Weight program paying off

Tide fans have noted numerous differences in Dennis Franchione's philosophy from the way things were done in recent seasons, and one good example can be found in the weight room. Reasoning that other things being equal, the stronger athlete will usually prevail, the Tide squad has been working (and lifting) hard for slightly more than a year now. <br><br>And the results have clearly paid off.

True freshmen/JUCO signees

Weight training on the high school level has come a long way over the last decade or so. But an athlete's first year on campus, participating in a structured and scheduled weight-lifting program, remains critical.

For most of the players, their first year on campus marks the first time they have paid weekly--even daily--attention to their diets and exercise habits. Start with nutrition; add in a carefully planned weight-lifting regimen; and then factor in that most of the athletes are still growing and maturing…

And the results are often significant.

True freshmen experiencing weight gains include:

Position Height	 Athlete        July '01   Jan. '02
 DE	  6-6	Mark Anderson	 210	   220
 DE	  6-4	Todd Bates	 220	   236
 KR	  5-4	Brandon Brooks	 150	   160
 OLB       6-2    Juke King           205        225
 CB	  5-9	Anthony Madison	 173	   180
 CB	  5-11	Charlie Peprah	 184	   195
 MLB	  6-2	Freddie Roach	 225	   237
 QB	  6-2	Brodie Croyle	 188	   198
 FS	  6-1	Roman Harper	 176	   180
 TE	  6-4	Clint Johnston	 230	   235

NOTE: Some athletes (like Madison and Johnston) arrive on campus already in excellent condition, having spent hours in the gym before entering college. For such players, more modest gains would be expected.

On the other hand, God and nature have given some athletes a slightly higher body/fat ratio, even in high school. So their first few months would be spent dropping fat while also adding muscle. Their weight numbers may remain close to the same--or even drop--during their first year of weight training. This is especially for bigger-bodied athletes like linemen.

Position Height	 Athlete        July '01    Jan. '02
 TE	  6-6	Donald Clarke	 260	   252
  C	  6-4	J.B. Closner	 297	   290
 TB	  6-0	Marquez Dupree	 219	   215
 OL	  6-5    Von Ewing          306        297
 OG	  6-7	Mark Sanders	 305	   305

Veteran squad members

Of course an athlete's first year on campus isn't the only time he benefits from strength and conditioning work. And in fact for many of the veteran players on the squad, last season was their first year-long exposure to a weight-lifting program, Ben Pollard style.

Following are some other athletes on the squad whose numbers have changed over the last year.

Position Height	 Athlete         July '01   Jan. '02 
 WR	  6-0	Joel Babb         186         193
 FB	  6-0	Marvin Brown      259	   253
 TE	  6-5	David Cavan       228	   240
 ROV	  6-2	Brooks Daniels    190	   204
 SLB	  6-1	Brandon Dean      210	   230
  C	  6-4	Alonzo Ephraim    288	   293
 WR	  6-5	Tarry Givens      193	   206
 SS	  6-0	Matt Grice        175	   186
 DE	  6-4	N. Mckay-Loescher 240	   244
 PK	  6-0	Michael Ziifle    240	   232

EDITOR'S NOTE: While the information on athletes from the '01 signing class is pretty complete, the other names are just a sampling. They do NOT represent a comprehensive list of the weight changes that have occurred among more veteran squad members.

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