Numbers Show WVU Progress in Summer Workouts - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Numbers Show WVU Progress in Summer Workouts

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MORGANTOWN -

The start of camp signifies the end of West Virginia's summer workout program as the strength and conditioning staff hands over the reins to Dana Holgorsen and his position coaches.

Strength coach Mike Joseph and his men watch as their hard work through the past few months is put to use and the bodies they've helped develop take the field – and take a pounding – from August until the end of the season.

Earlier this week, WVU updated its official roster with the most recent heights and weights recorded by the strength staff and the numerical results of the summer program were put to paper.

This year is the first since Joseph took over for the Mountaineers back in 2009 that every player on the team has spent his entire WVU career with the current staff. All the athletes know in the West Virginia weight room is what Joseph taught them, and that familiarity is created a real difference in the program.

"They've gotten through the techniques and lifting styles that I do and now I think we have very good results in terms of strength gains from summer and I think some of the guys that physically show that they've done the four- and five-year programming, hopefully you'll see that on the field this season," Joseph says.

A new defensive scheme brings with it different positions for some of the Mountaineers, who are then asked to change their body to reflect their new duties.

A player like linebacker Tyler Anderson, who moves to the Buck position and finds himself lined up alongside defensive linemen more often, had to pack on some pounds to compete against bigger bodies at the line of scrimmage. Anderson added seven pounds, up to 251 heading into his junior season.

Freshman Sean Walters says he came to Morgantown at just 180 pounds, ready to compete for a safety position, but the workouts led to increased muscle and now, at 205 pounds, he runs with the Star linebackers.

"The No. 1 thing is to get guys stronger, faster and more explosive, no matter what position they play," says Joseph. "But then especially someone like him who is going to be more along the line of scrimmage or having to take on larger linemen and tight ends, we try to put as much strength gain on him to maintain speed, if not get faster."

In the years since Joseph began working with the Mountaineers, the size of his offensive linemen has increased substantially. The starting offensive line that took the field in WVU's final game before Joseph arrived averaged 298 pounds across the board. The penciled starters for 2012 average over 312.

Of those five – Quinton Spain, Jeff Braun, Joe Madsen, Josh Jenkins and Pat Eger – only Eger and Jenkins added weight from where they were in the spring.

Spain remains the heaviest lineman on the team at 336, with freshman Adam Pankey weighing in just two pounds shy of that mark.

Jenkins, recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss last season, put on 12 pounds to return to the size he carried before his rehabilitation process began.

Joseph says the height of the linemen WVU brings in now is the major contributing factor to the increase on the scale.

"Weight isn't as much of a factor as increasing lean muscle mass and determining how much they can put on and still move. It doesn't matter if the guy weighs 280 or 320, they better move the same," says Joseph. "If I have a guy who has a smaller frame in terms of height, there's only a certain amount you can put on him without it starting to be an issue."

Jenkins is not alone in the weight gain following an injury. Sophomore running back Dustin Garrison is up to 180 from 166 at the end of spring, a jump indicative of the focus he put on his upper body before he could get back to developing his legs.

Garrison still weighs in below any returning player in WVU's backfield, while Shawne Alston is the heaviest at 236. Alston even out-weighs both fullbacks, Ryan Clarke and Donovan Miles, after Miles dropped seven pounds from where he played as a linebacker to a slimmer 234.

The biggest changes, though, are among the freshmen. This is to be expected as players begin a college program and put a much bigger focus on their body than they likely would have in high school.

Offensive lineman Tony Matteo, defensive lineman Eric Kinsey and linebacker Garrett Hope each packed on more than 20 pounds since joining the Mountaineers, with safety K.J. Dillon just shy of that mark at 17 pounds.

"Most guys will make about a 10-pound difference when they first get here in the first couple of months and depending on their position," says Joseph. "Depending on how well they can handle the way, that'll determine if they keep progressing with that or if we start trying to adjust accordingly."

Numbers are just numbers, but they are a way to track the progress Joseph and his staff made with the Mountaineers throughout the summer. In the coming months, the numbers will not matter, but the results will show on the field.

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