Since so many of the players during last year’s Oregon State football season were true freshmen and redshirt freshmen, it appeared like the varsity was playing the JV.
And the Beavers were the JV.
Part of that was OSU faced older players who were upperclassmen, and those players were in their team’s conditioning programs longer.
“From a football standpoint, coach (Mike Riley) said they are ready to play, but from the physical development they were young with their training development,” OSU strength coach Bryan Miller said. “It was fortunate their football background was good. This offseason, we had to get their physically training up.”
Miller had to teach the 10 true freshmen who played in 2011 what to do in the weight room and how to go about working out properly and safely, while they were dealing with school, learning plays and game plans.
His goal for true freshmen players during the season was to sustain their strength throughout the season. They already established a certain amount of development, but there could have been so much more if they redshirted.
“When we get to January, I can tell which freshman played and who went through our developmental program for five months,” Miller said. “From a total amount of development, redshirts (players) were further along.”
Now that the true freshmen are receiving an offseason in the lifting program, the hope is that they can build themselves up and then sustain their strength throughout next season. And the redshirt freshmen will be better prepared when their time comes to play a significant role.
“You see it in any sport, freshmen tail off at the end,” Miller said. “Fixing that is a big component to what we are doing. That comes from strength and conditioning.”
The bottom line is, Miller believes the true and redshirt freshmen will make significant improvements the next two years because of the work they are putting in now.
The size, strength and experience factor is huge for men ages 18-23. So when it comes to college football, leveling out those peaks and valleys is his goal.