Football Concludes Excellent Summer in the Weight Room

July 29, 2005

ORLANDO - With the start of the 2005 preseason football camp for UCF just eight days away, the Golden Knights showed vast improvement over the summer in several areas of testing, director of strength and conditioning Ed Ellis announced. Ellis and his staff tested the Golden Knights in March and again in July in several different categories, including bench press, squat, power clean, vertical jump, front squat and pro bench.

"I think the players really worked hard over the summer and really concentrated on leg strength and explosive power and it really shows in the numbers," stated Ellis.

Ellis and his staff also came up with the "Iron Knight" award, given to a player who reaches certain goals in six of eight strength, speed and explosive power categories. Seven Golden Knights attained "Iron Knight" status, including senior defensive end Paul Carrington, sophomore linebacker Randy Dozier, senior tight end Antonio Eldemire, junior cornerback Ron Ellis, senior safety Anthony Willis, junior tailback Dontavius Wilcox and senior wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

"The players worked hard all summer and now it is time for them to put it on the field," added Ellis.

Carrington tested out as UCF's strongest player in three areas. The Georgia native had a team-best squat of 620 pounds, a power clean of 394 pounds and a front squat of 505 pounds.

Junior offensive lineman Dan Veenstra was one of 10 team members to bench 400 lbs., posting a team-high bench press of 440 pounds. Freshman defensive end/linebacker Clarence Howard tied for third on the team with a bench press of 420 pounds.

Ron Ellis led the Golden Knights with a 42-inch vertical jump and a 10'7" broad jump.

In the pro bench (225 lbs.), Eldemire turned in an impressive mark of 32 reps to lead UCF. Veenstra, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Mike Lavoie and junior offensive lineman Sean Gilhuly tied for second on the team with 30 reps. Senior tight end Darcy Johnson and junior defensive end Kareem Reid tied for fifth with 28 reps.

In five of the seven categories the strength and conditioning staff tested, the Golden Knights showed a drastic improvement. In the power clean, UCF went from having nine players in March to 26 players in July lift 300-plus pounds.

In testing the players' vertical jump, 46 players recorded a vertical jump of 32 inches or better, an increase from 39 players in March.

In the squat, 44 players recorded a 420-plus pound squat in March, only to see the number jump to 60 players in July.

In the 500-plus pound squat, 25 players were able to reach the goal, a jump of seven athletes from March.

In the front squat, 21 players toted 350-plus pounds in March, only to see the number more than double in July to 45.

Ellis and his staff also broke down each position group as a whole and in relation to the increase in each area of testing. Every position group saw an increase in every area of testing, including a strong showing by both the offensive and defensive lines.

The offensive line had its best progress in adding an average of 48 pounds per front squat and an additional 2.2 reps per lineman on the pro bench.

The defensive linemen had a 16.8 pound increase in their bench press, a 23.2 pound increase in the power clean, a 43.8 pound improvement in the front squat and an additional 3.7 reps on the pro bench.

Another key element to the team's success this summer was having the entire team in summer school and going through the summer workouts together as a team.

"I think it is so important to have everyone together," Ellis stated. "The players see how hard everyone is working and how hard they are pushing each other."

UCF opens preseason camp Saturday, August 6.