August 7, 2011

Bullitt benefited from summer

The idea that strong safety Terrance Bullitt could bust a three-man screen would have been met with rolled eyes a season ago. After a full offseason in the weight room Bullitt has transformed his body.

From down all the way from a playing weight of 180 after having tonsils removed mid-way through last season to 206 pounds now, Bullitt looks like he's actually capable of taking out a few blockers on his own.

"I feel a lot stronger out there," Bullitt said. "At the same time, I still have my speed and I feel like I can't be blocked. When they throw that bubble screen, I'm going to take that tackle or it's going to take three guys to block me. I'm really excited about it and playing against the run I've always thought I was very physical but now I have something to bring with it."

Bullitt is yet another guy that benefitted from an early spring football conclusion and extended offseason conditioning program that emphasized both speed and strength.

Free safety D.J. Johnson also jumped noticeably, up to 200 pounds from 183 pounds.

The secret was eating four big meals a day and combining it with tough weight workouts and a lot of running.

"When we went to the (training table) coach Joe Walker wants us to eat two plays," Bullitt said. "He talked about eating after workouts because you've got to get nutrition in your body or else the workout would be pointless.

"I feel like he's the best in the nation in what he's doing, him and his staff they're real great and you can see in a lot of players how much bigger, strong, faster we got. It's really exciting and I can't wait until Sept. 3."

The process of eating was so extensive that Bullitt had to wake up earlier than usual and eat breakfast. Between big meals he constantly had to snack and supplemented the meals with things like Muscle Milk.

"Me and D.J. we started off having a competition to see who could gain the most weight," Bullitt said. "He had a jump on me he was at 190 pounds and when I came out of my hand surgery, I had surgery and my tonsils removed so I couldn't eat, but I ended up catching up to him the legal way. Then I got up to 210 pounds and now I'm at 206 pounds but I try to maintain it in the 205, 210 pound range."

Of course if the players had not been working out along with the intense weight gain eating habits, they would be the most out of shape team in college football. It took a lot of work to turn those nutrients into muscle and it's still taking work even though the squad is entering 'maintain' mode.

"Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have (leg workouts)," Bullitt said. "Tuesday, Thursday is upper body. We'll switch it up every few weeks and then we'd come out here and run. You can't take a week off when it comes to lifting, he'll give you a little break but even then we were still lifting. We even have a lift (Monday) just to maintain and keep going and getting stronger throughout the season."

The weight transformations are just one of the reasons Bullitt thinks the defensive secondary is improved from a year ago.

"Last year he had two seniors and they were hurt on and off so last year, you've got think about it, we played with freshmen throughout the secondary or first year starters in the secondary," Bullitt said. "So we were really young and this year we got to grow together, bond together, we're always watching film together and we've just become a big family in the secondary.

"Just thinking about what we're going to be like now and leading up to my senior year we're going to be so much better that it's going to be crazy."

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