KNOXVILLE (WATE) – We only see the finished product on the field every Saturday, but a lot of off-season work went into getting them ready for the games.
Skill is important, but it takes a lot of strength to play this game which is why Butch Jones has invested in the team’s strength and conditioning by adding Rock Gullickson to run their weight room.
So far, the new addition has paid off.
“We have 21 players on our team that can power clean 300+ lbs., which we’ve never had before. We have 10 players on our team that have squatted 500 lbs. or more,” said head coach Butch Jones. “The exciting thing is we have team records in the weight room, and we have 64 different players whose names will be on that board and of those 64 different players, 15 of those are true freshman. I think our true freshman have come in, I think it’s elevated the level of competition. I’m excited to see the leadership that has formed from our older players have really developing our freshman into our culture and to our style and to our expectations.”
Butch Jones is clearly excited about the improvements made by Gullickson in just one off season. He didn’t name specifics with the freshman, but I think it’s pretty safe to say Trey Smith’s name was on that board.