SUU Football

SUU Football
Captains before game against Northen Iowa

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

T-BIRDS GOTTA EAT!

Before we run out of the locker room to the field, we partake in a war cry if you may. Kouri Jones is our Indian Chief and leads us younger Indians in the chant. It goes as follows: SU GOTTA EAT! MAN I HATE DEFEAT. FEED ME! (and the team comes in together and says) T-BIRDS GOTTA EAT!

It's a fun tradition that we've done for the past two season. It really gets me pumped before the games. I bop up and down to the beat of the T-bird drum.

Exit Interviews

As we depart from school to the summer, the coaches ask for exit interviews so we can find out what we need to do to be the very best player we can be. I really like these, because I like to know where I stand. I have learned to take criticism after living with my family for so long. We are brutally honest with each other, so I'm used to being called fat and stupid. Anywho, I had my interviews today and I know what I need to do this summer. It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

We're still working out

So, I said earlier that our coaches are making us work out still. With finals and everything around the corner, Coach Lamb tells us even the all-academic students need to workout. So we have to as well. We've been doing these cross-fit type workouts that are super tough, but we turn it into a competition. And like any other college boy, we compete for everything. I don't know why we get so prideful about being the best or fastest, but it makes the workout actually fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We Have To Lift This Week

Spring ball is over, but we still have time to get a couple good lifts in. The offense and defense will split up and lift at different times this week for a "recovery workout". I'll probably need another recovery workout after that one. I feel that this workout is going to help us out with something coach Lamb likes to do; catch Bald Eagles with his bare hands. He always invites us to tag along with him over the summer, and maybe little workouts like this will help.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Spring Game

We were not able to hold our annual Red and White game this year due to many injuries. We just had a regular scrimmage and it was nice. The weather was probably 50 degrees warmer than last week's scrimmage. I couldn't feel my toes due to all the snow from last week, and then this week, I got a sunburn. Cedar's weather is kind of nuts.

However, it was a great scrimmage. The offense made some good plays, the defense made some good plays, and the kickers kicked the ball in the air really well. There was a great relief when Coach Lamb blew the final whistle, I thought to myself, "Yes...." My body is also relieved that it's over, but the very next day I was missing it. I have this love/hate relationship with football, and that's what sports is I guess.

So, now the summer awaits us. That long and dread period where we don't get the proper coaching we're used to. It's all on our shoulders to get better. It's going to hurt, but that's the only way we get better.

A Nice Moment

I remember the feeling I had when Coach Lamb told me that I would be receiving a half scholarship. All of my hard work had finally paid off to the point where I was recognized and I could help ease the burden of my parents paying for school. It was a very humbling moment for my family and I.

Last week, Coach Lamb announced in a team meeting that four guys were receiving scholarships. They hadn't heard anything from him until that moment. It was one of the sweetest things I had ever seen, like when the people in that Extreme Makeover show when they reveal the new house. Three of the four guys were sitting close to each other and praises and cheers and applauding broke out for those guys that really deserved it. One of them pointed up to the sky and whispered "thank you". It was very precious and it helped me realize that football is more than just a game.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Injuries

Injuries are an essential part of sports. In most cases you can't prevent it. It really "just happens". It has happened to our team a lot this spring. For the most part it has happened to many starters due to the high amount of reps they take. When they get hurt, it gives the younger players a chance to play when it didn't seem likely that they would ever play.

Probably the nastiest injury thus far in Spring Ball goes to Darron Griffin. It was a play I was involved in, and it could have been my fault. I was running to block one of the linebackers and he basically got the best of me. trailing behind me was Daron, he was pulling to pick up the next backer and he had his hand on my back to kind of guide his way through the hole. When I blown back, his finger got caught in my pads and his middle finger bone broke and ripped through the skin. I heard about his injury a few minutes later and I almost threw up because that stuff just freaks me out. the next day I learned that his bone was basically on my shoulder. It wasn't very serious, it has been repaired and he will be back on the field soon.

The one big thing that has hurt us with injuries is that we won;t be having our annual "Read and White Spring Game". We just don't have enough players to form two teams. We will be having a regular scrimmage instead. It won't be as fun, but you'll still get to see the players perform. We hope y'all can make it! This Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Eccles Coliseum.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Ball in the Snow

Apparently, for the fifth consecutive spring there was a scrimmage in the snow. It's kind of remarkable how it only snowed this spring on a Saturday. I believe Coach Ed Lamb has some sort of special power to guarantee recovery fro an injury by working out and also to bring down the snow. Saturday morning we saw that it might snow a little, and Coach Lamb said, "We want to be the best team in America, and we will have to train in the toughest conditions in order to be that. So, let's pray for a foot of snow and some of the boisterous Cedar wind." All we got was the snow, which was just enough.

 Brian Wilson carries the ball into the end zone for one of his 4 touchdowns in the scrimmage.

It was the one of the more fun experiences I had ever had in my football career. It wasn't freezing cold, and the snow came down during the entire scrimmage. I loved running through it, sliding through it, blocking through it, catching though it, and scoring through it. The best part of it all had to be how my teammates performed in the snow.

We had zero fumbles throughout the scrimmage. The quarterbacks were making their throws, the receivers were catching the balls, and no very many players were slipping. It was very impressive by everybody who played. I was proud of my team, and I had a whole lot of freaking fun!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two More Weeks

I think our program extends Spring Football longer than anybody in the country. You're allowed 15 full practices, and it's up to you how and when you want to have them. Schools like LSU, Alabama, and USC are already done with their Spring Football training, but we still have two more weeks. I love that we get it for so long, but my body hurts so badly! I just want it to be done so I can rest for more than just one day and not put my body through so much fun. It's great the way we do it though, because a football season is much longer and even more painful. So, it's a great training for everybody.
So, we only have two weeks left of practice, installation, and film sessions with our coaches. After this, it's up to us to practice the plays and get better. The coaches help us out so much by breaking down the film and pointing our flaws that we may not see. Now it's our responsibility to get better. The off-season is always interesting. Many players make great strides and it's usually because they want to. Time to enjoy these last few practices and get better after every practice.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Football Really is Life

My Mom has the greatest quote of all time , "There are only two real sports: Football and Spring Football"

 (photo courtesy of my mom. Saturday Spring Scrimmage. I'm #25!)



I'm so happy I had a Texas momma to raise me and teach me what's important in life. Like treating people right always, and that you ate Thanksgiving dinner at half time of the Texas vs Texas A&M game. She has taught me way more important lessons in my life that I will never forget, but there are a few things that she taught me that not a lot of mother's would ever teach their kids. especially if they're from Oklahoma or Nebraska (rivals of University of Texas, or in other words, my Mom hates them).

She was the one that got me to play football, my Dad and brother taught me the game, and my two sisters cheered me on more than anybody. And for that, they live in the successes I have and enjoy the wins and cry during the losses with me. Our family loves football so much, and it really brings us together and it makes us closer than we already are. Although my Dad played it, I believe the love of football we all have comes from my Mom.

She was raised in Texas and football there is like church in Utah. It's the most important thing in the world. She brought that to Vegas for us. I am so happy she did, because if it was up to me I wouldn't be playing college football right now. It seems as though she has forced me to play, but it's because she knows my potential and that I can go through with the pains and become great. I still have a lot to prove, but I know there's at least five people I never have to prove it to.

Football really is our life. Family vacations include seeing a football game or traveling to Cedar City to watch my game. Then, of course, we go out to eat wherever there's a TV to watch even more football. My family is motivation to keep playing. I love them so much.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Game Time

This is when I get those feelings that I can't explain. It happens to every player. The moment you hit somebody or make a big play, you just scream. You hit people on the hits, and for the most part, we just yell out cuss words. It just happens, there's no other way to explain it. We have a crowd cheering for us, teammates encouraging us, coaches correcting us, and enemies trying to kill us. there's tons of adrenaline for the entire game. It is unreal. Sometimes when I line up for a kickoff, I will look into the crowd for my family and friends. I'll take it all in and to myself I will say things like, "wow" or "this is unreal". It is a blessing to be able to take part of this awesome experience.
My roommate Chad Hansen and I celebrating a play

Pre-Game

Game day is like the new hot girl that just moved into town. It's an excitement that you keep to yourself until you hit the field and finally release it. You make all preparations for Saturday afternoon, and everything in the world revolves around those few hours.
Waking up in the hotel on Saturday morning automatically gives off the vibe that there is something special going on. It's just one of those feelings, something that I can't describe. I feel like I will say that a lot in this post. something we do at SUU is dress up in a business casual attire. When we do that, I feel more professional. If it's a home game, we leave the hotel and head towards campus where we walk through all of our plays. We try and stay quiet so we can focus on the "task at hand". With everyone dressed up and focused in, you can feel the emotion everyone is harnessing and waiting to unleash it on an unfortunate opponent.
After we polish up on every play, we walk over to the pre-game meal. Small conversations are dispersed throughout the tables. The tone is hushed and the laughter is held in as if we were in the library. the main point is that we stay focused on the game. From the meal, we head over to another meeting. We watch final film on our enemies, and we go over our reminders. We have another meeting after that meeting about special teams. We call out all the special teams with their backups so nobody screws up. Following that, the coaches leave the room and the floor belongs to the captains. They talk to their team, with no coaches. We do what we can to pump each other up and give us last minute speeches to help our team win.
Then comes the drive to the locker room. Everyone is listening to some sort of music. It starts to set in more and more that we have a game in front of thousands of people. The nerves slowly kick in, and usually my palms get a little sweaty. We dress up and put on the proper tape and make ourselves look good. "In order to play good you gotta look good". I like to put a little bit of tape on my wrists, and this year the running backs will wear white socks. I don't do as much as other players, but I still think I look smashing.
Coach Bennion calls out the position groups to get on the field to warm up and stretch. We're out on the field for about 20-30 minutes and then we return to the locker room. We get a drink of water and then we say a prayer. We line up to head out the door to run out in front of the crowd.

Then there's a feeling that I can't describe. I'm giddy/excited/laughing/angry/a little bit hungry. Running in front of a crowd is exhilarating. It's time for the game....

Football is Fun

Almost three weeks of Spring ball already. Wow! It just blows my mind how fast the time is going. It seemed so slow at first because at my position, we had a few guys injured and I was getting lots of reps. I'm not going to lie, I got tired. Exhausted might be a better word. My body is in so much pain. I feel like someone took my voodoo doll and accidentally dropped it on the free way. I have bruises and scratches and pains in many parts of the body. After practice, I walk out with at least two bags of ice on me; but I love it.

Now, we have more guys free of injury and we have more guys getting the reps they need to get better everyday. We are improving and playing faster everyday. It's just so much fun to play this game, especially here at SUU.

It's a joyous time of year for many sports fans. So, hoo-ha!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

spring ball continues

Spring ball week one has finally terminated. We have been able to install many new players and signals and get down all of our assignments. The guys are very motivated to succeed and get starting spots. We lost like 22 seniors and 14 of them were starters. So, the T-Birds will be seeing many new faces on the field. It's just all very exciting.

Something that I have noticed a lot lately is how tight-knit our team is. We have some great athletes, but not like we did last year. We all help each other get better, and together we all make plays because we all do our assignments very well. We've had some guys change positions and do very well there. Trevor Everett, and Dylan Fox moved to the offensive line and look like they've been there for years already. I'm exciting for the upcoming season, but I have to wait and endure through the spring and summer.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm kind of a star in Cedar City

Being a college football player in a small town has it's pros and cons. Some players have a cons list, but I don't. I love it. There have been many times where little kids have spotted me and known that I am an SUU football player. They ask for my autograph and I just sit and visit with them. It's nothing like playing football in Texas, where there will be a crowd of people. It's a just a couple of people, so I like to talk to the kids and their parents and get to know them.
our fans

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SPRING BALL!

Yes, spring ball has finally arrived. We had our first practice yesterday, and with many new players, it was quite sloppy. Some guys didn't know where to go, some guys mixed up some plays. However, I talked to the offensive coordinator, Steve Clark, and he was very optimistic saying, "I thought today was great! Many players were playing very fast and getting down all of their assignments." I was pleased to hear that.

Coach Lamb said at the end of the practice that he likes to walk through the locker rooms about five minutes before practice starts to kind of round up the guys that are still getting ready, or are getting last second treatment or tape jobs. He said, when he walked through today, there wasn't a single player in the locker room. Everyone came out early.

I stayed after practice for a hot minute to catch some balls with Jake Allie. As we were throwing I told him, "I forgot how much I missed football. Once I ran the first play I felt so good" He concurred. 'Tis a happy time in T-Bird town!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fran is our friend, not our enemy...

So, that dreadful day came: Fran. Everything that I explained in my post a while back about the days before, when you see everybody complaining about doing Fran, all of that happened. It was funny for me to watch it. Anywho, that day came. I was so nervous that entire day, because I know the pain it brings. Not just for one day, but I had the "Fran cough" for an entire week. I still can't laugh without having a wheezy cough at the end. However, this Fran workout was different than usual.

I decided to do the real, true Fran workout. 95 pounds, 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, nine thrusters, nine pull-ups. the last time I did it, I did a different weight and it was so much easier than the 95 pound workout. There was a time in my pull-ups that I lost strength in my forearms, and I couldn't grip the bar anymore and I fell. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life. Our goal is to get it in 3 minutes and 16 seconds. I kid you not, I finished in 3 minutes and 16 seconds. When I finished, my teammates and a couple coaches around me looked and said, "Wow, you did it in 3:16!" I was amazed and completely drained. I had zero energy left in me.

When we received our shirts at the end of the workout, I was so excited to finally get my shirt. Coach Bennion says my name and then he says, "Tag, we returned a kickoff 99 yards fro a touchdown but you clipped and brought the touchdown back." I didn't know what he was talking about. I looked at him with a half smile, and a half "what the hell are you talking about" face. The rest of the team was confused as well. He proceeded, "You picked the bar up too early, it doesn't count."

My heart instantly dropped. I looked at him and asked desperately, "Are you serious?" I was just lost. The rest of the team looked at me in amazement because we know how hard it is, and I didn't get my shirt. I'm not going to lie, I was mad for the rest of the day. I don't like to be mad, nor do I get mad that often. Today was different. Then I realized, I really screwed up.

This was one of the most difficult ways to learn a lesson I have ever encountered. Coach Bennion taught me something: be perfect. The example he used was straight to the point. That stuff happens. I'm just glad the thing I screwed up on was only for me and the rest of the team. There's nothing worse than letting down your team, and I learned a valuable lesson of being exactly perfect.

I was thankful for my teammates there that day that helped bring my spirits back up. I did the workout in the time given, but started a second early. They know the pain that goes into Fran, so they were amazing when telling me everything is okay and that I did it in time, to not worry too much. I know the type of team we have.

Spring Ball starts today. More blogs to come!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

College Football...

I just thought I'd share some of the experiences I've had being a division-one college football player. A lot of my friends back home don't think of my football career at SUU as big of a deal because I don't go to the big schools like UNLV, USC, or Texas. Just because I never show up on TV (well, in Cedar City we do. SU-TV! haha) people back home don't look at me like a real college football player. I love it! It helps me take more pride in what I have here at SUU. I don't care what anyone says; I am a college football player. Something I have always dreamed about.

There aren't a lot of differences between us and the other "big" schools across the country. We don't have a lot of fans, but the ones that we do have still look at us like movie stars. I was able to go visit an Elementary School in Cedar City. There was a class that donated the most amount of cans in their entire school for a food drive that was put on by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and as their reward, they won a pizza party and a visit from two SUU athletes. I had no idea what I was going to encounter until I got there. When I walked in, the kids instantly sat straight up, and moved their keesters to the edge of their chairs. I even saw one student with a camera filming me. I was just as excited as the kids were. We introduced ourselves, signed autographs, and answered questions. We let every kid ask one question and there was one student in the back with a byu football shirt. I made sure he was last. The teacher finally told me, "The young man in the back hasn't asked his question." I picked him, knowing exactly what he would ask. When he stood up he spitted out, "Hey, do you like my shirt?" I didn't even say a word, I just shook my finger from side to side and motioned him to sit down.

It was a great experience to see how much these students adored a college football player. We later ran outside and threw the football for 10 minutes where I taught them some routes and had a great time. I wound up seeing one of the students at Chili's with his parents and he was so pumped to see me. His parents told me that all he had been talking about for that day was my visit to his class.

Another experience is something I know I will never forget. It was my first ever college football game. We played against the University of Wyoming. It all started with our plane ride. As we took off, an engine blew out and we nearly lost control. A teammate of mine sitting next to me, squeezed my hand and I watched him almost cry as we swerved to safety. I was already nervous for my first game ever, but after two hours of waiting for another plane, we departed.

When we pulled into the stadium the following day, I saw thousands of fans tailgating, children throwing footballs, and vendors selling all sorts of disgusting food. I remember being that kid throwing a ball before a UNLV game. I remember tailgating at a USC game before the Rose Bowl and eating that disgusting food. It was something I'll never forget.

Now, this game at Wyoming, is still the only game I haven't played in. I sat on the sidelines the entire time and loved every minute of it. When we ran out of the tunnel and I saw the huge stadium filled with fans that weren't even ours, give me chills only Eskimos can relate to. I could have ran for hours with the adrenaline I had. We had a section of maybe 40 fans that screamed as loud as I did. We wound up losing the game 28-20, but I won an experience that is distilled in my memory forever.

I could write all day about the neat experiences I've been privileged to have by being a college football player. It's one of the most rewarding things I've ever had in my life and I'm so thankful for my family. They have helped me out when I wanted to throw in the towel years ago. They enjoy my career as much as I do because they can share these experiences with me.  


Friday, March 2, 2012

Player Run Practice

I've blogged in the past about how bad this football program used to be. I played on this team before my mission and before Coach Ed Lamb changed Cedar City's view on football. The '07 team didn't win a game, and finished the season on an 18 game losing streak. I can guarantee that that team never had a player run practice session.

Player run practice is just as it sounds: the players run the practice without coaches. The NCAA allows the coaches to maintain only a certain number of hours a week to practice and coach us. When the time has been used up, we practice ourselves. Something that the '07 team never thought of. In the spring, we do 7-on-7 every Tuesday and Thursday. No one has to go, but it's probably a good idea that you do.

More and more players are getting extra reps when our opponents aren't. Obviously, without the coaches there it isn't like practice usual is, but it's something. It's actually a lot of fun too. We don't always get to be together as a team when we're aren't working in the weight room or practicing. So, it's our time we have to be around each other and hang other do what we love: play football.

Brennan Fjord

There is a guy on our team that everybody respects because of the crazy workouts he has done. The times that he has finished the workouts, and how he never stops. I look up to this guy when it comes to the workouts, because I believe nothing phases him. We all know that he has surpassed us greatly in the weight room, and it helps us try to close the gap between us and him.

Brennan Fjord is a senior from Sugarland, Texas. He is a transfer from Snow College that earned a starting spot at safety and had a rough year. He hates hearing about this, but he lost his starting spot towards the end of the season. That has propelled him to out-work everybody on the team because he wants to have that starting spot again.

The one thing that everybody has noticed is that he has voluntarily participated in cross fit training that takes place on Wednesday, our day off. When everybody is resting, doing homework, or working on their car (I worked on my car yesterday) he is getting better with a cross fit workout. I respect him, because I know just how hard those workouts are.

I stayed after a workout with him to do some abs, and I'm not trying to make any excuses but I think it's harder for me because I out weigh him by 40 pounds. However, he is an animal when he does abs. It is so hard to keep up with him. So, this one ab workout his feet were rested on a stool and I was sitting on his feet. He had to touch my hands for about a minute. I threw my hands in many different areas to keep his abs moving. He was doing so well, that it frustrated me to the point where I farted. That's a joke that he frustrated me, but I accidentally farted on him and we shared a laugh. Mine was a different laugh than his, because I didn't get farted on.

I love the kid, and I'm very appreciative of his work ethic and his friendship. When we watch him, it really inspires us to work harder.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Week 6? I'm not sure

We've hit a certain number of workouts by now in the winter. I lose track, and I thought I wouldn't with this blog. We've seen a few guys fall behind and a lot of them exceed to their potential. The gains in the weight room are really fun to watch. The sad part is when a few guys can't handle it and they leave behind their dream. they say they have more important things to do, but they always come back saying, "Man, I miss it."

More sacrifices are being made with dedication and body weight. One of the things we stress in our program is how much we weigh according to the position we play. For example, Austin Anderson. He first came into SUU as a scrawny quarterback weighing about 200 pounds. Then he moved to linebacker and put on 25 pounds. Now, he is being transferred to a defensive end and is now weighing over 235 pounds and looking to gain more. I admire how hard he has worked and he looks so different then when I first saw him at SUU.

I've gained like 10 pounds since the end of last season and my coach said I looked fat. It's all apart of the plan to get stronger. I'm going to take what my coach said to help me not be fat, because that's just embarrassing. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fran

Fran. The worst person you'll ever meet in our weight room. A name that whenever you hear it, you'll also hear an exhale and a "ahh $&**#". A workout that separates the fat from the fit. The only workout in the weight room that can prepare your mind and your body for the end of the fourth quarter. The way the workout breaks down is like this:

95 pounds. 21 thrusters, 21 pull-ups. 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups. 9 thrusters, 9 pull-ups.
OR
135 pounds. 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups. 11 thrusters, 11 pull-ups. 7 thrusters, 7 pull-ups.
OR
185 pounds. 11 thrusters, 11 pull-ups. 7 thrusters, 7 pull-ups. 5 thrusters, 5 pull-ups.

You can pick any one of the weights, it doesn't matter. However, the objective is to get all the reps done, with exactness, in 3 minutes and 16 seconds or less. If you do, you get yourself a nice "FRAN 3:16" shirt.

One day out of the entire year, we have Fran day. It is the last workout before spring break which leads us into spring camp. There is a buzz between all the payers that week at school. When I see a teammate, he may shake his head with his posture slightly hunched like as if he had already done the workout. He will look at me and say, "damn...". It's that kind of workout.

This past Saturday morning workout was a two-thirds Fran. It sounds easier, which it is. It's like as if we had to play against the Patriots without Tom Brady. They may not have their future hall-of-famer quarterback, but they're still the New England Patriots. Two-thirds Fran goes as follows: 95 pounds. 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups. 10 thrusters, 10 pull-ups. 5 thrusters, 5 pull-ups. This time, you just do it as fast as you possibly can. The best time was set by Brennan Fjord (1:30). I wasn't nearly as swift as Brennan (1:55).

When you're done, you report your time and it's up to you to find a creative way to recover. Most people like to go outside and spit whatever is left inside their bodies. There are a few that lie down, sit down, crawl, pray to God, etc. There is an unsuspecting burn in your forearms and a cough wheezy enough to find you in drug rehab. The "Fran cough" is how most of us refer to it as. I had it all weekend and I couldn't laugh like I normally do. I would just start coughing and pounding my chest. Then I would have to lie down and catch my breath.

It's a workout we dread, but compete to have the fastest time and something we use to get closer as a team. The yelling and screaming inside the weight room is nothing but encouragement from the rest of the team. We want everyone to succeed and be the best player we can be. Even the guys who are competing against each other for the same position push each other so they can be the very best player they can be. That's what Fran teaches us.

Oh and Coach Lamb, if you're reading this, I still haven't received my FRAN 3:16 shirt.


 Tony Cossairt chalking up his hands before Fran

Friday, February 17, 2012

the fifth week of our workouts is done

I love football. It makes time go by so fast, especially school. Just yesterday my roommate said, "I can't believe it's  Thursday already." We look at our schedule and look forward to that day off on Wednesday and the workouts make life go by faster. The bad thing about that, is that the season goes by even faster. There's no greater feeling than playing in front of thousands of fans and hearing the bands play. It's a shame that this sport is in season for a mere third of a year. However, that is why we love it so much.

The team is coming together stronger and stronger every week. Our defensive backs coach, Demario Warren, tweeted before a Saturday morning workout, "95% of the team at 9 am Saturday meeting 10 minutes early. Unbelievable how much the culture has changed in 4 years." More and more players are showing up early, and leaving late. A philosophy I learned from a coach in my youth. He told us of a receiver he coached in high school that wound up playing at USC and in the NFL, Keary Colbert. He told us that he was the first player to get to the practice field, and the last player to leave it. Our team is slowly filling up with a bunch of Keary Colbert-type players. It's exciting to watch and I am so blessed to be apart of it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Squat Day

Every player on the team knows what Tuesday is: squat day. Squat day is the hardest work out which is why it's on Tuesday. Our day off is Wednesday, so we get a chance to relax and be able to function properly come Thursday morning at 6:30. The reason why I say "function properly" is simple. If you know anything about weight lifting, it's crazy to squat below parallel. If you don't know anything about weight lifting, it's crazy to drop your butt inches away from the ground with 405 pounds on your back. We pride ourselves in squatting lower than a catcher stance. So, when you see an SUU football player walking from class to class (especially climbing the stairs) you will see them limping, wobbling, or simply taking their sweet time. When we stand up from sitting in a chair or from lying down, most likely you'll hear a boisterous roar of sheer terror. You will know that Tuesday has come, and happily gone.
These are the things that help us get better, doing things no one else does. One time, this player sent a video to Coach Lamb of him squatting 750 pounds. And that is a lot of weight, but he didn't bend far enough to pick up his keys if he had dropped them. It might as well have been nullified. We love the pain because we know that it makes us better. That's all we want to do; is get better.


















So, happy Tuesday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

We have a cool locker room

When I first got to SUU, we had some crappy lockers in the locker room. I felt like a soldier walking around land mines trying to get through the locker room. We had zero space to change and we were placed in these tiny aisles. Of course, I was stuck in the back. However, I was grateful I had a (terrible) locker. now, we have more room, our lockers are spread out, we have TV's, and I can take a nap on the ground before practice. The TV's are great to have, however it only knows ESPN and ESPN2. Ver rarely does it make it the food network or oxygen. It does bug us when the track team uses our locker room. There is a clearly a sign that says: SUU FOOTBALL PLAYERS ONLY.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week Four

Another week came and left as fast as space travel. One obstacle as a football player is your endurance and enthusiasm. They both have to be present, especially through the long hauls of the season and off-season. It's easy to come in to work hard and win the championship all in the first week. However, that has never been done. It takes time and perseverance. I have be creative when it comes to finding ways to stay motivated through the crappiest parts of the season and off-season.
Every Friday, we find out how many times we can bench press 225 pounds. Obviously, the goal is to do better than the previous Friday. My roommate, Brennen Fjord, and I have this little tradition of slapping each other in the face so we have all the weird anger inside of us to throw the 225 pounds off of our chest like our fat cousin Tony just sat on us. Last Friday, it worked for me. Brennen on the other back hand, didn't meet his goal.
It's hard to find pure joy in the workouts we do. It's to have a grin on my face at 6:30 in the morning when we run. Luckily, I have some of my best friends on the team and I love the sport. We all feel the same way, and working hard always pays off. No matter what it's for.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

KC Rawlinson

Whenever I see videos of those football players that played in the 50's and 60's I always think of KC Rawlinson. Those guys were the epitome of "tough guys" or the "warriors" on the football field. They played without facemasks and the dozen rules we play with today that protect the players. There was no such thing as a "horse collar" tackle or illegal hands to the face. Basically, anything and everything was allowed.
That's the type of player I think of when I see KC Rawlinson. A fire direction officer in the military and a rocket launcher on the football field, KC leads the special teams and the "oo's" and "aww's" that the crowd makes after some of his hits. He has no regard for his body as he flies down the field on kickoff running at full speed, and has no intentions on slowing down.
As a fellow teammate of KC on the special teams, I get the best view of KC knocking down people who literally stop running and cringe when he comes after them. I've seen guys spin, I've seen a guys momentum completely change from running forward, to falling backwards. He treats the football field like a war zone and I have gained so much respect for this man.
He will be leaving the team until the summer so he can continue to pursue his career in the military. His true example of dedication and hard work will be with us throughout the winter workouts and during spring ball.
He will be a senior this upcoming season.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 3

The days start passing by faster once you get accustomed to the schedule. Another week of weights passed with the much waited anticipation of the Saturday morning run. Like every Saturday, we waited for the call in the morning from our coach to see what awaited us. We did an ab workout then he asked us what we wanted to do. As we stood there quietly, everybody's minds screamed the same thing "nothing!". Then he said, "y'all wanna eat? Let's go get some food. get a break!" So, everybody had a much better Saturday for sure.
Just like everyday, we weren't satisfied with that. So, every position group stayed for an extra 30 minutes and did drills without their coaches. Then we finished with a short 7-on-7. The way this team takes ownership is exciting and motivating. We truly have some great leaders on this team, and the younger players never complain, they just listen and take the proper action to become a better player.
Just the other day, after a lift, a few players and I were outside on the field throwing and running routes. A new freshmen from Florida came up to me and humbly asked, "hey man, is there anything that you see that I can do better at? Like, what things am I doing wrong, what am I doing right?" I was grateful that he came to me for the help, but more than anything I was grateful he wanted to get better. A lot of people don't like to hear criticism, but as an athlete you have to learn to take criticism and find a way to get better.
We have a smorgas bord of players just like that. We all watch each other and we know who works hard and who doesn't. It's impelling to every individual to be perfect at what they do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saturday morning workout

The 2nd week has just ended, but it never ends without the Saturday workout. We do these tough workouts throughout the week to prepare us for the ghastly Saturday morning workout. the Saturday morning workout is very gruesome the last about 10 - 20 minutes. We all know that a football game does not last this long, we preserve our bodies to endure the full 60 minutes of a game. But in between plays we take a break, drink some water, catch our breath etc. The Saturday morning workout finds out who can make a play in the 4th quarter. We find who is willing to fight through any sort of pain to be able to come out on top. What I observed from this Saturday morning workout was unlike anything I have ever seen at an SUU football meeting, workout, or game.

We lost a lot of great seniors, and we are finding within ourselves who can be a new leader. What I saw Saturday morning was unlike anything any leader ever attempted last season. Towards the end of the workout which consisted of running up a 100 foot hill going forward, sideways, backwards, and even jumping up the hill; repeating those runs two more times to complete the Saturday morning workout. I counted four or five guys throwing up in a corner and trying to hide. Some of the older players shouted out to them, "Come on man! You ain't gotta throw up! You fine! Let's go!" And one by one, everybody was helping each other out. Young players were motivating older players. Then sophomore defensive end, Kouri Jones, started a chant "T-WHAT?! T-BIRD'S GOTTA EAT!" He would scream "t-what?" and the team would scream back "t-bird's gotta eat!" which galvanized the rest of the team to finish the Saturday morning run.

At the end of the workout, we came together and had a team break. The team still stuck around, stretching together and asking each other how they felt. Something I have observed with this team in the short two weeks we've been together: we are closer than we ever have been.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The 2012 T-Birds

The timing seems appropriate to start a blog about the Southern Utah University football team of 2012. After the season of 2011 just terminated, the beginning of off season workouts has just begun. I hope to post new updates weekly to notify the public of the progress of the team and to give a viewpoint from a member of the team, me. I am Mikey Tagliaferri, a red-shirt junior for the SUU football team. I am a fullback/tight-end/slot back and a communications major from Las Vegas.

We are in our second week of off-season workouts, and like the beginning of every season; our hopes are higher than moon. We have come together as a team this year instead of individuals. This will be an exciting season for it is our first season in the Big Sky conference, and we will be playing against two great FBS teams: Utah State University and University of California, Berkley (Cal).