Shipp says Dvoracek had best spring as a Sooner

Oklahoma defensive tackle coach Jackie Shipp talks about the dominating return of Dusty Dvoracek this spring, and what he'll have to do over the summer to rehab his torn bicep. (Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)

OU defensive line coach Jackie Shipp has become one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Long known as a super recruiter, Shipp has paid his dues in the coaching ranks and has learned great defensive tackle technique from many of the top defensive line coaches in the country.

Now, Shipp himself is recognized as one of those coaches and he will lead a very strong defensive tackle group onto the field this year. Headlining that group will be senior Dusty Dvoracek, who will be a leading candidate for the Lombardi Award and for All-American honors this upcoming season.

However, Dusty's quest to lead the Sooners back to the Rose Bowl and to earn those honors may get started late due to a torn bicep suffered near the end of the Red/White scrimmage. Dusty is expected to be out of action four to five months and he may miss the beginning of the season. Early projections have him out until the UCLA game, but those are safe projections. Dusty will not approach this in a safe manner and he will be very aggressive in his rehab.

To find out just how that rehab will go, we turn to Coach Shipp, who is still pretty good in the weight room himself, to get the low down on how Dusty will make his comeback attempt.

JH: What kind of spring did Dusty have?

JS: "Dusty had a great spring — the best spring he has ever had at Oklahoma. However, let me tell you something — the thing that was great about Dusty was that he was great being a leader and he has really grown as a person. You can tell he really appreciates being back — that he missed it and he had fun with practice.

"Dusty worked to get better and he didn't take anything for granted. He has really grown as a young man and as a football player. You can just see it on him as there is more of a glow to him. He is having fun and he is excited, and like I said he has really grown and matured. Dusty had a very good spring and he just keeps getting better and better."

JH: How is his torn bicep injury going to effect his offseason?

JS: "He is still going to be able to run and he is still going to be able to do his leg workouts. He is probably going to do more dumbbell exercises instead of the bench press and what have you. He will do more dumbbell exercises to work his right side of his body. Now he can't do curls with that left arm, but he can work on his shoulder on his left side, his back on his left side, and that type of thing.

"To be honest with you, the curl exercise has nothing to do with football. That is just more of a beautifying exercise to make your arms look good. That is the only thing that he will be missing out on as he will get to do everything else. You limit some bench press and certainly heavy bench pressing because you want to make sure that everything is healed and that you don't have any setbacks.

"As far as conditioning the right side of his body, his left shoulder and parts of his left side of his body will get a great workout."

JH: Dusty is a 460-pound bench press guy and maybe the best conditioned guy on the team. If he is limited in some exercises for three to four months it is not going to effect Dusty that much, is it?

JS: "No, but like I said remember now he can still work his shoulder on that left side, he can still work his legs and he can still work his right side. If a guy like Dusty Dvoracek got completely laid up in a bed for three months and he couldn't move, then yes he would get smaller. Then he would lose a lot of strength. However, you are talking about a guy that is going to stay after it.

"Will he be able to go out there and do 460 when he recovers at first? No. Will his rehab require weights on that side? Yes. Will he get back to benching heavy and those kinds of things before he gets back on the football field? Yes. That will be part of his rehab. If he hadn't of got hurt there is a good chance Dusty would have become a 500 pound bencher. Can he get back to what he was? Can he get back to 460? Yes, and that is strong enough."

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