At Virginia Tech, Player Development Will be as Important as Recruiting

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Ben Hilgart
Ben Hilgart, shown here at New Mexico in April 2015 (photo via UNM Communications Flickr)

Recently we’ve been putting a lot of focus on recruiting here on TSL.  That’s partly because Signing Day was two weeks ago, and partly because everyone recognizes the need for the Hokies to do a better job on the recruiting trail.

However, there’s another element to improving the program that we haven’t discussed as much.  That’s player development.  As much as we need to improve recruiting, we aren’t going to recruit on the level of Florida State, Alabama, LSU, etc.  That means we need to take 3-star guys and develop them into football players through liberal use of the redshirt, good coaching, and a great strength and conditioning department.

This article will be mainly focused on the strength and conditioning aspect.

Size and Strength

If you get the feeling that Virginia Tech’s players aren’t as big and strong as they used to be, you aren’t alone.  I’ve had the same feeling for awhile.  It used to be common for Tech players to put on 20-30 pounds of muscle in the weight room after they enrolled, while maintaining excellent speed.  There are some examples of some very good past players who put on a lot of weight while in college, but who were also fast.

Here’s a quick