For those who didn’t see it, the OWH came out with their roster summary and weights of players from 2021 to 2022:
For many of you that followed me on the message board, you remember just how much I hated hearing about us putting on so much weight in such a short period of time. I hated the analysis of just how much better someone was going to be based on them going from X to X+20. We used to see articles written about just how great Husker Power was going due to the weight gain:
Look, i’m not saying we need to keep guys at the exact same weight they come in at. But the fact we celebrated it as if it was an achievement with what our core philosophies were schematically didn’t make a ton of sense. Have I thoroughly confused you now? Let me explain…
Coach Ruud always talks about how the game has changed from when he played. Gone are the days that he describes as “playing in a phone booth”. Back in the day, lining up in “I” formation and smashing people 3 yards at a time was where people made their living. So being massive and strong was great, because you had to get people moving the direction you wanted to. However, now we live in a world where offenses (including what Frost brought from UCF) spread you out and try to create 1 on 1 matchups. We were quite literally trying to defy physics by creating massive players that got more athletic. It doesn’t happen.
Take a look at our RT here:
That’s an NFL draft pick… not some guy that i’m trying to make a point of/with. What’s also interesting is the NFL scouts also told 2 of our linemen a year ago that they needed to lose weight and trim down to have success in the NFL, and not play at the weight they were in college. While I understand we can sit here and say our scheme or playcalling was bad or Coach Austin didn’t get the most out of them, the bottom line is the OL has had the most players drafted since this staff has been here, yet it is the one position group that people say has underperformed.
Something had to give, and i’m glad our staff finally figured out that squatting 7 plates and getting to 335 pounds doesn’t equate to on the field results. You make guys less athletic, stiffer, and more injury-prone. Just go to your local Lifetime Fitness, Good Life Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and watch the guy that puts 6 plates on the squat rack and how he walks around. They look not flexible, they look like they are struggling to move many times. As my Iowa friend pointed out every time he would send me an article, “you guys will be in a good shape if they ever turn the overtime rules to a squat competiton at the 50, until then, I like our chances.” Quoting the guys in the article, Lutovsky was 310 coming out of high school, we beefed him up to 330 his first year here, now he’s back down to 310. Hixson came in at 260, went all the way up to 320, and is now down to a more comfortable 305. Four star Bryce Benhart came in at 295 and we took him to 330 in his first year, we finally have taken him back down to 315. 20 pounds for a guy already weighing near 300 makes sense, 35 pounds in one year gets us what we’ve seen so far.
I’m not going to beat a dead horse (even though I already have), but i’m glad our staff has finally seen the light. Part of me thinks that this all goes back to what N2FL used to say on the other site where if you just bring your entire staff and don’t upgrade when you go to a Power5 conference, you are going to be stuck in your ways a little. You think you have it figured out and there’s nothing the outside can teach you. And that’s fair I think after going 13-0. But when I saw Tyjon Lindsey go from 160 to 200 his first year, I knew there was an issue. And when I saw fans go absolutely bananas over Adrian Martinez and what he looked like at the road race in the summer of 2019 “just one year into Husker Power he looks like that, imagine trying to tackle him this year!” And he ends up having a pretty tough year. The whole “gain weight to be better at football” thing hopefully has died down. Go back to our 2020 DB recruit that gained “15 pounds in a matter of weeks” but really hasn’t seen the field yet.
There used to be an instagram feed I followed that had the Denver Broncos strength coach on there where he stated the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator asked him if he could put some weight on one of their skill players they drafted so he could survive an NFL season. His response was “I can absolutely do that, but the problem is you will start to lose a lot of the reasons you drafted him.” That’s what I tried to get at with our recruits and what we did right when we get them here. You start putting 15 pounds on a DB right away, he loses some of the things that made him jump off the video at you. You put 30 pounds on an OL and all of a sudden he can’t move as well as he did when you recruited him.
Long story short, i’m glad we are back to just trying to get athletic and good at football. If it took Raiola, Joseph, whomever, i’m glad it’s happening.
Later this week…
Nebraska is on a pretty good run for recruits recently, we will dive into Joseph taking over for Held, local recruiting, and where we stand nationally.
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