Friday afternoon began with a presentation by Jeremy Scott, PSU’s speed coach. Several outgoing Penn State players, who were training for the NFL draft, went through a workout: center A.Q. Shipley, cornerback Lydell Sargent, safety Mark Rubin, and offensive tackle Gerald Cadogan. They did various agility and speed drills for approximately an hour.
An interesting connection was made at the next session. Strength coach John Thomas brought a graduate assistant and some weight equipment into Holuba Hall. They did a session of manual resistance training, in which the GA did various exercises while Thomas used his strength and body weight to work him to failure. For example, the GA did pushups while Thomas pushed down on his back; the kid looked like he hated him for it.
The funny thing was that Thomas mentioned four or five times that he had learned some of these techniques “from a guy who’s probably going to hate me saying his name, and that’s Mike Gittleson.” He looked over toward the opposite corner from me, as if Gittleson were over there somewhere. Of course, most of the coaches at the clinic were from Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey, so I don’t know if anyone else recognized the name. But I immediately started looking for someone who might be Gittleson. I couldn’t find him initially, but I eventually saw him. I spoke to him for a minute about resistance training, but I didn’t mention anything about Michigan, since I thought that might bring up bad memories. Interestingly enough, when I got home and Googled John Duncan, one of the first hits I came across was this article in which ex-PSU players suggested that players were actually getting fatter and weaker under Duncan; those are the exact same criticisms that Gittleson suffered from fans, although I’m sure many S&C coaches face the same questions.
After Duncan’s presentation, the team came out for spring practice. I immediately scoped out some players of interest for Michigan fans, players like Kevin Newsome, Devon Still, Chris Colasanti, etc. I was concentrating on defensive line and linebacker drills, since those are the positions I coach, but I also spent some time watching Newsome throw. I’ll have a more in-depth analysis later, but Newsome completed 3 out of 15 passes in one-on-ones that I saw.
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