Younger players coming along physically

There are numerous players that have stood out in the strength and conditioning program. Read on to see who they are, the most physically demanding positions, and more.

Although Director of Skill Development Parker Whiteman says that the team has responded well to its strength and conditioning program, there are still players that have stood out a bit above the rest.

"Will Parks has kind of been a standout as far as those freshmen guys that either redshirted or didn't play a lot last year," Whiteman said. "Dakota Conwell is another. Hank Hobson, even though he was not in the freshman class, he is a guy you would think is part of the strength staff because he is in there so much."

"Lene Maiava hurt his knee last year. He is going to be ten times better than he was last year because that leg is going to be stronger and he has really bulked up in the offseason."

The key to their success, and others as well, is that numerous players have spent extra time working out in order to be in shape for next season.

"We have a handful of guys that have put more time in the weight room and not just being in there," Whiteman said. "A lot of kids come in there just to be in there and say they are in there during the off season, but they are putting in quality time."

For Whiteman, there are three positions that he can point to as being the most physically demanding.

"O-line, D-line, and our linebackers right now," he said. "Just developing their shoulders and the wear and tear on their lower bodies and the constant banging they get. You really, really want to make them strong, but you have to make them functional too, especially with the type of offense Coach Rodriguez runs and he wants out there on the field."

Arizona had many players redshirt last season, whether it was because they were freshmen or injured, such as offensive lineman Jacob Arzouman.

"They are coming along physically," Whiteman said of those players. "Probably the biggest thing with them is keeping the weight on with the amount of running that they are doing. They are strong and exactly where we want them, but with the amount of activity they do inside the weight room and the fast pace we run, it is hard to keep weight on them."

In addition, Whiteman works with smaller players, as Rodriguez's offense calls for players that may be fast, but not necessarily big.

"That is just something you have to build on and where you work the smaller muscles on the way up, because the smaller muscles are usually the ones that get hurt first because they support the joints and they support the body," he said. "We work with the athletic trainers with that kind of stuff where they are doing stuff for their shoulders, knee, and necks, and other joints."

In order to make sure that the players do keep on the necessary weight, Whiteman works closely with the players so they know how to go about their training.

"That is one of the things you have to teach them," he said. "What to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, because any high school kid coming in here or even fourth or fifth year seniors want to eat that Big Mac or they will eat a huge lunch and not eat again for six hours, so we have to teach them the body needs to be fed every three hours."


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