GIS 140

SEATTLE - spoke with UW freshman tight end Chris Izbicki, and he was kind enough to give us an inside view as to what takes place when an incoming frosh participates in the 'Bridge' program. It's an 11-week course crammed into one month, with a minimum of four hours each day specifically geared toward one class. It's called GIS 140.

Roughly 35 incoming freshmen student athletes from football, men's and women's basketball and also the soccer programs came in July 8th for the Bridge program, which is essentially an english class (GIS 140) that gets incoming student-athletes ready to be able to write papers at the college level. There was a two-and-a-half hour class in the morning, followed by 90-minute tutoring sessions in the afternoon. Then evenings were spent at dinner and paper-writing.

"First, there's nothing like having them here," UW Head Coach Tyrone Willingham said. "They have a chance to grow, experience and learn."

Each Monday the students would get a new topic and each day during the week would build up in difficulty until the final paper of the week, which was a 4-5 page paper that would be written during the weekend. Various topics included a personal essay, or one about the impact of the International District on Seattle. "It was intense, but I'm glad I took it because now I feel I'm set," Izbicki shared. "I feel like I can write college papers now. The teachers are professors, so they gave us all the little tips and insight as to what they look for on papers."

"College is a lot different than high school," added Willingham. "They have to learn how to take notes in a college environment, and that's a beneficial skill when it comes to being a better football player. You can put yourself in a position where you can remember and highlight the important facts of what we're doing."

The incoming players might lift, but that's pretty much all the football-related activity they would take part in during the summer session. "We did sevens (7-7) whenever we could, but when we got back to the dorms - between eating and studying - there wasn't much time to do anything else," Izbicki said.

And on this particular day - a Tuesday in the life of fall camp - it's lifting day. Here's how the day breaks down for Izbicki:

Wake up before 7 a.m.
Go to breakfast before 8:15
Team position meetings until 10
Walk through until 10:30
Lift until noon
Speciall Teams meetings until 12:30
Lunch until 2:00
Break until 3:30
Practice until 6
Dinner until 7:30
Special Teams meetings until 8:30
Team position meetings until 10
10-15 minute walk to dorms
Bed Check at 11 p.m., done by the coaches

"Even when our last meeting is done at ten, I can't go to bed because I still have a half-hour or 45 minutes I take to study the playbook," he said.

So with any free time factored in, what will Izbicki do with it? "I'll probably go take a nap," he said with a laugh. "That's what everyone usually does. That's the only time I'll have, because every minute is pretty much lined up for you." Top Stories