The roster weight article has arrived, which means fall camp is close

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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14 thoughts on “The roster weight article has arrived, which means fall camp is close

  1. Hopefully the reduced weight results in more fluid movements from everyone. Hard to believe that the O line has had that many draft picks, yet was often times seen as a weakness on the team.

  2. I remember seeing that Purdue play live and not understanding at all how that could happen to a college level athlete. It makes my mind turn to the almost unthinkable…

    But on point, yeah sounds like Duval is maybe coming around to new thinking which is encouraging. Looking forward to your recruiting take.

    1. Ya, I like some of the things we did in the weight room. We just emphasized the wrong things way too much, and it cost us the last 4 years basically. Sounds like we are turning a corner a bit there which quite frankly was one of our biggest problems IMO.

  3. Great post and spot on as usual! Arrogance really hurt this staff and SF in particular. He thought he had it all figured out and came in bashing away at everyone that had been here before. Then he comes in and does a crappier job. IMO the only way we get better over time with him is if he checks his ego at the door and starts coaching. Hoping this happens

    1. I think that’s where I would always get a bit frustrated. People kept saying “Riley culture” was the issue when that was some of the problem, but the way the staff came in rubbed a lot of the players the wrong way and they created a culture issue as well. Maurice Washington and others didn’t have to do things the same way other kids did, then it turns into “why can he play on Saturdays if i’m doing everything right and he isn’t?” I mean, we had 4 years of a QB they recruited here and he’s already gone with no bowl game or winning season to show for it. If we were an SEC school we would probably be on our third coach since 2018.

  4. Since Frost has been here, NU is 1-10 combined against Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. NU can’t even compete in the West Division which is ridiculous. Now adding UCLA, USC and possibly Notre Dame to the BIG isn’t going to make things any easier from 2024 and beyond. Honestly, all of these changes in the off season is going to take time for things to mesh. On paper the first part of the season looks somewhat easier compared to the latter half of the season but who knows. My range of wins if from 5 to 7 with 6-6 being the most realistic scenario.

    1. I think I am expecting 6-6, but 7-5 should be our floor in my opinion. There are just so many things that are up in the air, but we do have an easier schedule. I have no idea what to think.

  5. Do u think the style of strength training would work better for us if we were back in the I-formation? Or do even I formation teams not use this type of strength training anymore.

    1. Yes, I think we were doing what we used to do when we ran straight ahead at people and moved them in a phone booth. Then we started trying to spread everyone out, grabbed guys like Robinson, Spielman, etc., and those guys don’t need to get bigger, they need to stay quick. Our line obviously couldn’t play in space either, so we will see how it gets better.

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