UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - What does a piranha in small pool have in common with a trained killer? That would be just two of the top performing Nittany Lions for Penn State assistant athletics director for performance enhancement, Dwight Galt.
With just two workout sessions remaining, Galt met with members of the media following an open max out session in the Lasch Building weight room for a winter conditioning update.
"We've always had great winters but I think this one kind of takes the place of the best one we've had so far," Galt said. "It's our fifth one here so it's been really good. They are a motivated group right now."
For Galt the key to the standout winter has been in consistency, with the Nittany Lions putting forth maximum effort and determination in every session.
As Galt noted, unlike some programs, Penn State balances an aggressive strength power program in conjunction with a very aggressive movement program. Of the 30 workouts the Nittany Lions have already completed that means 15 have been strength and 15 have been running workouts.
"The running workouts obviously take a lot out of you in Holuba," Galt said. "They've done a great job bouncing back every day and getting a hard lift in and getting hard run in."
Check out a few more takeaways from Galt's media session.
When asked who's sticking out in winter conditioning, the trained killer was Nittany Lion wide receiver with the piranha in the small pool being safety Lamont Wade.
As Galt noted, former Nittany Lion wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton left his legacy with Johnson.
"He has done a great job. He's one of our top, top guys," Galt said.
Galt also named offensive lineman Will Fries, tight end Danny Dalton and safety John Petrishen in his top at the moment.
"One guy that has been really good but has just been dinged his entire career is John Petrishen," Galt said. "John Petrishen has really paid his dues. He has had a number of situations, knocking on wood, and he has been healthy and he's doing a great job."
Making the move from high school senior to Nittany Lion freshman in just a few weeks' time is no easy transition. With six mid-year enrollees joining the roster at the start of the spring semester, Galt is pleased with the progress the group has made so far.
"We came in here and we tested them out thoroughly," Galt said. "After we did that we just started cranking and they joined right in with the group right away. They've definitely all earned respect. It's really a great group of guys."
One of the Guys
Among the mid-year enrollees is five star Nittany Lion Micah Parsons. As Galt was quick to point out though, when Parsons arrived it was as if the stars were gone, as he quickly earned the respect of his teammates though a humble approach to his work ethic.
"He can run, he can jump, he's strong, he's powerful," Galt said. "He has all of the ingredients that we would expect from him that we saw on his film. I think the thing that everybody is really pleased with is that Micah just has a great attitude. He's really one of the guys."
Sanders Steps Up
For Galt, the biggest area of improvement he has seen from Nittany Lion running back Miles Sanders is in his leadership. Among a truly deep group of running backs in the program, Galt noted the staff is just as secure in what he can do on the field as they are in what he can do off the field too.
"The running back culture has always been one of our best positions culture-wise," Galt said. "They work hard they do what they are supposed to do. They care. They're good leaders."