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Syracuse Football: New strength & conditioning staff making their mark

The new S&C staff has been getting to work with the Orange players.

North Carolina State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Picture a college football lineman. He’s probably 300-plus pounds with a big gut to boot. But as Stephen Bailey of reported yesterday, the new Syracuse Orange strength and conditioning staff is taking a different direction, one that is already yielding positive results.

Steven Clark, a sophomore defensive tackle, is the prime example of the philosophy change. After playing last season at 315 pounds, Clark told Bailey that a new diet and different conditioning helped him to drop down to 283 pounds, a weight he said he could handle much easier.

"At 315 ... when I was in a stance I could hardly breathe," Clark said. "Now I'm 283, I'm a little more flexible. I don't have a stomach to stop me anymore."

According to Bailey, Sean Edinger, the new strength coach under Dino Babers, incorporated more sprints: at first 20 yards, then progressing to 40 or 50. It was meant to mirror on-field movement instead of running 110 yards at once.

Junior linebacker Zaire Franklin echoed Clark’s claims on how the new conditioning program helped him improve his stamina.

"Last year, when we played Central Michigan, I think I played like 90 plays and I was dead by like play 80, probably before that," Franklin said. "Now I feel like I can run for forever."

That stamina will come to good use this season, particularly for the offensive players in Babers’s hurry up tempo.