Hudler on Defense, Diets and Dimba's

Texas Tech Nose Tackle Chris Hudler has had a busy offseason. The sophomore exercise sports science major is up at 5 a.m. to start his day off right with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a protein bar before heading over to the football facility for a 6 a.m. workout.

Texas Tech Nose Tackle Chris Hudler has had a busy offseason. The sophomore exercise sports science major is up at 5 a.m. to start his day off right with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a protein bar before heading over to the football facility for a 6 a.m. workout.

The defensive line lift weights and run along with everyone else, but strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie also adds a few additional drills. The players work with sleds and do running drills that incorporate high intensity bursts of speed to work on exploding off the line.

"This offseason we've been working on getting into better shape," said Hudler. "We did the four play rotation last year to keep us fresh because we were all bigger. I think all of us are in a lot better shape this year. We can be fresh no matter how many plays we're out there."

It's clearly evident that the defensive line has trimmed down courtesy of personalized nutrition plans by Wylie. Hudler is down fifteen pounds from his playing weight of three bucks last season.

"They've been trying to cut our body fat down, and everyone [has] been given an ideal body weight for the season," said Hudler. Wylie also does body composition tests on the players to monitor their lean body mass to fat body mass ratio.

Hudler heads to class after his morning workout, returns to the facility to watch film or finish his workout, and then takes a lunch break at Subway, or he prepares roasted chicken. He adhered to a strict diet of grilled chicken, pasta and tuna during the spring.

"It's hard to keep up on your diet right now because you're in college. It's easy to run by a fast food place, and it takes more time to cook your meals."

He returns to class at noon before returning to the field at 4 p.m. for an afternoon workout. Hudler is also the backup deep snapper, so on Mondays and Wednesdays he works on his deep snapping techniques.

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are designated for defensive line drills.

"We were young last year, and we've steadily improved. Right now we've been working hard doing drills on our own. We keep learning to stay fresh."

Defensive linemen must master several techniques in order to be successful on the field. The first is getting off the ball and being explosive.

"Being explosive to the point of contact is what Coach Ruff used to always tell us. Don't just get to a point on the field- have the intent to hit something," said Hudler.

The line has also been focusing on staying low, having leverage, and working on hand drills for pass-rush and run-block plays.

Hudler has been working on pass-rush techniques in particular this offseason, as well as reading the blocking.

"We have the ability to go out and stop everybody and dominate everybody if we execute our game plan and play our best. We can play with anybody and everybody," he added.

Part of that game plan includes taking the time to study the opponent on film. The line spends considerable time in the film room looking for tendencies that players on the other side of the line might have. They study the opposing line's stance in both run-block and pass-block situations to evaluate pressure on their fingers, weight distribution and any small tip-offs that might give them an advantage.

"Last year, one guy on Colorado would wiggle his fingers before every snap count. You could time yourself off of him if you played end," said Hudler.

"On film you can see that some guys have a tendency to glance at who they're going to block. Usually you can't find too many big things, but the small things like that really help you out a lot."

The players also study their own film to ensure that they aren't giving away any clues to the opposing offensive line. Hudler thinks that the JUCO transfers are also looking great.

"They're working hard. Brett (Bischofberger) has been here since the spring and he's trimmed up and gained muscle mass. Deke (Bake) is looking really good- he's going to be a beast out there," Hudler added.

Butte College transfer Bischofberger had three sacks in the spring game, and will compete for the starting spot at left end with sophomore Seth Nitschmann.

Bake transferred from Fresno City College and will see some playing time at end as well.

Now for a few of Hudler's favorite things. His favorite band is Metallica, but he's never seen them in concert. Tech happens to be playing SMU the night they come to town. Priorities…priorities…

Dimba's is by far his favorite restaurant, but he's avoided the all-you-can-eat buffet this summer. I guess fried fish and chicken strips aren't on Bennie's nutrition plan.

Favorite television show? "SportsCenter- no question." Unless, of course, the Texas Rangers are playing.

Raider Power Top Stories