USF Winter Conditioning: Lifter of the Week

During winter condtioniong, the strength staff votes a lifter of the week for the player who had the best overall effort and up to three honorable mentions. Read on to see what players had the best week in the weight room. Only on

Winter 2009 Team Lifting Competition

The start of spring practice is right around the corner for the Bulls. That means they are in the thick of the winter conditioning program.

"What makes a good football player a great football player is the work he puts into the off-season," said McKeefery.

With no games to prepare for, Strength Coach McKeefery has created a competition in the weight room among the players. It's an annual winter competition that was created by the staff to increase competitiveness in the weight room and build intensity among the players.

The winter program recognizes those that are excelling through a point system. That helps the players individually and as a team. Everyday there's a competition going on and they are competing in a different area every day. The staff is tacking on points every day or taking away points based off of efforts, and also recognizes an individual's achievement. Last Year starting linebacker Tyrone McKenzie had the most points in the competition and the year before Ben Moffitt was the winner.

Every player starts off with 100 points. Then points are added or subtracted depending on different factors. For example if they have a great workout its plus one point, if it's bad then it's minus one point. If they miss a work out its minus 10 points and have to come back later to make it up, if they are late it's minus 5 points. If a player comes in on his day off he gets a point, and if they win the daily competition they get points.

Another way for a player to earn points is to be named lifter of the week.

At the end of each week the staff votes a lifter of the week for the player, who had the best overall effort, and he gets 10 points, and up to three honorable mentions that will get 5 points each to go along with being recognized for their achievements.


Essentially how the athletes earn Lifter of the Week is based on the total amount of points they earn points for the week.  They earn points by having good workouts, doing extra lifts, and winning competitions.  When there are ties the staff votes on who they think deserves the honor the most.  They try to stay consistent in how they award the honor as to prevent bias. 

They are graded daily on lifting intensity, attitude, leadership, motivation, etc.  The athletes can earn a point or subtract a point based on performance within each of these parameters.  If an athlete misses a required session it is minus 10 points.  If an athlete is late for a required session it is minus 5 points.  Some subjectivity is taken into account if someone that does not usually exemplify positive qualities has a great week.  Despite total points, they might be considered for a runner up position.

The players who had the best overall effort for weeks 1-5 are the following:

(Note: All weights are based on last year. New weights will be listed at the conlusion of winter conditioning)

  Week 5

Lifter of the Week

Kevin McCaskill (+10) Points – (6'2.5-300) – The sophomore OL has shown a vast improvement in the weight room with his intensity and work effort. He has shown great commitment and dedication this season as he is the only player to be on the lifter of the week list twice this year, after being an honorable mention in week one.


Honorable Mention

Jerome Murphy (+5) Points – (6'1-187) – The Senior CB just completed his first season as a starter. In 2009 he continues to show leadership in the weight room after a very impressive summer in ‘08, where he increased his 225 reps, bench press by 70 pounds to 315. Increased his vertical by 2 inches to 38 inches, and went up 6 inches on his broad jump.

Honorable Mention

Theo Wilson (+5) Points - (6'0-200) – The senior WR is known to be an electric playmaker on the field, but off the field shows great intensity and effort in the weight room. He's got a thick sturdy build and continues to improve, and show dedication during work outs


Week 4

Lifter of the Week

Jake Sims (+10) Points – (6'4-290) – Came in as a walk-on in 2006, worked hard, busting his butt last summer to get stronger and bigger, and became a starter last season. Earned SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD for his efforts on the field and in the classroom being both a quality student and a quality athlete, and shows great dedication in the weight room to get better.


Honorable Mention

Jeremiah Warren (+5) Points (6'5-325) – The sophomore OG continues to improve through hard work off the field, and comes in for extra work-outs, and is one of the strongest linemen. He had a great off-season in 2007, lost 14 pounds of fat, increased his vertical by 1 ½ inches, increased his broad jump by 2 ¾ inches, and increased his bench by 20 pounds, and has built off that this winter. 

Honorable Mention

Chase Geaney (+5) Points - (6'0-203) - The redshirt freshman linebacker walk-on last season and earned a roster spot. This winter has been recognized by the staff for his hard work and effort in the weight room.


Week 3

Lifter of the Week

Kion Wilson (+10) Points – (6'0-230)  - The senior LB really came on at the end, having double-digit tackles in three of the Bulls' final four games, and earned the Bulls ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD for his performance through great work ethic, dedication and pride in his first year of college competition. He has become a leader on the field, and in the locker room, as he prepares for his senior season.    

Honorable Mention

Alonzo McQueen (+5) Points – (6'1-245) – The Junior MLB continues to show great dedication and work ethic in the weight room. He was already one of the strongest linebackers after posting top 10 numbers in bench press, bench reps, and squat, last summer.  

Honorable Mention

Richard Kelly (+5) Points  (6'0-239)– The Junior FB is a big strong running back that  shows great work out intensity and has built off of last year where he decreased his body fat and weight by 10 pounds to 239, increased his vertical and bench, and is in the best shape he's ever been.

 Week 2

Lifter of the Week

Ben Busbee (+10) Points – (6'3-245) – The senior TE has developed into a leader off the field and in the weight room. He was drafted as a team captain for the 2009 lifting competition, and has embraced the role by showing great work ethic, and discipline for the younger guys.



Honorable Mention

Zach Hermann (+5) Points – (6'3-313) - Continues to show great effort in the weight room and has built off of his freshmen season where he earned ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD for his great work ethic, dedication and pride in his first year of college competition   

Honorable Mention

Aaron Harris (+5) Points – (6'4-270) – Senior DT shows great discipline and never is late. After starting as a freshman has worked hard to get bigger and stronger, and is a consummate Bull.


 Week 1

Lifter of the Week

Sampson Genus (+10) Points – (6'1-310) – The junior made a switch from OL to DL back to OL, and is one of the strongest players on the team if not the strongest. He is a leader in the weight room and has built off of last summer where he lost 5.4% of his body fat,  Increased his vertical 2 1/2 inches, increased his broad jump 3 ¼ inches, and posted 445 bench and 29 reps of 225.


Honorable Mention

Moise Plancher (+5) Points – (5'9-200) – The senior RB was the feel good story of 2008 after returning from several injuries to being a very productive back. His success is attributed to his dedication and work ethic in the weight room and has continued to show that same effort this year.

Honorable Mention

Kevin McCaskill(+5) Points– (6'2.5-300) – The sophomore OL has shown a vast improvement in his dedication in the weight room, and his overall commitment to becoming a better player.

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