March 3, 2011

S & C coach Rick Perry updates CMU football offseaon

ChippewaCountry was recently able to sit down with Central Michigan strength and conditioning coach Rick Perry to get an update on the Chippewas workouts prior to spring ball. Additionally, several members of the 2010 team are back on campus and conducting workouts as they prep for CMU's Pro Day on March 14th.

On the Chippewas winter training program, aptly named the "4th Quarter Program"

"Well, it's intense. It's demanding, and for us it's an offseason program that hopefully instills toughness and discipline, and something that will stick with our guys in the 4th quarter. When it's time for us to crank it up a notch in the 4th quarter, our guys are prepared for that. When they stick up those four fingers in the 4th quarter, we want it to mean something. That combined with what we're doing here in the weight room, where we try and do everything we can to make sure our guys have success on the field and increase their performance, and at the same time hopefully decrease their chance of injury."

On Nick Bellore's selection to perform at the NFL Combine

"Honestly I didn't get a chance to see it because I think he was competing during the day and we were in here, but he's back and in town and I had a chance to talk to him a little bit. He's going to be In here a little bit preparing for Pro Day. But I was happy for him, it was a great opportunity for him and an opportunity for him to represent CMU, CMU football and the Mount Pleasant community. It was a tremendous honor for him to reach that level and go and compete with some of those guys."

On what players he deems as "Workout Warriors"

"Well I think we have a bunch, its been a tremendous offseason, that's one thing I've been really pleased coming here over a year ago. Really pleased with the work ethic and intensity that our guys bring to the weight room, so we have a bunch. Mike Petrucci, he leads by example, he's vocal and he works his tail off every day, every set, every rep. Paris Cotton is another guy that comes in and is vocal and works extremely hard. I've been really pleased with Lorenzo White Jr. and how hard he has been working this offseason, Ryan Radcliff, Tyler Lombardo, Joe Kinville, Jason Chomic, just a bunch of guys. We talk about work and there are a lot of different factors with that, we look at work capacity and make sure our guys have tremendous fitness capacity and conditioning, and also work intensity. When our guys come in here, just being in here is not enough, we want to make sure they have a high intensity and energy level and are pushing each other, and competing with each other when they come in here. We want this to mean something to them when they come in here, and those guys I mentioned to that, and there are a lot of other guys I didn't mention that when they come in here it means something to them also. If it shows in here, hopefully it will carry over to the field this spring and next season."

On the redshirt freshman class and their progress in workouts

"We had a tremendous group to work with and all of those guys had a willingness to learn, enthusiasm and a work ethic. All of those guys started in the summer and it carried over to the season, and those guys who weren't getting playing time were coming in here four times a week and getting after it. And now this offseason is a chance for them to really take that next step and get an opportunity to play on the field, some of them did, but those redshirts will have a chance to get after it this offseason and compete in spring ball. Avery Cunningham, he's one of those guys that just continues to keep impressing me and working hard, sometimes you think he's a veteran and you forget he's just a true freshman. LT( Leterrius Walton) is another guy who continues to impress me with how much he's come along from when he first showed up in the summer. His work capacity just wasn't where we wanted it to be, but I think it's getting there, he pushes himself and he's just a great young man to work with. He's about 301 pounds right now, I think he got down to about the high 280's during the season, and he's just a large, large human being. Kevin Henry is another young lineman, an offensive lineman that just continues to keep getting bigger and stronger. Kevin King is a guy that surprised me, coming into the summer and where he's at now, that guy just continues to keep getting stronger and works his tail off, I really enjoy having him in here. And obviously guys like Kenneth McClendon, he's another guy you forget it just a freshman and he just keeps working hard and preparing for spring ball."

On early enrollee freshman Alex Niznak and his acclimation to the college workout program

"I've been really pleased with Alex and just his work ethic. Coming in here, obviously he had great success in high school and coming in here and he's really tried to learn the system, the offensive system and the weight training program, anything he can do to better prepare himself. He's done a good job of just getting himself ready and doing things we've asked him to do."

On some of the top individual performers

"Off the top of my head, I would have to say Adam Fenton and Shamari Benton in the squat. Both of those guys 600 pound squatters, and I've been really pleased with Fenton and his intensity. Benton is another guy, and I thought he did a really good job this past break. When you look at your annual plan, the first developmental stage is postseason, and for us that's very important along with second developmental stage, the 4th quarter program. But the first developmental stage is to try and get those guys recovered from the season, address injuries and prepare their body for the offseason once they come back from break. I thought Shamari did a great job over break of doing that, so when he came back he was ready to go. Obviously he worked extremely hard over break and he came back with his weight up and ready to go, and him and Fenton both came back ready to go. With verticals, guys like Cedric Fraser, he was a 40-inch vertical guy, Zurlon Tipton was at 38.5, we got a couple of guys around that. Been really impressed with the group as a whole though coming back, and we're just trying to get them recovered from the season and put some functional size on them, and prepare them for spring ball. But all those guys will only continue to get better."

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