Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash brought a lot of motivational tools with him to the banks from his last coaching stop, Ohio State. Things such as slogans, operational philosophy, as well as several staffers and coaches too. As you well know, one key member Ash brought with him is strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker and together they established a similar annual workout that Urban Meyer runs with the Buckeyes. The session is considered the most difficult workout of the year, which is saying something under Parker’s respected training program. It is designed to test their intestinal fortitude, as they perform finishing sets that are intended to push players to their limit in between their regular exercises. Those finishers are performed again at the end of each exercise when they are typically done.
On top of the physical demands, the players have to deal with the mental aspects of the challenging workout with a creepy blend of Valentine’s Day and Halloween type decorations. We covered last year’s debut here. Check out this video that Rutgers produced on the 2nd annual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which took place this past Friday.
2nd Annual Valentine's Celebration Workout. #RFootball #TheHunt pic.twitter.com/bubnexINWK— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 17, 2017
For a program that needs to improve their physicality and toughness, this workout certainly helps in both departments. And yes, that looks to be Janarion Grant at the end of the video, dancing with a clown mask on. Despite not seeing his face, it’s a comforting sight seeing his enthusiasm after such a workout and you know he had a big smile on his face while doing it too. His return next season is a huge lift for the offense, as well as the entire program. New offensive coordinator Jerry Kill had this to say when I spoke with him earlier this month:
“I was talking to Janarion today and he is working hard. He is running straight ahead, he can’t cut yet. He is an exciting and explosive player.”
Although he is still working his way back in order to be fully ready for spring practice, it’s encouraging that he appears to be a full participant in the program’s winter workouts. Grant’s potential on the field in his return from injury this fall is the biggest reason to be excited about a revamped offense under Kill.
Here are some tweets that also give a view of how difficult the workout was for the players.
Enter the Weight Room if you Dare‼️ #StValentinesDayCelebration #TheHunt pic.twitter.com/lJooeBRwDo— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 17, 2017
February 17, 2017
WARNING: Machines are being Built‼️#StValentinesDayCelebration pic.twitter.com/W0NHOs24AB— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 17, 2017
February 17, 2017
⚔️ ️ pic.twitter.com/1hqFxTbHsi— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 17, 2017
Here are some tweets from players:
My soul still at that leg press as we speak lol. This video though RT https://t.co/dpCLUarFJV— RMIII (@RobMartin_7) February 17, 2017
Them boys were turnt up!! https://t.co/4YC14aG3TY— Isaiah Wharton (@Isaiah_Wharton) February 17, 2017
St. Valentines Day Massacre has me like pic.twitter.com/WavrMMbMKw— Brendan Bordner (@Bordner42) February 17, 2017
Died and came back to life on the Leg Press.... https://t.co/oQex7ngyvJ— Sebastian Joseph-Day (@SJD_51) February 17, 2017
St. Valentine's Day got my legs like.... pic.twitter.com/ZZMKTDhBKs— Trey (@TreySneedFL) February 18, 2017
Now that this difficult workout is behind them, the players can focus on finishing winter workouts strong before spring practice begins. While no formal announcement has been made yet, it is expected to start in late March with the spring game to take place in late April. Once official dates are released, we will break down the full spring practice schedule.