The West Virginia football team will try to bounce back from the miserable 4-8 season it endured a year ago. In a few weeks when the team opens training camp, players will try to carry the confidence built in the weight room throughout the summer.
"They've gone through a very difficult summer," said West Virginia Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Joseph. "But the best part is they've pushed themselves more than they have in the past year."
Each day players complete workouts tailored to match their position group. Offensive linemen use a workout designed by Joseph to match that of a division one offensive lineman, while a receiver or defensive back have their own position specific plan.
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Joseph has created a workout, which includes injury prevention for newly named starting quarterback, Clint Trickett. Besides working the arm, shoulder and rotator cuff, Trickett has gained about 15 to 20 pounds throughout the summer.
"This year he is as strong and as big as possible so hopefully if he does take hits and blows, he can maintain and stay in the game. When he's healthy he is a guy that can lead us to wins," Joseph said.
Between the offensive and defensive lines, competition also helps increase productivity during workouts.
Top offensive linemen are pitted against the top defensive linemen in the weight room.
"We have a lot of upperclassmen like (Quinton) Spain and (Mark) Glowinski that are able to compete. Then you have a younger guy like Tyler Orlosky that does a good job," Joseph said. "Then on defense you have Christian Brown and Kyle Rose who have matured a lot physically. It's good because you get a lot of competitiveness in here that carries over to the field."
Overall, cornerback Daryl Worley has been the most consistent guy throughout the summer according to Joseph.
Besides the older players that have been doing the WVU workout regiment, during the summer Joseph is tasked with incorporating true freshman and junior college transfers into his program.
"No matter what type of athlete comes in, they're no where near where we need them to be, so we give them more of a remedial or progressive workout," Joseph explained. "We're talking about slow workouts at the beginning and if they show maturity or progression, we'll progress them a little faster."
For newcomers sometimes it takes at least a full year until they are actually physically ready to handle the rigors of a division one schedule.
As a team though, West Virginia has come together through Joseph's strength program of tough lifting, conditioning and running up Law School Hill.
"Physically everyone has made some great gains," Joseph said. "Now as a team we have to make significant step forward in the right direction. I think the mentality is there, now we just have to put forth the work come camp."
Joseph appeared on WVSports.com Radio Wednesday evening.
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