Better safe than sorry
Defensive end making sure he’s ready for fall by sitting out spring Posted on 04/16/2012 by PonyFans.com
Spring workouts often are the time for individual instruction, and for players to do whatever they can to catch the attention of their position coaches in an effort to stake a claim to a starting position, or perhaps more playing time as a reserve.
Defensive end Beau Barnes should be doing just that. But while his teammates practice in the early morning hours, Barnes and a couple of his teammates work out alone in the weight room, trying to get healthy again so he can resume practicing and playing.
|Defensive end Beau Barnes has regained about half of the 30 pound he lost after undergoing offseason surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder (photo by Travis Johnston).
His recovery from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder has gone well, and if he had to be on the field now, Barnes said he probably could. But in the interest of making sure he’s ready for the 2012 season, the Mustangs’ medical staff took the conservative approach and decided to shut him down for the spring.
With the graduation of 2011 starters Marquis Frazier and Taylor Thompson, Barnes is expected to be a key figure in the Ponies’ defensive end rotation, backing up the presumed starters for next season, Margus Hunt and Kevin Grenier. By spending the spring working out with the SMU strength and conditioning staff and rehabbing with the medical staff, Barnes finds himself spending ample time with Grenier, who also is sitting out while he works his way back from a shoulder labrum tear.
“It helps to have Kevin there (in rehab workouts),” Barnes said. “We push each other, so we’re helping each other get better.”
Barnes said he is not sure exactly when he hurt his shoulder.
“It wasn’t feeling well when we played Houston,” he said. “I don’t know — maybe it was in practice the week or two before that game (that the injury occurred).”
Like many players his age, Barnes has to work hard to maintain or add weight to his 6-foot-5-inch frame. Following surgery, he dropped from 255 pounds to 225. He has gotten back up to 240 pounds now, and said he expects to get to 260 or 265 for the 2012 season.
“That’s totally doable over the next few months,” Barnes said. “After surgery, I lost those 30 pounds because I have a really high metabolism and without getting in to the weight room, I burn up everything I eat. I’m getting it back now, though, and I’ll be bigger when we start two-a-days.”
So while the Mustangs toil away on the field during their morning practices, Barnes and Grenier are in the weight room, getting stronger. Barnes said he will continue to work in the weight room to get stronger “every day through the rest of the school year” and then in to the summer.
“I probably could be out there (on the practice field) now, but there’s no reason to rush back if it isn’t necessary,” Barnes said. “I’m still going to meetings and taking lots of notes and learning.”
The physical nature of the defensive end position in the Mustangs’ 3-4 defense dictates that players will get beaten up — defensive coordinator Tom Mason and defensive line coach Bert Hill covet big, strong players to fill the position — and Barnes realizes the importance of the work he is doing now to his performance in the fall.
“In our defense, defensive ends are kind of like defensive tackles in a 4-3,” Barnes said. The way our scheme works, (defensive ends) spend a lot of time over the guard and offensive tackle. We see a lot of double teams. Several of us have had labrum injuries, and that’s why — it’s an extremely physical job.”
It’s also a job Barnes almost didn’t have last year. A former stand-up linebacker at Frendswood High School who walked on at SMU in 2010, Barnes said the SMU coaches considered moving him from defensive end to linebacker last year, but the team needed additional depth at defensive end, so he remained at the position. He does not know which end position he’ll play, and said he honestly doesn’t care.
“I’ll play wherever they ask me,” Barnes said. “I haven’t talked to Coach Hill about (playing one end spot or the other). That doesn’t really matter at this point. Right now, I’m just working to get healthy and get stronger, and get back on the field.”