Penn State wrapped up winter conditioning Thursday, testing for the NFL shuttle at Holuba Hall and then the squat in the Lasch Building weight room.
Strength coach Dwight Galt said there was a noticeable change in the performances of the Nittany Lions from his first winter with the program to this off-season.
What a difference a year makes, he reported. It's been unbelievable.
However, Galt cautioned that there is still a long way to go for the program when it comes to strength training. The current 105-man roster includes 56 athletes who were with PSU last winter and 49 who have joined the team since.
That said, it makes the overall progress all the more impressive.
We still have a real young, new element to the program, he said. So it's been a phenomenal difference.
Galt attributed much of that to the last three Nittany Lion staffs all recruiting well. Also, the new approach of lifting more aggressively during the regular season has paid off, in his view.
It's a big adjustment to have to play football, and then come in the next day and have to lift heavy after you've been hitting, Galt said. They did a great job all year and they know what to expect now.
The Lions are now off for spring break next week and won't get back into serious workouts until spring ball starts March 20. It equates to nine days off from the days they would usually lift and/or run.
Galt said the players can use the break, since they began winter workouts near the start of the semester in January.
It's real important, he explained. Physically, you probably don't need nine days, mentally and emotionally, you need nine days.
After a winter cooped up in the weight room and Holuba, the players are ready for a change.
Everybody is so excited to get back on the field, Galt said.
Check out his entire Q&A session with the media -- where he goes over top performers, specific areas of improvement and much more -- above.