Make no mistake. Off-season conditioning under the direction of Coach Pollard is an intense affair, involving rigorous work on a daily basis. But teamwork is also crucial. Surrounded by friends screaming encouragement, Santonio Beard prepares to go for a personal best on the hang clean. (Left to right) Tyler Watts, Lane Bearden, Leslie Williams and Antonio Carter form the cheering section. Beard was successful, by the way.
Hamid Haqq (left) and Shaud Williams (right) take a quick break between sets. Haqq is a walk-on cornerback who impressed the coaches last season with his work ethic, while Williams (a transfer from Texas Tech) is expected to contribute immediately at tailback.
Redshirt freshman Juke King concentrates before attempting the lift. After being moved from strong safety to linebacker at the end of last year, King will be counted on to provide immediate depth on defense. That's Roman Harper (left) and Mark Anderson (right) in the background.
Coach Franchione was able to redshirt every freshman last year but one, helping to develop a sense of camaraderie among the group. (Left to right) Charlie Peprah, Roman Harper, Juke King and Anthony Madison horse around during a break in lifting.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Brodie Croyle works out in the weight room. Since first arriving on campus, Croyle has added more than 10 pounds of muscle to his frame.
Of all the redshirted freshmen, Freddie Roach has as good an opportunity to start as any. With the early departure of Saleem Rasheed to the NFL, Roach's path to playing time at middle linebacker is wide open.
The eyes tell the story.
Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush repeatedly praised Jarret Johnson's relentless effort last season, and the senior defensive tackle and team captain approaches weight lifting with the same intensity.