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'Meat and potatoes' fuel OSU football's success

Strength coach Rob Glass and his staff have helped build the Cowboys into consistent winners.
By Gina Mizell Published: July 23, 2012

“It's as much mental to keep them sharp,” Glass said. “The goal with the creation of this was so when we went to camp, it wasn't like, ‘OK we've got to spend a couple weeks reinstalling, retooling up.'

“They can function right there Day 1, because they've been doing a lot of stuff together.”

But during the season is where training has changed for the Cowboys.

Glass has been an instrumental force behind OSU's lighter practice load. He points to the faster, no-huddle spread systems the OSU offense runs as a reason to change. And the fact that defenses that used to face 70 plays a game now often face 100. What was once standard training is now overtraining because of that increased workload on Saturdays.

Glass and his staff have even used video footage to track the exact number of yards the wide receivers run in practice.

“(Gundy) may say, ‘I don't understand these guys, they're all really dead-legged,'” Glass said. “(And I say), ‘Oh, by the way, they run eight miles every day.' You don't realize, sometimes, the volume of those things.”

Glass ultimately points to the people in his program as the reason it runs successfully. He has a large enough staff so individual coaches — especially Joel Tudman and Gary Calcagno — can build rapport with players, both as a mentor and guy that knows how to push the right “hot buttons” to get results.

After all, the strength coaches are who the players spend the most time with year-round. In-season training. Winter conditioning. Summer workouts.

“You come to one of those workouts in the morning and you don't work, bad things are going to happen,” former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden said last week. “(Glass) puts out that persona that everybody respects him.”

Glass and his staff have been a key part of building a program that recorded the best season in school history a year ago. But he hopes he's building even more with his athletes.

“Guys who aren't even in the professional football world, they're just saying, ‘Everything I learned out here (has helped),'” Glass said. “I don't really look at it as a builder of men, but that's kind of our goal.

“Our mission as a strength staff is just to have them understand … how to operate in society in the correct way so they can be successful.”