What the side-by-side weights comparison tells us is that the young Cougar guns are doing some heavy lifting and good eating. Want proof?
The hang clean, like the power clean, is a good indicator of core strength. As reported earlier on CF.C, Washington State last spring had a mere five guys who could hang clean 300 pounds or more. And five, for a Pac-10 program, is a truly awful number. This spring, WSU had 30 guys putting up 300 pounds or more in the hang clean.
Consider that for a moment -- from five, to 30. Plus, there are 17 more Cougs this spring who were in the 285-295 pound range and knocking on the door of the 300-pound club in the hang clean.
Those are big-time improvements from one year to the next. Now back to those player weight gains..
Cornerback Anthony Carpenter, for instance, has put on 20 pounds since last August and checked in this spring at 190. Safety Casey Locker and offensive lineman Alex Reitnour each added 18 pounds over that time frame. Locker is now at 195 and Reitnour at 275.
Fullback Jared Byers and linebacker Andre Barrington have each added 17 pounds since August, and now tip the scales at 224 and 231, respectively.
Other double-digit gainers among last fall's freshmen are cornerback Nolan Washington (14 pounds, to 180), linebacker Arthur Burns (12, to 218), running back Leon Brooks (12, to 172), and tight end Elliot Bosch (10 pounds, to 242).
In addition, another seven freshmen added at least five pounds over the last seven months: Jamal Atofau, Travis Long, Jordan Puu'u Robinson, Gino Simone, Carl Winston, Justin Clayton and Jim Dahl. Quarterback Jeff Tuel just missed the 5-to-9 list -- he gained four pounds and is now at 211.
CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING and weights can also be deployed to get unwanted pounds off a body. And some of the changes among WSU's young hosses are downright head-turning. WSU strength coach Darin Lovat's efforts to reshape portly young Cougs has resulted in three offensive lineman -- Sebastian Valenzuela, Tim Hodgdon and William Prescott – shedding a collective 114 pounds.
Prescott leads the way. He's gone from 312 last summer to 261 now. That's a 51-pound difference. Hodgdon dropped 33, to 275, and Valenzula dropped 30, to 312. Prescott and Hodgdon will be putting more weight back on, but it will be the right kind – muscle – this time around.
So, should Cougar fans expect additional weight gains on top of all that between now and fall camp? Not necessarily. You can actually expect several players to go down a little bit and "lean up." There are exceptions but generally speaking, the first part of offseason workouts is about adding bulk and mass..
The second part, the summer, is more about conditioning and lean muscle.