Hendricks Improving at DT

Defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks has added weight in preparation for the 2005 season. After redshirting last year he is one of a number of freshmen working hard to contribute this season.

Dwayne Hendricks currently stands 6-3 1/2 and in the 270-275-pound range. He arrived on campus at 245 pounds. What was the key to adding the weight?

"A lot of eating and lifting weights," Hendricks said. "We have a serious strength coach to make you stronger."

The 25-30 pounds he has added in the past seven months is natural. He has a solid frame and looks filled out. With his frame he can even add more weight without it affecting his body shape.

"I feel good," Hendricks said. "It is not like I have excess fat."

Hendricks wants to get up to 280-285 pounds by the time the 2005 season begins and eventually wants to weigh 295 pounds.

Last season was tough for Hendricks who redshirted after a productive career at Millville High School (N.J.) He chose to attend Miami over Virginia, Iowa, and Michigan.

"It was hard," Hendricks said. "It would be hard for anybody. You are used to playing for four years in high school and then you aren't playing."

He spent the season on the scout team trying to improve on his game.

"You just have to use the scout team as an advantage to make yourself better," Hendricks said. "It gives you the opportunity to work on little stuff like getting off of the ball."

Playing on the scout team is something a number of great Hurricanes have done in the past. To be a great player you have to remain positive throughout tough times.

"A year on the scout team gives you a year of practice," Hendricks said. "You just have to use it as a positive and not look at it as a negative."

This spring Hendricks has done some nice things on the practice field. He knows he has to improve if he wants to play in 2005.

"I am working a lot on getting my hands low and limiting mental mistakes," Hendricks said. "I feel like I am progressing, but need to continue with it to be where I want to be."

Hendricks is currently fifth on the depth chart at defensive tackle behind senior Orien Harris, juniors Baraka Atkins and Kareem Brown, along with sophomore Teraz McCray.

"Everyone on the defensive line is doing real good," Hendricks said. "Everyone is hustling and things are going well for us."

Hendricks was one of five defensive linemen in the 2004 signing class. Eric Moncur, Rhyan Anderson, Calais Campbell, and Joe Joseph along wit Hendricks are the defensive line future for the Hurricanes.

"We are working hard to get better," Hendricks said. "That is what the spring is for--to get all of the reps. It will only make you better."

Practice resumes tomorrow at 3 pm which begins a stretch of five practices in six days. The team has nine practices remaining concluding on April 9 with the spring game at Lockhart Stadium.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor at CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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