Demps, Rainey back to football; freshman class arrives
After dedicating the past six months mostly to the Florida track and field team, running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey will return to football full-time this week as the Gators reconvene on campus for the beginning of the Summer B semester today.
Florida strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti worked closely with UF head track coach Mike Holloway during track season to incorporate workouts that were track-oriented, but would also allow Demps and Rainey to remain in good football shape.
"For those sprinters, it's a lot of what are you doing? Is it a hard day or an easy day?" Marotti said. "I think the main difference is you’ve really got to watch the rate of progression. You can’t load them up too much, they can’t do a lot of weight because they’ve got sprints and they’ve got to be rested. So it’s kind of more of a maintenance phase until track is over, then we can start. You’ve got to be careful with how much they do with their legs because in track you’ve got to feel great. You’ve got that one run, that one burst, or two or three runs whatever they are. But we do the upper body stuff, but the lower body stuff you’ve really got to watch.''
Florida's offseason strength and conditioning program kicks into a different gear now because the Gators' highly-touted 2010 freshman class has arrived. The NCAA allows teams to have eight weeks of non-mandatory workouts, limited to eight hours per week. Marotti says UF players generally average six to seven hours per week this time of year.
"A lot of it’s just supervision, do this, do that,'' Marotti said. "They are training hard and working hard, but it’s just such a laid back atmosphere. I love it.''
Until now, when everything changes for Marotti and his staff.
"You've got freshman coming in and you have to train them differently than guys who’ve been here because their fitness level is different,'' Marotti said. "You have no idea where those guys are at. You’ve got to ooze them into it, you can’t all of a sudden go full-go.''