Still trying to catch his breath after completing the final dash of a shuttle run Thursday morning, Florida A&M freshman defensive end Caleb Helms walked into the direction of strength and conditioning coach Russell Barbarino.
“My legs are about to explode, coach,” the former North Florida Christian standout told Barbarino.
“Oh yeah,” Barbarino responded, stop-watch and time charts in hand with a whistle around his neck as he kept an eye on the next group of runners.
Several other groups went through the shuttle drill, one of the many physical tests that the entire FAMU football team will go through next week. The players who ran Thursday, providing they passed, will skip the run when testing begins Monday as a prelude to the start of pre-season camp on Aug. 8.
Next week’s endurance test will let Barbarino know just how effective his 12-week conditioning program has been this summer. He is optimistic that he’ll have a high rate of players who get through successfully.
“I feel like when I hand them over to the coaches they are going to see a faster product, a strong product and a more conditioned product,” Barbarino said. “Hopefully that translates to wins on the field.”
Barbarino knows something about how well-conditioned athletes could win. He was an assistant at Florida State when the Seminoles won the BCS national championshipwas the one that helped players at the University of Delaware get into the shape it took for them to win the FCS national title in 2003.
In his third season at FAMU, Barbarino said he’s made more progress this summer than the previous two because he’s gained the players’ trust. The freshmen are buying in, too, he said.
“The workout is definitely different from our workouts (at NFC),” Helms said. “It’s pretty good. I’ve improved my bench (press). My speed and my agility have gone up as well.”
He seemed anxious to see how he’ll do when two-a-days workouts that begin. Read Full