Penn State Q&A: Dwight Galt talks program changes, Saquon Barkley, a true freshman to watch, and more
Dwight Galt, Penn State strength coach, during winter workouts held in the Lasch Building on March 17, 2017.Joe Hermitt | email@example.com
Penn State strength coach Dwight Galt has seen plenty of changes in his four years with the Nttany Lions.
He’s also noticed plenty of differences between the true freshmen that have shown up, either in January or just at the end of June, and now in the final days before a new training camp begins.
Galt, who oversees the football program when the coaches aren’t able to do so during NCAA rules during the summer, spoke to the media after Lift for Life in State College last weekend. Highlights from his question and answer session are below.
On how the bench press inside Holuba Hall was helpful:
“I loved Holuba,” Galt said. “I thought that atmosphere, having the fans closer to the players, was really cool. Everyone was together and could interact all the way around. New thing was the sweeping [meaning endless stream of players participating in the] bench press. Served a couple purposes. One, it gave us a really good feature for Lift for Life, two, a lot of the fundraising was centered around the total number of reps, and I’m not going to lie to you, hopefully a lot of our guys will be fortunate enough to perform 225 [pounds on the bench press] for the NFL Combine or Pro Day, and it’s good practice to do it in front of big crowds. Can’t tell you how many guys said ‘I’m kind of nervous right now,’ and that’s good.”
On OL Steven Gonzalez’s day best 38 bench press reps:
“Steve’s really done a really, really nice job. Him and [defensive lineman] Colin Costagna, the last pair, our two strongest guys in the bench press, and then a guy that snuck up on us is Saquon, really throwing around some great weight in the bench press [he did 30 reps]. We’re really pleased with the way our bench press Is going right now. We’re trying to focus on maximal strength and also that endurance aspect. The endurance really compliments are strength.”
On why he puts up a leader board in his weight room
“I started that in 1992. I did it as, back then, I did it as a motivational factor. Our guys didn’t like to lift weight, and I’m like; I want to build an importance, so I did the record board. I did the top three, and it was slow going, and then eventually everyone kind of got into it. Being on the board, especially at a place like Penn State, where all of our old players come back and see their name, that’s a real, real big thing for our guys.”
On how the January enrollees have progressed:
“I think all four have. Lamont [Wade]’s continuing to progress. Speed is going down, strength is going up. Guy who snuck up is Mike Miranda. He’s a mid-year guy who is really throwing around some great numbers, and he’s serious, mature, he’s picking the system up, and he’s a guy; you don’t really want to play a true freshman if you don’t have to, but Mike’s a guy that [has put his name in that conversation].”
On the June freshmen arrivals:
“They’re very talented. We had some really good initial test results and I love their attitude. It’s been a really good situation.”
On the biggest changes he’s noticed this offseason:
“Every year, and I don’t know if it’s because of the program, but we do a lot of different things every year. What’s happening is, every year we’re just recruiting at a certain level. These guys who came in two, three years ago are really starting to get strong now. Everybody’s talented, so our numbers are just systematically going up because of the talent in the program, and it’s pretty impressive. We’re not even the same team, and it’s because of the talent I have to prepare, and how their bodies are adjusting to the training.”