Tackling the opportunity before him
Weeks making most of opportunity in spring workouts Posted on 04/18/2012 by PonyFans.com
It’s no secret that different positions require players of different sizes and shapes. If a nose tackle and a kicker have the same dimensions, it’s safe to say at least one — and very likely both — of them has almost no chance of being successful.
It’s safe to say that no SMU player has undergone a more dramatic physical metamorphosis than offensive lineman Kris Weeks. When he signed with the Mustangs in February 2011, he was too big. A strict regimen to slim down left him too small. Now he is close to the size he wants to be, and feels it is a significant part of the reason he has been working with the first-team offensive line at left tackle.
|Now stronger and 25 pounds heavier than when he arrived at SMU last year, Kris Weeks hopes to compete for the left tackle position in August (photo by PonyFans.com).
“Last year, I was about 330 pounds,” Weeks said. “I had to lose weight — it was all my idea, because that was just too heavy. So I tried to get rid of that ‘bad weight’ and got down to 280. I started eating right and working out more and working out better.
“Now I’m about 305. I’d like to get to about 315, but I want it to be all muscle. I don’t want that ‘bad weight’ back.”
Weeks was one of several offensive linemen who spent the 2011 season watching his teammates play, redshirting his first season on the Hilltop while the Mustangs rolled out an offensive line that featured five senior starters. As a member of the scout team, he got some work at guard, some at tackle.
“I definitely prefer tackle all the way,” Weeks said. “I guess it’s because that’s what I played all throughout high school.”
This spring, Weeks has worked with the “starters” (it likely is far too early to assume new offensive line coach Bob Palcic has picked any clear starters yet) at left tackle, the premium position on any line that blocks for a right-handed quarterback (all three quarterbacks in SMU’s spring workouts — Steve Kaiser, Conner Preston and Garrett Krstich — are right-handed passers).
“I played some guard last year, but I played some tackle, too,” Weeks said. “I guess I did well, because they left me there.”
That Weeks is working with the first-team line is partly a result of the work he put in rebuilding his physique, and partly because of a back injury suffered by Ben Gottschalk, presumed by many to be the heir apparent to the graduated Kelvin Beachum, Jr., at the left tackle position. How the competition for the left tackle spot plays out likely won't be determined until August, and Gottschalk said he hopes to be cleared this week to return to practice, but while awaiting medical permission, Weeks is trying to take advantage of the opportunity.
“(Gottschalk and I) will compete when the fall rolls around,” Weeks said. “Coach Palcic says the best players will play, so we’ll push each other and compete for the position, which will just make both of us better players. (Palcic) is amazing — he’s a great guy. He’s definitely a teacher. He’s very intense and pays a lot of attention to detail in our technique. He has adjusted to our terminology in our offense, but he has added some of his own, so he’s learning while we learn from him.
“The chemistry on the line will come. That’s something that goes beyond playing together — that’s about the friendships in the locker room and off the field, and we’re a tight group. The guys who started last year … they basically grew up together, playing together for four or five years. I don’t know if we’ll be that close because we won’t all be together as long as they were, but we’re a tight group and as we get more experience playing together, that will carry over on to the field.”