Summer Workouts

With the spring semester finally over, many students take the summer off to either go back home or go on vacation. For quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and the rest of the players on the Clemson football team, two months of grueling workouts await them.

Summer workouts have become a very integral part of every college football team's makeup. In fact, many coaches believe what transpires over the course of the summer can and will determine the outcome of games.

"I think this will be by far the most important summer I've had at Clemson," Whitehurst said in a phone interview from his home in Atlanta.

"We worked in years past to get continuity and we'd do certain plays. Now it all changes and we've got a couple of new guys there I haven't thrown to very much. It will be by far the most important summer for us. I think that's the focus of these coaches. They're putting a lot of emphasis on how important the summer is going to be."

This is definitely no summer vacation.

Basically, the 2005 football season gets underway the last week in May and goes nonstop until late November. And that doesn't even include bowl game preparations in December.

In the grand scheme of things, it's these next two months that can be the most taxing for the players, especially when you combine school with the workouts in the intense summer heat.

"Let's say you have a morning class and you get up at 9:30; you're in class an hour and a half; grab something to eat and then head over there to start the workout," Whitehurst said. "We'll workout for an hour and a half or more. Then (strength training director) Coach (Joey) Batson takes us outside and pretty much runs us into the ground for another hour and a half.

"In the second semester in July, you only run two days a week and the other two days you have a seven-on-seven with all the passing stuff. It's tough because you're working out pretty hard and we do that in the winter also, but in the summer he takes you out there and pretty much runs you into the ground. So you get two workouts in one day. It's tough but you've got to do it."

Even though football is only played in the fall, it has quickly become a 12-month sport. After the season is over, there's spring football practice and then comes the summer workouts.

Before you know it, it time for practice all over again.

"They call baseball the year-round sport now, but what happened to football?" Whitehurst said. "We get two weeks off here and two weeks off there. But it really is year round. I think the trend now, it use to be maybe only a couple of years ago, let's get the guys here during the summer, let's work them out, but tell them to go over there and play basketball to stay in shape and we'll run them here and there and it wasn't extremely structured.

"Now, it's to the point to where it's almost like your profession. We're going to be here, we're going to work you out and we're going to keep you in shape and you really don't have a choice. … I think there's always that talk that these guys are privileged and they are getting a free ride, but I think if you break it down, we've earned everything we've gotten. We do work extremely hard. And I think at Clemson with Coach Batson and Coach (Tommy) Bowden, I think we work as hard as everybody else in the country. I don't think anybody works harder than us." Top Stories