Scarlet Report TV: Strength and Conditioning Coach Kenny Parker Interview

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- After a spring and summer conditioning program under coach Kenny Parker, the physical results are there for Rutgers. Scarlet Report went one on one with Parker to discuss some of the changes.

On which players stood out in the conditioning program from the spring to now…

“A few kids. I think, overall, since we’ve been here, these kids have done a good job. From day one to now, I must tip my hat off. They worked their butt off, they did. Are we where we need to be at? No, not even close. We’ve got a long way to go. But we put ourselves in the right position to get back. A lot of kids bought in, a lot of the older guys did. Some kids stuck out. Vance Matthews, he’s done an outstanding job. He’s one of our favorites, by far. Andre Patton’s another one of our favorites. JPO ( Julian Pinnix-Odrick), is another one that really just worked his behind off. Laviano made great strides this summer — definitely one of our favorite young men. Another kid named James Hogan got hurt — he had a shoulder injury before we got here — made unbelievable strides … like, really, how the heck did you change that much? So the list goes on and on. It’s a lot of kids that made a lot of great strides.

“We have 10 categories this summer — first, a little awards ceremony for summer training. You had your traditional 225, your 10-yard, three-cone, those traditional tests. Thirty-one kids improved 90 percent or better on most of those tests. Really good, hard to do, so I’ve got to commend them for that. They really did. They busted their butt and did what they were supposed to do.”

On how the freshman class handles the program…

“Freshmen did exactly what I thought they would do — exactly what we thought. This older team was in January when we first got them. They all struggled, like, ‘Oh god, what’s happening? This don’t feel right. This hurts too much.’ So it takes time. They’ve got to grow up. They’re just your traditional freshmen.

“Mr. [Tylin] Oden — young fella. Has talent, though. He does have talent. Just got to grow up. Like all of them, they’ve got to grow up. But him in particular, since he’s a quarterback, you got to grow faster. So yeah, a lot more pressure is on him. You definitely put a little more pressure on quarterbacks because of your position. A lot of people look in your eyes and say, ‘Can you lead?’ Yeah, we’re going to put more pressure on you because you’re guilty by position you’re at.”

On Zach Allen

“You know what, I like his energy. Got to get stronger, definitely got to get stronger. But what I like about him, he comes in with a good attitude, comes in with a smile on his face and the only thing we ask of our players — any of them, I don’t care if you’re a fifth-year senior or you’re a freshman — is right attitude, good effort. The rest of it will take care of itself. You come in with a bad attitude — you probably ain’t going to come in with a good attitude that day. You come in with a crappy effort, not going to get better, can’t improve. But those two things are not God-given. That’s a choice you’ve got to make. You make that decision — have a good attitude, good effort — you will show improvement. You will get better. You have no choice but get better. You have a good attitude, good effort — really easy, you’ll see it.”

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