Three Points of Emphasis
Posted by Brad on May 30, 2013
After the football season ended, I started really focusing on working out. One of the biggest things I was focusing on was my strength and improving every area of my game. There are a lot of things that go into "making" a good offensive lineman: strength, flexibility, quickness, and hand usage. I've been trying to improve on all of that.
Coach Kap said at this point he wants me to focus on conditioning, flexibility and quickness. He said I should still lift, but those three things should be my emphasis at this time of the year.
Offensive linemen, they really can't stop working on anything, because you can always get better at every area. But for me, the biggest thing is the footwork, because you can be big, bench 400 pounds, and squat 600 pounds, but if you can't move and you can't get where you need to be on a particular play, it's not going to be worth anything. And you especially have to be in-shape with this offense that UNC is running.
I've been working out four to five days a week. Right after school lets out I head over to Key 2 Sports Training, which is a gym about 20 minutes away from my school. I have great guys training me there and they're definitely getting me ready.
We'll do a speed session in the beginning of each workout. We'll go out and stretch and get warmed up. And then we'll do positional work. After that, we'll come in and we'll lift depending on the day. We do upper body Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And then Tuesday and Thursday we'll do legs. But my trainer also incorporates other things like strongman lifts (for example, tire flips, sled pulls, etc.).
Brian Duffy is the offensive line coach that I work with. He used to coach in college and he was an All-Big East player at Rutgers. He'll do a 30-minute session with me and a couple other offensive linemen that is a combination of conditioning and positional work. It's really helpful for me because we're doing stuff that will help me in a spread offense, as opposed to what I was doing at my school, which is all triple-option based. By the time I arrive at UNC, I'll be familiar with the spread – it won't be completely foreign to me.
My trainer, Cornell Key, is also great with incorporating things that will help me with football. He was a two-time All-American defensive end at Monmouth University. Cornell has been getting me ready as far as conditioning. I want to be prepared for UNC's workouts and preseason camp. We started conditioning a couple of months ago. He gradually got me into it and I think I responded well. I know I'm going to be ready when I show up.
Eating habits are little different for offensive linemen than maybe other positions, because I already almost weigh 300 pounds. When I'm hungry, I eat, but I try to gauge myself. I try to stay away from snacking and I eat three meals a day. I try not to eat too much and to eat healthy foods. It's hard sometimes to stay away from the junk foods, because I'm not always in a convenient area where I can pick the healthiest thing. I try to maintain my weight and monitor how I feel. If I feel myself getting slow or I can't really get conditioned with this weight, I'll try to lose weight.
This offseason there might have been more of a focus to put weight on, because the guys I'll be playing with and against are obviously going to be bigger. I played the season at about 285 to 290 pounds. Right now, I've got my weight up in the high 290s. I'll fluctuate between 298 and 302. I go back and forth depending on what I eat and how I work out.