Q&A with Jerry Schmidt: Part 2

Oklahoma Strength and Conditionaing Coordinator Jerry Schmidt talks more about his program and the progress of Adrian Peterson, Marcus Walker and Dusty Dvoracek, who are recovering from injuries, so far this summer.

OUInsider.com continues its series with OU Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt.

JH: I know every practice you are calculating throughout that practice how much to run or condition the team afterwards. Is that a gut hunch on your part or is their some kind of scientific theory to it?

JS: "I think it is more or less a gut hunch. Coach Stoops does a great job of evaluating how the practice went and how many reps they have done. I am always paranoid and I never think we have enough conditioning in, which is good and bad I guess.

"We do everything that we can in the summer time to get them out in the heat, and I think as long as we do that we are not going to have any problems, and they will be prepared for it. Last year's two-a-days, it was kind of cool and that kind of scares you, but I guess it was good also because guys didn't have any heat problems and we were able to get some good work in. I just get paranoid, because I think that first game is going to be 110 degrees and we are not going to be ready for it.

"I think if your team is constantly out there in the summer working in it, then they will be ready. But if you go indoors and do different things or get a lot of rain, then I feel you can fall behind in your conditioning. I think we are pretty consistent on that, and I think our players do a pretty good job of taking the right approach to it."

JH: You have been here since 1999, so who have been some the players that have been the best offseason guys that you have worked with?

JS: "The first year that we were here that team was tough and literally no matter what you asked them to do they did it. Cory Heinecke was the leader of an amazing group of guys who walked-on and who knew that he was behind the eight ball all the time. He had to out work everybody all the time because of talent. That whole class was tough.

"You look at Josh Heupel, who pretty much set the tempo for work ethic with quarterbacks here. Jason White later followed and learned his work ethic by watching Josh. We can't give Josh enough credit for everything that he did for us here. Torrance Marshall was a guy that was very talented, but he worked hard and really cared for his teammates. Then it always relates back to guys like Rocky Calmus, and that whole class that just got drafted like Jammal Brown and Mark Clayton.

"Sometimes there were guys that weren't that talented coming in like Mark, who when I looked back as his numbers when he came in a couple of days ago, he was 160 pounds. The first day he came in he was a 120-pound bench max, and the first time he worked out on the incline he pulled a pec and his grandmother was calling me asking me what I was doing to her baby? Now here is a guy leaving here developed at 190 and he is the best receiver in the country.

"It is just those guys buying into the program and saying whatever they ask us to do we are going to do it, and that is how you win. It is nothing magical, it is about guys working hard and buying into a team chemistry with this whole coaching staff and everybody realizing this is a team."

JH: How about guys who just blew you away with their God-given natural ability?

JS: "Tommie Harris just had that great natural explosiveness, but he was a hard worker. What guys don't understand about him is that in the offseason Tommie was a guy that worked very hard just like he was getting ready to play a football game that weekend. He has a good background, his dad was a military guy, and he grew up in a disciplined home and knew the importance of work.

"That is just like A.D. (Adrian Peterson) and everybody knows his story as to why they call him A.D. He is a guy that knows how important training is and he is going to take it very seriously. It is not something for him that is hit or miss, it is every day and he takes a business approach to it.

"It was important for both of those guys because they realize that they have to be better, and to get better they had to work at it. Both are always in great shape."

JH: How far along are Adrian and Marcus Walker in their rehab from shoulder surgery?

JS: "They have been cleared and they will be able to start everything. Both of those guys are freaks and their bodies responded really well and recovered.

"At this point, you don't want to rush it and there is no sense rushing it. If they go back in here in the offseason and injure it, then you can have a big setback, so we really want to make a jump this summer. They are both guys who work very hard.

"Marcus also comes from a good program (Waco High) that works very hard and that is a very disciplined program. Both of those guys will be a big bonus for us to head into the summer with."

JH: What do you think Adrian's maximum weight can be where he can keep his speed and agility?

JS: "I think at 225 he will be fine. His shoulder bothered him a little bit going into last season so that slowed us down on the weights. His body will really develop this summer as his frame will hold weight easily. It is just a matter of putting on good weight and letting him carry it all summer so that he gets used to it."

JH: Another guy that everybody is concerned with is Dusty Dvoracek. He has always been one of your better guys in the weight room, but he is coming off bicep surgery. What is the latest on Dusty?

JS: "I can't say enough good things about Dusty. Here is a guy who loves the game and who is a good person. When you think about the team you think about him because he is going to do everything right. He is always going to be early, he loves his teammates, loves the game, loves playing for OU, and he always plays hard. Those guys are hard to find, especially at that position who weighs 300 or 305.

"He had to sit out last year. He could have taken the year off and had a bad attitude because of what happened to him, but he didn't. Instead, he took the approach that he was going to come back to football and come back in the best shape that he has ever been in, and he did that. There are not many people that can outwork this guy. He loves OU and wants to do what is right. He works hard and is a great team player.

"Dusty is going to be better than he has ever been, as far as movement wise. He struggled before he sat out a little bit with conditioning but now he is so much more mature, and he is just a better athlete and a better person because of what happened to him and what he went through."

JH: How is he going to be limited with his bicep injury?

JS: "He will be fine, but there are some things were he won't be able to go very heavy. It is amazing already how far along he is. He got out of his cast really early and the doctors were real impressed by it. Dusty is a guy that is going to follow the rehab to a tee, but he will run and do everything everybody else does for the most part.

"He won't do heavy curls. Curls help out with very little part of the game, but they do look good for the beach. He will be fine and be right in there with his teammates, and I think he will be ready to go.

JH: Dusty has been a 400-plus pound bench press, so will he lose much of his strength? And if he does, can he get it back in a hurry when he can start lifting heavy weight again?

JS: "He will get it back pretty quick, but he will do one-arm stuff with dumbbells so the other arm is really working. So, it is not really going to be that far behind. The other arm that is hurt is going to be a little bit but it responds quickly, and the nervous system responds quickly.

"He will get it back really fast. He will be back before the end of the summer and he will continue to work through camp. He will be fine as long as he can bend and do his hip drills. For defensive tackles, their game is done mostly in their hips and leg drive, and he will be able to do all of that stuff."

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