Sharpe Talks about Spring Ball

We caught up with starting center Tommy Sharpe to get his thoughts about the offseason conditioning program, spring practice, and a whole host of other topics in this one-on-one interview. "We just got done with mat drills. Winter workouts are going on now," said Sharpe.


What's your schedule been like this offseason as far as football goes?
Sharpe: We just got done with mat drills. Winter workouts are going on now. Practice starts on Saturday. We lift Monday, Wednesday and Friday and condition on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During football season you can never really lift that hard, so summer and winter are where you really make your strength gains. We used to lift four days a week, but Coach Batson cut it back to three so our bodies can recover better. We start hitting next week, probably next Wednesday. We have 15 practices during spring ball, 3 of which have to be in shorts. Spring ball is really not that long. It's like training for a bowl game.

How signficant was the win over #6 Tennessee in the Peach Bowl?
Sharpe: It gave us a lot more confidence. We are more focused as a team than we were at this time last year. We are probably a little more focused on winning now than we were last year. We should contend for the conference title this fall. We are going to have some really good athletes. We have a lot of young players that are waiting to show what they can do.

Can you comment on Dustin Fry and his development?
Sharpe: All I can say about Dustin is brute strength. He's strong. He's young. He had a good season last year as a red shirt freshman. He is so big and strong and I think that he will be a great player for Clemson in the future. I expect him to have a professional career. He is that talented. He will be a great Clemson football player. Dustin is learning the plays now; during the spring last year his main problem was the quarterback-center exchange because he had never played center before. I had the advantage of playing center all through high school. As a physical athlete, he is amazing. He can run. He can run about a 5.0, 5.1 in the 40. He is stronger than me, faster than me, and a whole lot bigger than me. He will play a lot this year, but who will start will come down to who has a better spring. He is talented enough to play any position on the offensive line.

What about Clint LaTray?
Sharpe: He has real good footwork. I think once he develops more physically, he will be a lot better player. During the summer camp last year, they let him play some at center he did really well. He just needs to physically develop.

What have been some of your goals this offseason?
Sharpe: Last season my shoulders and my body were banged up the whole season. I just want to focus on being healthy the whole season. My strength is right where I want it to be. My bench is at 435 and squat is at about 640, which is pretty good. I have a year experience under my belt. I just need to stay healthy. I am going to work on my quickness this summer, and try and get a little quicker off the ball. I am also working on double teams.

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