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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.”

14 comments:

ChicagoDawg said...

David -- I think I have read previously, in some of your looking forward to next year blogs, that there will be the leadership gap with the departure of Joe C. Especially in the offensive huddle with a freshman QB. I suspect that Ben Jones is the most likely candidate to fill that role. Frankly, if that were the case I couldn't think of a better scenario. Having the strong leader in the middle of the line, who is an emotional effort player (not to discount his real physical gifts), is an invaluable asset. Is Jones as well respected among his peers as he is among the coaches, I would think so? Also, he seems to be verbal on the sidelines and in the huddle (if C. King's recent praise is any indication), but I am not sure what his normal temperament and demeanor are in the locker room. Any perspective on this?

NashDawg34 said...

I love Ben Jones. That guy is a maniac, and it takes that type of personality to be an elite hogmollie in the SEC. Having said that, undisputedly, the leader on the offensive line next year, if not on the entire offense, has to be senior Clint Boling. Boling is a three-year starter, nearly every game save for maybe the OK State opener in 2007, and will surely make his voice heard during his last season in Athens. Left to center, Boling-Glenn-Jones, is looking very formiddable for next year.

ChicagoDawg said...

Nash -- I don't disagree on Boling, from a tenure and leadership by example perspective, but I believe he has a very low profile temperament and is not very vocal. However, I may be imagining that I had read that previously.

BigMuddyDawg said...

David, glad to read your bit on Reuben Faloughi. A kid with a name like that simply has to become a superstar if only to provide entertainment for the masses at hearing Bob Davie stumble over the mispronunciation. If Reuben can gain playing time, Davie's pronunciation of simple words like "huge" indicate that we could all be in for a treat come fall. That is, of course, if Mr. Davie can find time to talk about the players and the game instead of discussing coaches' salaries or players' facebook accounts.

But, really, I'm excited to see Reuben play well because it would be awful nice for our City Boys (Houston & Washington) to be able to sit and rest a spell every now and again.

VAdawg said...

Clint Boling will definitely be a major leader next year, but I think Ben Jones will also be a huge force in the locker room. He has the balls to the wall, whatever it takes attitude that it takes to be a badass in the SEC. He definitely became on of my favorite players this year, especially down the stretch.

Anonymous said...

Talking about next year already. I know what is now feels like to be a South Carolina Gamecock. "Wait til next." Very sad the program has slipped to being a second tier program.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07- You're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07- You're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07- You're an idiot.

Riley said...

Maybe you should post the same comment three times to show the other guy how much of an idiot he is.

David, is Harmon going to stick to offensive line, or are they considering moving him to his preferred defensive tackle position? Is his lack of strength the reason he hasn't seen much action yet, or are his fundamentals lacking as well?

David Hale said...

Riley -- I actually had something on this a few weeks ago. Richt says he's staying put and that they're pleased with his progress on the OL.

Dawgfan17 said...

It is nice to hear about the other guys but I think of that group that Geathers will be a key to how good/bad UGA is next year on D. Overall I think the group that will be playing next year is better than the group that played this year but it won't make a difference if we don't have a couple guys step up to help Tyson out at DT. Arby Jones and Geathers seem the most likely to be able to do that so to hear he is working his tail off is great. As for leaders, I think one that will surprise people next year will be C. King. I think after everything he has been through to emerge the way he did at the end of the season while helping Ealey out sets him up as a guy others will look to.

Anonymous said...

When is the date for declaring for the NFL and will Curran and Jones be heading out? If so, in response to the poster who was concerned about DT, I think middle linebacker(s) (2 if we run a 3-4) might be a bigger concern. We should be ok at DT.

Lawrence said...

I can never figure out why the trainers get the big kids to lose the bad weight and then put on the good weight. Can't they do both at the same time? Maybe I am the idiot.

Great news on Geathers and Harmon, we will need both of them over the coming hears to anchor their respective lines, especially Geathers next year. Though having another Guard step up would be huge.

David have you heard anything about Bean switching over to DT, that rumor is swirling around pretty heavy these days. It makes some since as Beans' reps have dropped almost as bad as Richard Samuel's. Would be a heck of a nose tackle type, 330 pound clog.