VandyMania Interview: OL Justin Geisinger

It's official... senior offensive lineman and team captain Justin Geisinger is the strongest football player ever to play at Vanderbilt. Geisinger talks about his astounding weightlifting numbers, and catches fans up on the offensive line's progress thus far in spring practice.


Q: Justin, for the great many fans who have not had a chance to watch any spring practices yet, how would you say they've gone so far, and what are some of the most significant things that have happened?

Justin Geisinger: Really I think it's about getting some experience, building on last year's experience, gaining confidence at all our positions, and really improving techniques-- just mainly a lot of fundamentals. Specifically on the offensive line, we've been trying to improve our depth. Last year we really only had eight guys [for five positions]. This year we have some younger guys who are stepping up. Some of them played a little bit last year, and now they're trying to get a little bit more confident. It's really just a time to hone their skills a little more.

Q: What specifically did you guys work on during the first few days on offense, and on offensive line.

Justin: We didn't put a whole lot new in the offense. We're not really worried about that. We're just putting in a little each day, and keeping it fundamental. It's really about working on our fundamental blocking, working on our run-blocking and pass-protect techniques-- just getting that down so people feel confident with it.

Q: We heard the team lost Adam Dossett to an injury, so the center position looks like a wide-open position... tell us who's working there, and how that position is shaking out right now.

Justin: Adam was working there and Steven Brent. Unfortunately Adam hurt his knee. Right now it's Steven Brent, and the slot is really open right now. There's also Chris Williams, who's really a tackle, but he's working there too. So it's Steven Brent and Chris Williams. Steven Brent has really improved from last year, and is looking good.

Q: You're holding down the left side... talk about the right side. Kenan [Arkan] hasn't been practicing with you, correct?

Justin: Kenan's still out with a leg injury... he had surgery two weeks ago, so he'll be on crutches for the rest of practice. Mac Pyle is really one of the most improved players so far, according to the coaches, and he's doing a great job holding down the right guard spot. And it's Brian Stamper at right tackle right now. Both of those guys are young guys who really are showing some great talent for us. Brian Kovolisky would be at left guard.

Q: You mentioned Chris Williams... talk about some of these redshirt freshmen. Which of them strike you as someone who might come in and be ready for a little playing time this year?

Justin: Well, I'd have to say Chris Williams, because he's been repping in there with the first team at center, and he's really been impressing the coaches with his techniques. His problem was really needing to put on some weight, and he's done it. So I'd say he's one. But they've all really improved. You've got Merritt Kirchoffer, Josh Eames, Elliot Hood... all of those guys are in good playing shape.

Q: Where do you see the practices going for the sessions you have remaining?

Justin: Just adding a little more each day to the offense. But still, I think it's the same attitude for the whole spring, just trying to improve on fundamentals.

Q: I'm afraid to ask this, but tell us how much you're weighing these days, and how much you're bench pressing?

Justin: I'm weighing about 335, and bench-pressing about 600.

Q: Whoa!... You're doing up to 600, or are you going higher?

Justin: I've done up to 600... they're kind of holding me off there. They don't want me go higher right now and risk injury.

Q: That is just incredible. That has to be an all-time team record, right?

Justin: Yes.

Q: You were a captain last year... what are the coaches asking from you as far as leadership in this coming year? You're not necessarily a captain this year yet, but you're certainly a good candidate for it, I'd presume.

Justin: Right... I just want to continue being a leader out there. I'm a senior now. This will be the fourth year I've started, and my fifth year on the team. I'll be trying to take the leadership role, but I also think we have a lot of other leaders stepping up, which is really good. We'll definitely have a lot more seniors on the team from last year, so we feel great about that.

Q: Last question... how are the two quarterbacks holding up? You've only got two, correct?

Justin: Right. Jay Cutler and Steven Bright, the coaches are really happy with both of them, and as far as I'm concerned, they're both doing an excellent job.

Next: Junior defensive lineman Jovan Haye talks about the defense's progress thus far in spring practice. Top Stories