Like most of his Florida teammates, junior center T.J. McCoy has gotten bigger and stronger under new strength and conditioning coordinator Nick Savage.
But McCoy said Savage’s program is so much more than just pumping iron and bulking up.
“Coach Savage is a great coach,” McCoy said. “And it’s not just Coach Savage, it’s the whole training staff. They’re all about straining. Straining is going past your limit to what you thought you could do. You can do more.
“That’s in the weight room, that’s running. It’s just everything that the coaches are creating around here. It’s just going real well.”
The Savage way isn’t just about straining, McCoy said. It’s also about doing the right things at the training table and away from the football field and weight room.
“Coach Savage is big on eating right. He’s big on hydrating,” McCoy said. “The one thing he tells us every day after we workout is, ‘Be a champion.’
“If I don’t get a protein shake after a workout, he’s like, ‘You’re not a champion because a champion would have gotten one. A champion would have done the right thing. A champion would have done this, done that.’ It’s all about being a champion.”
There’s definitely a different culture in the weight room under Savage and his staff. Several players have commented how lax things were in workouts under the old staff.
Former defensive tackle Taven Bryan, a first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said in the spring that last season’s team looked like a collection of Pillsbury dough boys.
“I believe so,” he said. “I can honestly say Coach Savage has made me a lot stronger, especially in my upper body. The transformation pictures that I’m sure everybody’s seen (are impressive).
“The one guy I really like to show is Cece Jefferson. I’ve never seen Cece look like that in my life. He’s ripped. Coach Savage is making us a better team and better players. I’m just excited that he came here.”