The Jay Butler Interview, Part II

Jay Bulter is in his 11th season as the head of strength and conditioning for Rutgers football, and he sat down with for a lengthy interview. In the second of the three-part feature, Butler talks about the strength of the team, the strongest receiver in his 11 years in the program, and the relationship he has with the players.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers football strength and conditioning coach Jay Butler sat on a bench as players filed out of practice this week and pointed to the gains players made in the weight room in the offseason.

He also acknowledged it is impossible to "generalize" whether the Scarlet Knights are strong enough to compete for a Big East title, and added he charts progress on an individual basis.

"People say, ‘How strong is strong enough?' The answer is you can never be too strong," Butler said. "As long as they're making improvement within the structure of the program, then you can't be displeased with that. Is everyone going to be a 350-pound (power) cleaner? No. Is everyone going to be a 600-pound squatter? No.

"But if you come in coming in squatting 500, then you should top out close to 600. If you come in as a lineman and you can't bend very well, and you're a 300 pound squatter, than it's going to be a struggle for a while."

Butler is in a unique position because unlike the coaching staff, he has access to the players year-round.

Although coaches cannot have on-field contact with the players during the summer, Butler is allowed to be there to monitor the workouts, and make sure they are being done correctly and safely.

But given Butler usually spends 11 months out of the year with the players, and he is always asking them to push harder and work through the pain, he has developed a keen sense of when to pull back.

"It's absolutely a love-hate relationship because it's hard all the time," Butler said. "It's not easy. The things we do are never easy, and we train year-round. We're still going to lift during the season, we're going to train in the winter, in the summertime. For me, it's always training, so I'm sure the guys get (tired of it)."

However, the payoff was evident, as Butler pointed out when the receiving corps left the practice field Wednesday.

"Are some guys strong enough? Absolutely," he said. "We have some very, very strong guys at positions, probably stronger than we've ever had. Mark Harrison is probably the strongest receiver we've ever had. He's explosive. D.C. Jefferson is extremely powerful at the tight end position. We have some lineman who with certain lifts.

"Look Jawaun Wynn's arms. Mohamed Sanu had an unbelievable summer. As they walk by, you can see the type of bodies, and you can see how much they care and how they develop. Brandon Coleman is 220 pounds, Mark Harrison, Tim Wright …look at their bodies."

Part III of The Jay Butler Interview will appear Monday

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