ask a 19 year old kid to gain 40lbs in an off season and a half, naturally, and you're going to see more added body fat. Is it enough to effect performance? Likely to a degree. Is it part of the flexibility issues we've seen with guys like Benhart? Maybe.

Benhart came into the program at a little less than 290. At 6'9". That's a pretty big kid. He's listed at 330 now after two years in the program. Is that too much weight? Not for a 6'9" frame, but thee 40lb weight gain is likely part of why he looks stiff. I didn't say 'stiffer' because I didn't see him play high school football and even if I had, he likely physically dominated his opponents to the point that any technical deficiencies would have been masked by his sheer size. Last year that wasn't the case. Too much weight on one foot or the other or half a step slow and he's having to recover....at 6'9" 330 against an equally large adult male. The result was he looked stiff or slow at times and got beat. A lot of that has been attributed to our S&C program. I don't know how much of that is actually accurate, but with Benhart, he's still learning to adjust to his new size and the kid across the line from him. Looks bad sometimes. If he was a fifth year senior who had gone backwards from an athleticism and performance standpoint, sure. I get it. Piper had a similar trajectory.

Jurgens is another matter. While I understood/understand the staff making the switch from TE to C, the weight gain that was required in such a short amount of time was likely overall detrimental to him physically. It couldn't have been more than about 75% lean body mass in a perfect world. Likely even less than that. So now you've got a kid, a strong, quick athlete at his coming in weight of 240, playing a new position against bigger, more physically mature kids who've been playing at their football/weight training enhanced weight for some time. Again, it looked bad and he carried bad weight in 2019. Looked leaner last fall and his play improved. Still gets lumped in with the S&C conversation and while I'll buy that in 2019, it wasn't his only problem and the only reason he didn't play like a seasoned center.

My point is we have a lot of moving pieces, headed by a losing record, that we're trying to lump into the S&C programs deficiencies and I'm not sure we're even close to accurate. At least some of my theory will be proven correct or incorrect this fall. If we stay static from a performance standpoint with another year at the training table, in the weight room and to mature on and off the field, we have issues beyond youth/inexperience. If we see a big jump in the right direction, isn't it possible if not probable that we've wrongly tagged 'getting beat' as a deficiency of the S&C program?

Just something to think about.

I don't disagree with anything you said and I don't blame any one part of the program for the failures so far. More like a combination of everything.

One thing I do know is that I train to stay in top surfing shape. This includes endurance, cardio, strength, burst, and flexibility. I built up my strength significantly while also greatly increasing my flexibility at the same time. I increased all 5 things I mentioned all at the same time while also increasing my muscle mass. I did that by researching and finding cutting edge programs focused on surf training using the latest techniques and knowledge.

I am not sure what is happening at NU but when former players talk about what they needed to work on to prepare for the NFL it gives me pause and more questions than answers.



C
 

NorthwoodHusker

Travel Squad
The tryouts look for speed.
Getting that .05 can make a difference.

Heres Nick Gates numbers

He weighed 307 pounds.

He bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times.

He ran the 40 in 5.46 seconds.

He leapt 24 inches for a vertical.

He posted a broad jump of 94 inches.

He had a 3-cone drill of 7.61 seconds.
 

Farmer Jake

Recruit
2 Year Member
Found the solution... break dancing!


I remember some linemen from the late '80's doing ballet to help balance and footwork -- I can't find the DN article right now. Sign up here for your group fitness class:


/tongue only slightly in cheek.
I agree on the ballet (not so much on the break dancing, although break dancing should be easier after ballet). I have watched some ballet. Ballet dancers the precise definition of "athlete". They have a mix of strength, power, and most notably control that any LB, RB, DB, and WR could use to improve their game. I don't know how much it would improve OL play, but it definitely couldn't hurt, especially with flexibility and quickness. Might also help to cut down on some injuries.

I remember from the early to mid 1980s, a wide receiver named Jason Gamble. Jason was being favorably compared to the great Lynn Swan from the Pittsburgh Steelers. One broadcaster mentioned that his leaps to catch footballs looked like something a ballet dancer would do. A couple of weeks later it was leaked out that Jason had been doing ballet. He eventually quit football to concentrate strictly on ballet. (That's how I remember the story, anyway.)

Poor guy! He went from catching footballs to catching athletic, beautiful ballerinas. Wish I could have done that!
 
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