The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 95

40 ■ THE WOLFPACKER and conditioning coach Dantonio Burnette. They are monitored through spring practice and into the summer, making sure they are in optimal shape when practice starts. However, both Doeren and Veltkamp like to push their players a little more than most football programs, many of which limit weightlifting throughout the season so they can devote more time to practice, film study and preparation. Weight training and con- ditioning can be more maintenance than building. "A lot of other college teams step away from the weight room when they get to in season," said Veltkamp, who is in his 18th season as a strength and conditioning coach. "It's way, way down the list of their priorities. "We don't step away from the weight room just because it is in season. We don't step away from the weight room because it is fall camp. Coach Doeren wants everyone to be as strong in November as they are when we start the season." So Veltkamp and Burnette keep pushing the Pack as hard as ever, even in the dog days of summer, right through the start of the season. "Coach gives us an opportunity by sched- uling time in camp and in season that allows us to keep training," Veltkamp said. "What that does for you in late-season games is give you the chance to be more physical." Veltkamp heads into the upcoming season pleased with where the Wolfpack is in its strength and conditioning, but he is hardly ready to kick up his feet and become a spec- tator once the season begins. He's looking for even more. "You can always go higher," he said. "Once you reach these goals, they become accomplishments, and you need to set more goals. We are going to continue raising the bar. "That's the name of the game." ■ Tim Peeler is a regular contributor to The Wolfpacker and can be reached at Pack Standouts Here are six specific situations that NC State strength coach Jason Veltkamp identified as the biggest changes since the end of last year: • Sophomore safety Germaine Pratt of High Point and junior nickel back Dravious Wright of Vero Beach, Fla.: "With both of those kids, we needed to attack their conditioning levels. They were both strong, powerful kids, but we needed to attack flexibility with Pratt and attack work capacity and conditioning levels for both so they can give us more quality reps for longer periods of time. When they are playing fast, they make a lot of plays. We need them to play faster longer and we are really happy with their progress this offseason." • Fifth-year senior offensive guard Joe Thuney, Centerville, Ohio: "When we got here, he weighed 257 pounds. Each year we set goals for him to increase that weight. Last year, he played around 290. He was around 285 in the summer. We set a goal for him to play this season at 295. We're still a few pounds shy of that going into fall camp, but we have a plan for him to play at that weight for the whole season." • Sophomore defensive tackle B.J. Hill of Oakboro, N.C.: "He really upped his goals for strength in the offseason. He was trying to catch [sophomore defensive tackle] Kentavius Street. He came up about 10 or 15 pounds shy of him, but he exceeded the goal we set for him." • Defensive line: "As a unit, that's a group I couldn't be happier with. Whether it was when we were working with them, or discretionary time when they were on their own, those guys lived in the weight room in the offseason. Every single one of them met nearly every goal we set for them. Hill did a great job, but so did [junior tackle] Monty Nelson, who is coming off an injury [that kept him out of seven games last year and spring practice]. We set his goal to get his body weight back down to 305-308 to make it easier for him to come back running from that injury. He's done great. He's bouncing around out there. He feels good and is playing plenty of plays without getting tired." • Running backs: "It's an impressive group in the weight room. Almost all of them are knocking on the door of squatting 500 pounds. They all have improved their power and explosiveness in the hips. [High Point freshman] Reggie Gallaspy handled every weight we put on him in the offseason. I haven't seen him fail a rep since he has been here. His progress has been fun to watch. [Sophomore tight end] Jaylen Samuels is not a running back, but he trains with those guys. He and Gallaspy will be knocking on the door of 600 pounds in squats soon. Samuels tied for the team lead with a 341-pound clean. He is just going to keep getting stronger and stronger, and you have seen what he is like on the field. No one tackles him on the first try." • Defensive backs: "[Junior cornerback] Jack Tocho leads the charge. He squats 500 pounds — as a cornerback. He's as impressive a corner as I've ever seen in the weight room. Overall, this is the best-looking, strongest-looking group of defensive backs that I've ever been around. There is a group of them that bench right around 350 pounds. We have more than 10 that bench more than 325 pounds. You just don't see that across the board at most places. That is going to translate into speed and power on the field." Jason Veltkamp Bio • NC State head strength and conditioning coach since December 2012. • Has worked with 47 NFL Draft selections dur- ing his 18-year career. • Also has been the strength and condition- ing coordinator at Arkansas (2008-12), Louisville (2004-07) and Utah (2001-03). • Helped Louisville to the Liberty, Gator and Orange Bowls during his stint there, and aided Utah in winning two conference titles and posting bowl victories over USC (2001 Las Vegas Bowl) and Southern Miss (2003 Liberty Bowl). • Worked with current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer at Utah and current Louisville coach Bobby Petrino at both Louisville and Arkansas. Fifth-year senior offensive guard Joe Thuney was 257 pounds in 2013 and is close to reaching his goal of a playing weight of 295 pounds this fall. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - September 2015