Camp Connors Report, Part I

For the Tar Heel football players, it was another grueling and productive offseason with Jeff Connors. The strength & conditioning coach sat down with Inside Carolina this week to discuss the highlights of "Camp Connors 2010." Here's Part I ...

Part I
Record-Breaking Summer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Every year weight room records fall and this summer at UNC was no exception. Each record is position group specific, and is an all-time record in the Tar Heel weight room.

Power Clean (DE) Robert Quinn – 405 pounds
Vertical Jump (DE) Linwan Euwell – 39 ½ inches
Power Clean (RB) Johnny White – 374 pounds
Power Quotient* (DE) Robert Quinn – 206
Vertical Leap (WR) Jhay Boyd – 41 ½ inches
Broad Jump (WR) Jhay Boyd – 11 feet
Squat (DB) Da'Norris Searcy – 556
Combined Lift (Squat, Bench, Power Clean) (LB) – Bruce Carter – 1,414 pounds
Combined Lift (DB) – Da'Norris Searcy – 1,280 pounds
Forty Speed (RB) – Hunter Furr – 4.26
Forty Speed (DE) – Robert Quinn – 4.40

* Power Quotient (PQ): Measures overall power/explosiveness, by adding together one value of power clean, five values of vertical jump in inches, three values of broad jump in inches, and divide by 40 time. The higher the number, the greater the "weight room" measurement of power and explosiveness. These are qualities the NFL tests for as well.

North Carolina strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors was extremely pleased with the work ethic demonstrated by the UNC football players in the offseason, and had praise for the efforts of several members of the 2010 team.

"Robert Quinn powercleaned 405 this summer, which is…very good," Connors said with a smile. "Linwan Euwell had a real good summer, he's one of the guys who has really come on for us. He's somewhere between 245 and 250 now and he does not have pain when he is training - he looked good in spring ball, he's getting his numbers back up, and getting his strength back – we're encouraged about him."

Connors was also complimentary of the work put in by senior Johnny White, not just this offseason, but since his arrival at North Carolina. "Johnny is a real strong kid, his body responds very well to training - he's a "fast-twitch" type of guy - and when you bring those kinds of guys into the program that already have fast-twitch qualities, they seem to progress a little further along the way."

Of all the players that Connors has seen in the weight room this summer, he may have reserved his highest praise for Da'Norris Searcy.

"He's a kid that has been extremely consistent with his work ethic and with his gradual progress throughout the program," Connors said of the senior strong safety. "He looks really good, he's got great numbers across the board, and essentially I am looking for good things from him. He's a guy that could have some really good leadership qualities as well."

The return of six seniors who could have decided to forego their final year of eligibility has given Connors lots of reasons to be optimistic. He feels this is one of the best senior classes he has ever been around, which includes some pretty good ones.

"I would say this group of seniors, physically, is probably the most impressive group of seniors I've seen in my career, with the possible exception of when we got here in 2001," Connors said. "That (2001) group was very impressive, of course, but still I don't think they had anything on this group. And one of the years I was at East Carolina had a real impressive group of seniors as well - that's when we beat Miami and beat South Carolina – I think that's when we had a really impressive group there. But over the 23 years I've been in this thing, this is the most impressive group I've seen."

At the head of the group is Bruce Carter.

"Bruce Carter has had a really good offseason, he's amped up his work tempo," Connors said. "He powercleaned 405, he's got the highest total for the linebackers at 1,414 pounds (combination of power clean, squat, and bench press). He's in a good position to really step up and lead the defense. I think he can give us some impact with regard to leadership."

Connors noted several position records that fell in the 40-yard dash. In doing so, he explained how he times the players.

"This is indoor, and they are allowed to wear track shoes when we do that," he said. "We've kind of made that consistent over the years. Whatever times we ran, they were hand-timed. Basically I take an average of four times and give them the average.

"Jhay Boyd had a 4.2 flat and Robert Quinn had a 4.4 flat – that was down from a 4.51, and I put 12 watches on him because of what people are going to say about that."

The closer it gets to the start of the season, the less frequently the strength and conditioning staff tests the players – for good reason.

"I don't do a lot of heavy testing in forty times at the end of the summer, simply because we've got to keep people healthy," Connors said. "That's the biggest thing for coaches – keep them healthy."

Check back tomorrow for Part II of this series …

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