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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Sep 2005

    Maroney bulks up for audition

    [size=18px]Maroney bulks up for audition[/size]

    Three U draft hopefuls turned to high-tech training academies for the edge that could boost their stock.

    Chip Scoggins, Star Tribune
    Last update: April 23, 2006 – 9:09 PM

    Former Gophers running back Laurence Maroney wanted to add some weight before auditioning for NFL personnel at the combine this winter, so he turned to an increasingly chic way of refining his look.
    He spent six weeks in Tempe, Ariz., working with other top NFL draft prospects at Athletes Performance Institute, a high-tech training center that caters to elite athletes.

    The move worked ... sort of.

    Maroney gained 12 pounds, but he also pulled his left hamstring, which forced him to skip the combine workouts. Instead, he held a private workout for pro personnel at the Gophers football facility in late March.

    Still, Maroney was happy with the results. Already ultra-fast, he showed up at a chiseled 217 pounds, intent on showing NFL personnel that his body can handle the punishment as an every-down running back.

    "I know I'm fast," he said. "Speed is not the issue. It's strength. I know I'm strong, but a little extra is never going to hurt anybody."

    Draft hopefuls in search of that "little extra" routinely follow a similar training regimen between the end of their college careers and the NFL draft. Many leave school and set up camp at training facilities picked by their agents, where they spend up to two months trying to enhance their performance at the combine and individual pro timing days.

    "We want to prepare them for that process so they look as good as they can," said Maroney's Phoenix-based agent, Ethan Lock, who said he started sending athletes to API in 1987. "In some cases, it probably doesn't have much impact, and in other cases it can have a tremendous impact."

    Three Gophers fanned out across the country after the Music City Bowl to prepare for draft workouts. Maroney went to Tempe, center Greg Eslinger worked out in Pittsburgh and left guard Mark Setterstrom set up camp in Atlanta. Eslinger and Setterstrom said they picked training facilities that specialized in helping offensive linemen improve their skills and agility.

    "I looked for a place that wants to get you better as a football player [rather] than just prepare you for the combine," said Setterstrom, who also participated in the Senior Bowl. "In a month, I'm going to put the helmet back on and still be a football player."

    The question is, how much does this elite training help? Can a player really improve his 40 time or become that much stronger in such a short period of time? Absolutely, according to Gil Brandt, the former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys. Brandt said every year he sits with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells at the 40-yard dash start line at the combine, and they can usually tell which players have had specialized training.

    "It's pretty obvious," Brandt said. "You can see the explosiveness, their form."

    It's unclear how much emphasis teams put on those workouts, though.

    "As soon as we got to the combine, they let you know that 90 percent of your draft grade is already established," Setterstrom said. "Ten percent is in your bowl game, your all-star game and your combine and your workouts."

    Yes, but that 10 percent also represents the last impression. It also could be the deciding factor for pro personnel judging between two players of similar ability. For the players, that difference could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    "You only get one shot at this," Eslinger said, "so you figure why not do everything in your power to try and get the best results."

    Maroney bulks up for audition

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Lotza's Avatar
    Lotza is offline Team Alumni
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Maroney bulks up for audition

    thats cool, i wonder where he'll go.

    Go vikes!!

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