Competition Day Proves Glass Is Helping

STILLWATER - The offseason program for the Oklahoma State football squad is winding down - at least phase one - as spring football gets set to begin on Monday, March 6. In watching today's competition day it is obvious that strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass has improved both the power and the fitness of Mike Gundy's football team.

Competition has been every Tuesday for the past four weeks and will continue next week with tight ends coach Doug Meacham's team battling offensive coordinator Larry Fedora's unit in the "Fiesta Bowl" championship. The other six squads - all headed by a different OSU assistant - will playoff for third, fifth, and seventh places.

The competition days have been used to promote team camraderie and work on competitive juices while breaking up the rest of the week which consists of lifting and power work in the weight room and station drills, running and aerobic work outside in the afternoon. The major test of the week comes at six a.m. on Friday mornings when the entire squad runs the stadium steps of Boone Pickens Stadium. Some players are up to as many as 22 sets of stadium steps on Fridays.

Every player on the squad looks stronger, more fit, and it would appear that many have increased their speed and flexibility. Defensive end Victor DeGrate may be the poster boy of the strength and conditioning program as he looks like he is ready for football on Sundays. It is virtually impossible to just pick out a few as the improvements because they seem to be across the board on the squad. Observers within the program were all in agreement that this is the best the squad has looked physically in their time at Oklahoma State.

The competition day made the floor of Boone Pickens Stadium a noisy place on Tuesday afternoon despite the damp cold that permeated the air. The competitions, which for the most part are head-to-head by members of the teams, include a sled race with players pulling 250 pounds of weight on the sled, a tractor tire race with each player flipping the tire over and over for 40 yards, several agility drills, a pro-agility drill, and a three-man tug-of-war. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew was impressive in his efforts Tuesday, but he is one of many players showing up well in the competitions.

Some members of the two teams that will vie for the championship next week include running back Michael Hamilton, offensive tackle Corey Hilliard, wide receivers Tommy Devereaux, Ricky Price, and Todd Nelson, defensive tackle Xavier Lawson-Kennedy, linebackers Marcus Brown and Durfey Thompson, and deep snapper Zach Allen on Doug Meacham's team. Larry Fedora's team may be the "all looks" team with impressive physical specimens like defensive end Victor DeGrate, linebacker Rodrick Johnson, cornerback Calvin Mickens, safety Andre Sexton, linebacker Jeremy Nethon, defensive tackle Jeray Chatham, offensive lineman Andrew Lawrence, and deep snapper Kyle Mariacher.

It is just one part of the program, but all of what Glass has done, including yoga seassions on Thursdays, appears to have put the OSU squad at a different level physically.

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