Summer Plans

The summer after the senior year of high school is supposed to offer a break before embarking on the next big phase of one's life, but there's little rest for athletes entering college on scholarship. One of West Virginia's incoming freshmen shares his schedule and plans for the precious few weeks between graduation and college enrollment.

Nitro High School's Chad Snodgrass, who impressed Mountaineer coaches with his work ethic and physical play, isn't slacking off during a time that many high school seniors are kicking back. He is finishing up his senior year in the classroom, and although he is fully qualified isn't taking it easy in that regard. And almost as soon as he graduates, it's back to the gridiron.

"During the week of June 16, I'll be working out for the North-South game," said Snodgrass, referring to the state's all-star classic. "Then I'll head up to Morgantown for the first day of summer school on July 2, and from then on it will be non-stop. We'll lift and condition all summer, then head right into two-a-days [in August]."

Until then, Snodgrass is also working on a preparatory program devised by the WVU strength and conditioning staff.

"A couple of months ago they gave me their off season lifting and conditioning program. I've been following that. It's very strict," he said with some understatement. "There's lifting three days a week and conditioning five days a week. During my high school career I have been through workout programs, but definitely nothing as intense as this one. This is a full body workout every time you pick up the piece of paper. You are working every muscle in your body every day."

As if that weren't enough, the rugged lineman is also doing independent work to help his mobility.

"My fiend Tyler Rader, who is also going to West Virginia with me, and I have been going to a training facility down in Teays Valley. We have been working out there to help improve our agility and quickness."

Rader, a teammate of Snodgrass', is more than just a training partner. An invited walk-on at WVU, he has been close to Snodgrass throughout his prep career.

"Having Tyler with me definitely pushes me," Snodgrass noted. "We have been friends all through high school, and we push each other and work to help each other succeed. We plan on rooming together at West Virginia."

So, has all that work shown any positive results so far?

"Definitely," Snodgrass confirmed. "My times in the forty-yard dash and the shuttle have gone down. My strength has gone up. I feel ten times more explosive. It's extremely intense, but it's great. I recommend it to anyone who wants to try it."

Snodgrass probably won't get many takers on his offer, even though some of the results include a drop in the 40 from 5.29 to 5.20 and a shuttle time decrease to 4.7. And he realizes there are still tougher drills and work to come. The off season plan doesn't include the presence of Mike or Autumn Barwis cajoling, prodding and motivating in person, which could certainly make any drill seem tougher. However, the big lineman, whose body is already noticeably reshaped from his senior season, is looking forward to that.

"I can't wait until he gets hold of me. Even though his wife just had the baby, they will be ready for us. The baby probably came out doing one-handed pushups," he joked.

Snodgrass will have one last fling of freedom before he embarks on the next phase of his football career, and plans to enjoy that before getting down to a summer of work that will ratchet up with intensity as it progresses. He knows, however, what lies in store at the far end of that short time.

"I will have one week at the beach with some friends and family, but then after that it's bye-bye free time," he said with a laugh.


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