Being able to run sprints, means that Chris Watt is getting that much closer to being able to fully prepare for his upcoming football career at Notre Dame.
Shortly after signing his letter-of-intent back in February, Watt received his workout regiment from Irish strength and conditioning coordinator Ruben Mendoza. Unfortunately, because of torn ligaments in his shoulder suffered during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Watt really couldn't do much of Mendoza's plan.
Watt couldn't do much at all.
"I was really disappointed," Watt stated. "I was really looking forward to working really hard in the spring, and getting ready for next fall, and trying to come in and really contribute. But I just have to try and get through it and move on.
"I just started sprinting. I was jogging, doing leg presses and lunges, everything I could without using my shoulder. Now I can do a lot of sprints and more flexibility work, biceps and tricep curls."
Watt won't be able to do any heavy lifting for another month, but is taking comfort in the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"I should be able to go full go by the summer when I get there."
Walking off the Alamo Dome field following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this past January, Watt knew he aggravated his shoulder, but didn't think the injury was much.
"I thought maybe it was a shoulder popped out or something, but I guess I took some ligaments with it," Watt said.
Watt's still not ready to designate himself to sitting out his first college season.
"They still want me to come in and be ready to contribute," he said. "They have a lot of guys competing for spots that are quality guys, but they still want me to come in and be ready to contribute, and I'm going to be ready to play."
After attending a recent Notre Dame spring practice that ended with a scrimmage, Watt is really itching to play.
One of the reasons why the Glenbard West standout made the trip, was to watch offensive line coach Frank Verducci in action.
"Oh he's awesome," Watt said. "It was great to meet him before I signed and everything, but it was even better to see how he coached. I liked the coaching style he has and the way he teaches, how he's very intense when he's coaching, and also he's a very good teacher when he sees you need to be working on things. I like the way he expects a lot out of all of his players."
Watt attended a couple practices last fall, and thinks the offensive line is much better.
"Just from the last time I was there, I thought they improved definitely," Watt said. "Just like the running game for sure, being at the scrimmage."
Watt also sat in on the offensive line meeting. He was equally impressed by Verducci in the classroom.
"I think the way he teaches will really help me out because he goes into detail. I really like his concepts at the same time."
And for the time being, Watt likes sprinting.