VIDEO: Brendel on Development

Jake Brendel talks about the strides he's made this spring, how difficult it is to adjust to playing with so many new guys on the line, and what's causing the snapping issues...

Jake Brendel talks about his development:


Q: alright, here we are with Jake Brendel. The man with the beard. So, talk about, obviously, this is your second year, coming in, as like, you know, the full-time guy. What adjustments have you made to your game? I mean, have you gotten bigger? Stronger? That sort of thing, in the offseason.

JB: yeah, Coach [Sal Alosi - Strength & Conditioning Coordinator] offseason has really been really nice for us. We're doing some crazy stuff. You know, it's just like constant work. We're always sore, you know. It's crazy. We had this goal system. I got 7 out of my 10 goals so that's okay, but I want to get 10 out of 10.

Q: what were the three you missed?

JB: weight. Because I'm a little light. I couldn't do bench because it was just… it was a lot of weight. So that was like 2 really.

Q: so you set your goals pretty high.

JB: yeah, you know, our coaching staff does a really good job of like off of just your position and year and also your weight of just how much your goals should be in the weight room and also out on the field out here.

Q: what weight are you at right now?

JB: I'm at 285.

Q: okay, and so do you want to be at 290 or so?

JB: 290, yeah. That was my goal. 290, like 18% body fat is where I want to be.

Q: cool. And is that kind of what the coaching staff has set for you as well?

JB: hmm-hmm.

Q: right on. For you, I mean, obviously, second year as a center. Starting as a freshman, redshirt freshman at center, I mean, in this new offense, are you feeling a lot more comfortable now than you did maybe last year at this time?

JB: yes. There's certain things that we need to work on still, but at the same time, just like the fluidness of the practice and just the offense is getting pretty much perfect. There's still some procedural things that we need to work on, but at the same time, just like the snap count and the quarterback and I being on the same page has really progressed from where it was last year.

Q: so, in terms of the procedural stuff, is that like, I mean, you know the bare bones of the offense now. You know how everything's supposed to work. And then, is it just taking it to the next level at this point?

JB: Yeah, yeah. We have new motions each week. And we just do different things. How the different formations and stuff like that. So just learning those down and getting those back to like what our base stuff is and just being comfortable with those things is really just like the key now.

Q: I noticed a few snapping issues with Carl [Hulick], and then I think you had, I think, one.

JB: I had one.

Q: one. One rough one. How tough is it to just kind of build that consistency over time and really get that kind of snap down?

JB: not everyone can do it.

Q: right.

JB: it's really a tough position to play because you're doing like three things at once.

Q: right.

JB: like you're stepping, you're snapping, and you're punching.

Q: making calls…

JB: all at the same time. Yeah. It's unacceptable at this level to have snap problems. Because that should be the one thing that the quarterback doesn't need to worry about. so I just did like a thousand snaps after practice here just to get down to like…

Q: is your back killing you now?

JB: no. But just getting that muscle memory down and just getting your body retrained to where it needs to be is key.

Q: is part of it… I mean, is some of it mental in that, right now, you've got 2 guys at guard right next to you who haven't played next to you, I mean, the entire time, at least all of last year… in Kody [Innes] and Cheech [Alexandru Ceachir]… a little bit today… does that kind of, when you don't have guys there that you have been playing against, next to, the entire time, does that kind of make it a little less comfortable and you have to think a little bit more about what you're doing?

JB: they've been doing a really good job of just like knowing their plays and all that stuff but I am used to like a [audio difficulties] so it's just like getting… I'm progressing. I'm getting comfortable with them. So it's just us working together and just being fluid together is really key. To just work on and be sure we're all on the same page.

Q: is it kind of an odd thing for you… I mean, right now, I think there's you, and then Torian [White] or Simon [Goines] and then X [Xavier Su'a-Filo] on the other side. But except for you, none of them might be at those positions, come the fall, is it hard to build the continuity that you would like in, you know, kind of a 5-man unit this spring?

JB: it's a little tough because sometimes it feels like musical chairs in there, like shifting everyone around, but just us, getting the reps that we need to get at certain looks, with the defense in a different place… you know, just getting those reps and working together. Because it really doesn't matter what guard is in there. They should all be doing the same thing on each play. So if they can all just be identical. Like I'm trying to get all the guards to act like me, you know.

Q: sure.

JB: and just like taking the steps, doing all the same things that we do, and it shouldn't matter what guards are in there or what center or what tackle. So just us all getting on the same playing field is our goal right now.

Q: are you kind of trying to coach up the guards next to you a little bit?

JB: yeah, we all help each other. Sometimes I mess up. Things happen and the good thing about the offensive line, we are a unit. We are together. If something goes wrong, or we see something happen, then we can alert the guys to our right and to our left just to make sure that they see it too so we're on the same page.

Q: so you're going for academic all-american again this year?

JB: [audio difficulties] will try to.

Q: how are things going so far this year?

JB: good. Yeah, I kind of messed up one class last year. Will work on that to expunge that from my record so I can get that back to where it needs to be in the summer.

Q: yeah, you can do the degree replacement thing. Just take the class over again.

JB: yep.

Q: right on, dude.

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