Bscherer's summer numbers impressive

University of Wisconsin commitment is bigger, stronger and more nimble than he was a year ago

At this time last year Jake Bscherer struck an imposing figure as a big, strong, athletic offensive and defensive lineman. The Sturgeon Bay (Wis.) High School star stood 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, ran a 5.3 40-yard dash and hang cleaned about 225 pounds.

Last fall he helped lead the Clippers to a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 4 state championship. In January, Bscherer, a four-star class of 2006 offensive tackle prospect, according to Scout.com, verbally committed to the University of Wisconsin.

As one would imagine in the natural progression of things, Bscherer, who soon will begin his senior year at Sturgeon Bay, is even bigger, stronger and more athletic than he was a year ago, a tribute to his summer training regimen.

"So far it's been going really good," Bscherer said, in a telephone interview Tuesday, regarding his summer workouts. "I'm just training, a lot of lifting, trying to gain, like, good weight…. I've made a lot of gains in the weight room, a lot of gains as far as speed and stuff. Overall I'm real happy with it."

Bscherer said he now weighs 277-280 pounds and has been focused on gaining weight incrementally. He figures he is not going to come to Madison with the same kind of size as 2005 incoming freshmen Andy Kemp (6-6, 320) or Eric VandenHeuvel (6-7, 335) and is more concerned with improving his strength and quickness while putting on weight.

This summer Bscherer attended a three-day football camp at UW and put his elite athleticism on display.

"At the Badger camp I ran a 5.07 and a 5.08 40-yard dash," he said. "My speed has increased since last year. I broad jumped I think 8-11, or was it 9-feet? I don't know, one of the two. A lot better from last year…

"Pro agility I ran a 4.57. I've never done that either. I always run like a 4.7 but I ran that at the Badger camp. I ran a 4.57 and like a 4.64."

Bscherer said he hang cleans about 280 pounds now, benches 320 and squats 430. He also said he recorded a 29.4-inch vertical jump, up from 26 inches last summer.

All of those numbers are impressive, but the one that really stands out is his 4.57 seconds in the pro agility run.

To put that mark in perspective, the UW record in the pro agility for left tackles (Bscherer's anticipated position as a Badger) was set in March when Joe Thomas finished in 4.38 seconds. The previous mark was a 4.72. Thomas also holds the school record in the 40-yard dash for a left tackle, with a 4.87. Though Thomas is bound to improve upon those numbers, Bscherer could be right on his heels in a couple of years.

Bscherer and Thomas actually have a workout pedigree in common. As Thomas did, Bscherer also competes in basketball and track in high school.

"As far as linemen, it (basketball) really helps, as far as lateral speed," Bscherer said. "Like with pass blocking and stuff. I know just from like other linemen, I have a lot easier time getting on linebackers and stuff like that. I really think basketball has helped me with that. Even talking to Joe Thomas a little bit, down at the (UW) spring game, he even said… ‘Basketball did it for me.' It definitely helps."

Conversely, after talking to UW strength and conditioning coach John Dettmann at the Badger football camp, Bscherer decided to tone down his involvement in basketball during the summer. Instead of playing three to four times a week as he did in the past, he is playing hoops once a week and focusing more on weight lifting and plyometrics.

"[Dettmann] even said… when you overdo it, like as far as a lot of running when you are trying to make gains in the weight room, it's really hard to do," Bscherer said. "That's why he said in the offseason the Badgers, yeah, they run but they don't really pound the guys into the ground during like their winter workouts and stuff. I can definitely tell that just concentrating on the shorter speedy stuff and lifting; it's really the way to go."

At the UW football camp Bscherer attended, the next quickest lineman in the pro agility run was Monona Grove High School product Gabe Carimi, who soon thereafter became the second lineman in the class of 2006 to verbally commit to the Badgers.

Carimi, like Bscherer, is tall and athletic, but not a particularly large lineman, relatively speaking. Carimi stands 6-7, 265, runs the 40 in 5.0 seconds and, according to Bscherer, covered the pro agility run in 4.8 seconds.

"We're both, obviously, a little lighter than a lot of linemen going in there," Bscherer said. "Like Kemp goes in at 320. VandenHeuvel's going in at 335. So we'll be a little lighter but I think as far as tackles that's what you need [to block] defensive ends compared to defensive tackles."

Bscherer said he enjoyed the UW football camp, which was the only football camp he attended this summer, other than Sturgeon Bay's team camp, which is taking place this week.

"It was a good time," Bscherer said. "Saw a little bit of the players in the state. Talked to them. Seeing how things are going with them. How the teams are going to be. It was nice talking to the coaches too; getting kind of a feel for it down in Madison too because I'll be there within the year."


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