A Shift In Training Focus?

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Cedric Peerman ‘s build seems more sleek and less stiff after offseason training.

When Virginia opened football practice this week at the McCue Center practice fields, one thing was immediately evident: quite a few Hoos look a lot different this fall. Branden Albert has trimmed down. Mikell Simpson appears stronger. Clint Sintim looks leaner. Cedric Peerman seems sleeker.

That led to a question that many have speculated about during the offseason. Has there been a shift in Al Groh’s philosophy on players’ physical development?

Groh, unintentionally perhaps, didn’t exactly answer the question as the reporter intended, saying that the strength and conditioning program is an important piece of success.

“We place a high priority on it,” Groh said. “We think both the winter and summer programs are major components of having a good team.”

More than likely Groh’s answer reflects his loyalty. That is to say he didn’t want to have his answer inadvertently twisted against Evan Marcus, the former four-year head strength and conditioning coach for UVa football. Groh respects Marcus and his work with the program. As he should. Marcus led the training and conditioning based on an outline of ideals, philosophies, and preferences from Groh and his staff.

More on Matt Balis

Prior to arriving at Virginia , Matt Balis worked with Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. The Gainesville Sun produced an article on the Gators’ strength and conditioning work in February 2005 where Meyer said: “I promoted Matt Balis last year and he did as good as I’ve ever seen.”