Whiteman impressed with progress

Director of Skill Development Parker Whiteman has been impressed with Arizona's improvement in the spring. Read on to see why, where the improvement is, and more.

Much of the improvement that people look for regarding Arizona football is what they see on the field. However, the success of the program starts in the weight room and, so far, the strength and conditioning staff is happy with Arizona's progress.

"Spring went really well," Director of Skill Development Parker Whiteman said. "The guys are a lot better than they were last year as far as conditioning, knowing what they have to do, and knowing the expectations and everything.

"We're happy with where they are at. Obviously they are not where we want them exactly, but they made huge strides compared to last year when we came in."

When comparing this year to last, Whiteman says that the difference in overall strength is the first thing that stands out to him.

"Their strength levels overall when we tested them, the record board completely changed than what we had last year at this point, which is good," he said.

"Usually in year three is when you see the biggest strides and the biggest changes because you get that freshmen class in year three that came in when we first came here and that is where you see the biggest gains physically."

The biggest challenge that the strength and conditioning staff sees is having to deal with the different personalities that a football player can often display.

"Mentally, every day is a struggle," Whiteman said. "You are dealing with college kids that are 18, 19 years old that need to be consistent with everything you want to do both inside and outside the weight room."

However, the staff has been able to lighten the mental challenges because the majority of the team now knows what to expect in the weight room.

"Knowing what the workouts are going to be when they walk in, knowing what our expectations are from the very second they step in the weight room to the very second they leave the weight room," Whiteman said of what has been helpful.

"Next year is going to be dealing with more of the body's limitations and releasing those defensive mechanisms where it puts a cap on what they can do physically."

Whiteman admits that he was a bit surprised last year about how well the team reacted to the changes in strength and conditioning, but says that the base developed by the leaders last season has been a big help this year.

"Last year we had really good leaders on the team with Matt Scott, Kyle Quinn, Trace Biskin, and all those guys, so everybody bought in pretty much because those guys put a tight rein on everybody else," he said.

"This year, it has been that pretty much the entire team has bought in, so the guys that kind of stray to the side or want to do their own thing are brought back in by the entire team and the mentality that everybody is pulling on the rope at the same time and that has been a big plus for us."

In addition, the success that Arizona had last season has caused the players to realize where the hard work can get them.

"The win over Nevada was a big help in the offseason as far as coming in with a lot more motivation and just giving the kids more incentive to come in and work hard and come in the extra days when it is not required or put in extra work to get bigger and faster," Whiteman said.

"It is exactly where we want them to be right now. They have done a really good job."

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