Team's Conditioning Not In Question, says Jenkins

According to Marshall football strength and conditioning coach Mike Jenkins, this years' Marshall football team should not fall prey to a lack of conditioning this Saturday at The Swamp in Florida, thanks to summer conditioning drills designed to simulate the muggy conditions in Gainesville.

"It's a year-round deal," Jenkins said of the team's conditioning on Herd Insider's Thundering Word radio show on WRVC AM 930 on Monday.

No longer do college athletes begin training in mid-summer and take the spring and early summer off. Not in this day and age of ever-increasing competitiveness in Division 1-A football. And most certainly not at an up-and-coming program such as Marshall's.

"It's going to take a lot more than some balmy weather to slow us down," Jenkins added. "If anybody thinks we're going to go down there and hang it up because it's hot, they've got something coming. The Herd's going to come down and be excited. We've tried to get the guys as acclimated as we can for that situation."

And part of that preparation included conditioning drills wearing sweatshirts in mid-July. An early August heat wave in West Virginia only helped with conditioning for the heat and humidity of Florida. "We were out here training in our sweats," Jenkins said. "They looked at me like I was crazy at first. They know it's not fun to do that, but in the long run, it's going to pay off." Granted, Florida is a different chapter in the book of relative humidity. But Jenkins has done the best he knows how to prepare this team for a steamy opening game in the deep South, just like in 1998 at South Carolina and 1999 at Clemson.

And when asked to sum up where he thinks this 2001 Marshall squad stands heading into Saturday's matchup with the mighty Gators, Jenkins simply said, "We're ready."

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