Players See Body Change From Dillman

Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman has spent just as much time on educating as he has on the nuts and bolts of his workout plan. The educating has been more important than the workouts. The first-year strength coach wanted his players to understand what they were doing before they even lifted one weight in the football facility. It helped the players buy into the philosophy early.

"It's so different because we understand why we're lifting, what we're working on and basically why we're doing it," Sharrif Floyd said. "We know how it pertains to football instead of just knowing we're working out. That helps a lot."

That's what Dillman wanted when he took the Florida job. It's the reason he works so hard to teach. Before the Gators started to work out on each machine, Dillman went into a speech about which muscle was being worked out and what those muscles do on the football field.

Working out then changed from something players checked off their list of things to do during the day and became something they put a lot of work into to improve what happened on the field. Players weren't afraid to admit that wasn't the case in the past.

"It's the experience he brings to the weight room," Lerentee McCray said. "It's a fun experience. Every day you see him, and it's going to be something new. He makes the experience of coming into the weight room a fun one."

Head coach Will Muschamp kept former strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti for his first season at Florida. The transition to Dillman isn't meant to bash Marotti. Florida won two national championships with Marotti running the strength and conditioning program, but Muschamp wants a different type of player.

Speed was a big part of the Urban Meyer regime. Muschamp wants his players to be bigger. The issues comes in searching for how big players can get without sacrificing their speed, and that's where Dillman comes in.

"We are trying to get bigger," Muschamp said. "You can be fast and still be really big and physical. That's allowed."

Dillman has accomplished that through an increase in power lifting. Florida has gone to more Olympic lifting, especially cleans, jerks and snatches to make the total body stronger.

"It's completely different in how we train," said Jelani Jenkins, who has gained 14 pounds since the end of the 2011 season and is up to 238 pounds. "It's a lot more explosive things. We incorporate a lot more power. We're a lot more explosive and powerful."

As the players hit the field for the first day of practice on Friday, the difference was noticeable. Dillman had some time with the players before and during spring practice, but the summer workouts is where he got to work with body transformation.

"I felt it, even in the spring," Jon Bostic said. "I felt a lot stronger and a lot more explosive out there. I don't know what it was."

Dillman's plan is different for every player. The focus is speed for some, while others are trying to get stronger and add weight. Most skill players are focused on adding strength while not sacrificing speed.

That's what sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson worked on in the offseason. After a neck injury kept him away from contact in the spring, Roberson was able to focus on his body.

"Coach Dillman has done everything you can ask for," said Marcus Roberson, who has added three "good" pounds of muscle. "He trusts his work, and we trust him. We bought into the program, and we're able to get better."

The most important aspect of the hire is that it's someone Muschamp is comfortable with. For all the positives Marotti brought to the team, it wasn't the style of lifting that Muschamp has been around while a defensive coordinator.

"Jeff Dillman is a Will Muschamp guy at the end of the day, and he's putting the same philosophical ideas I want in the weight room, from an Olympic core lifting and the things that we need to do to be successful, that I know work in this league," Muschamp said.


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