Junior college quarterback Joey Halzle came to Oklahoma at the beginning of the spring semester get a head start in his quest to unseat Rhett Bomar as the Sooners' starting quarterback.
He knows that task will take a tremendous effort, but he has jumped right into the legendary off-season program of Sooner Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt. Recently, Halzle slowed down just enough to talk to OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: You have only been in Coach Schmidt's program for a short while. What do you think so far?
Halzle: "It is the most difficult workout that I have ever gone through. What everyone likes about it, and what I like about it, is that everything is geared towards playing football.You are not wasting any time out there. You are always doing great stuff towards making you a better football player. You are working hard and it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of mental toughness, but that is why Oklahoma wins championships because of workouts like we are doing right now."
JH: You also find out that you can survive it, right?
Halzle: "Yes sir. That is true, because you hear all those stories about how tough it is coming in that you begin to wonder if you can make it through before you actually go through it. You just have to get your mind right and keep pushing. Mostly, it is that mental toughness that I was talking about. You have to always tell yourself that you are not going to stop and that you are going to keep going. That is the only way to get through his workouts."
JH: Has it been tough adjusting to OU coming out of junior colllege?
Halzle: "In my opinion, junior college did not prepare me. But I find things a lot better here. There is a lot more structure and you have times and places that you are required to be. That will force you to stay disciplined, and then you also have your own discipline to. It is easier to stay on track here at OU than at the JC level, where you are pretty much on your own."
JH: Have you been able to make that connection with your receivers that always seems so important for quarterbacks?
Halzle: "It is going really well. All the guys on the team are really nice and they have all been eager to meet and help out. All the receivers and other quarterbacks have been helping me out to learn the stuff. It has been a really good experience so far."
JH: Have you been throwing the ball much? And how are the guys catching it?
Halzle: "We can't do any organized stuff yet with the coaches, but when I have had a chance to throw to the guys it has gone well. I am just looking forward to spring ball. I am looking forward to getting in there and scrimmaging and getting into some game conditions."
JH: So you are looking forward to the competition?
Halzle: "Yes sir. I sure am."
JH: Give me an idea what Coach Schmidt's program is like for a quarterback?
Halzle: "It is the same thing that the receivers and defensive backs go through because we lift with them. We are doing the same stuff they are doing and we just go through it as hard as we can. He is pushing us just like everybody else and I appreciate that. We have done all the resistance training that Coach Schmidt is famous for, and I can feel a strength and flexibility difference for me already."
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