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Monday, December 7, 2009

Weight Room Wonders

I was working on a story for Dean Legge's Dawg Post Magazine over the weekend on Georgia defensive tackle Kwame Geathers, who arrived at UGA late in the summer, badly out of shape and behind on the learning curve. For the story, I talked to Clay Walker, a member of Georgia's strength and conditioning staff who played for the Bulldogs in the late 1990s and now works with players hoping to lose weight and get into shape for football.

While I got lots of good info on Kwame, you'll have to wait for the magazine to come out to read that. But I did also pick up some interesting nuggets on a few other Bulldogs that I thought were worth sharing...

-- On Kwame, he's completely remade his body. Since arriving in August, he has gone from 355 pounds to 310, and Walker says, "that’s just pure body fat the kid lost."

He's upped his bench press by 100 pounds and his squat by 85. On power cleans, Walker said he wasn't sure if Geathers even knew what they were before getting to Georgia, so there's not even a basis for comparison. Regardless, Walker said Geathers' turnaround was one of the fastest he's ever seen.

-- A couple of walk-ons get high marks, too. Josh Parrish, a freshman O lineman from Norcross, has greatly increased his strength and defensive end Reuben Faloughi, who we heard some impressive things about in the preseason, looks even better now. "He’s gotten himself so strong it’s unbelievable,” Walker said. A lot of reports on the walk-ons prove to be little more than weight-room success that never really translates to the field, but the reviews on Faloughi have been glowing since Day 1 and he has a frame similar to Quentin Moses, so there's plenty to work with. His future could be pretty bright.

-- Freshman O lineman Chris Burnette didn't come in as bad off as Geathers, but Walker said he's completely recreated his body, too. "He was still a big man," Walker said. "He had to do the same thing – he came in at 312, and he was 278 three weeks ago.” The goal now is to start adding some more "good weight" back on to Burnette's frame.

-- Perhaps the most comparable situation to Geathers was what A.J. Harmon endured last year. Walker said Harmon may have been the weakest player he's dealt with when he first arrived, but not anymore. And much like Geathers, Harmon has proven his body greatly belied his work ethic. "They’re the same kind of kid," Walker said. "They work their tail off. I don’t have a better guy in the weight room than A.J. Harmon. Yeah, I’ve got stronger guys, guys that move weight, but nobody is going to outwork that dude.”

-- And lastly, I just thought this note on Ben Jones was a good one to point out: “He’s one of the toughest kids we’ve ever had play here.”


rbubp said...

Speaking of strength, Ndamukong Suh for Heisman.
That guy is amazing.

devildawg said...

It's nice to get some updates on those guys. We've heard so much about freshmen and sophomore players this year, I'd almost forgotten about some of the guys we haven't heard as much about.

Upping bench press by 100 pounds in a few months? Yikes!