August 17, 2012

Bjoern Werner sheds pounds, claims better performance









Bjoern Werner has been a lot of things in his two-plus seasons as a Seminole.


He has been a physically imposing, consistently disciplined and statistically productive. But one thing Werner has not been is slim.




After sitting out spring camp in order to rehabilitate a surgically repaired shoulder, Werner reported this fall at a significantly lighter, leaner weight. As of Sunday, before the latest draining two-a-day, Werner reported his weight at 260 pounds, about 15 lighter than the end of the 2011 season. His official roster listing is 255 pounds.


Although that number may on its face cause concern about Werner's effectiveness, the junior claims none of the weight loss had to do with offseason rehab. He also said he's in the best shape of his career.


"I wanted to lose some body fat, because when I came in after my surgery I had a lot of body fat," Werner explained. "I reduced it over three percent over the summer workouts and I just got in better shape. Now I can fly around more, because last year after five plays I was really tired and now I can go 20 plays and I'm not tired at all."


More than a fatigue factor, Werner said he now flashes quicker feet without the extra body fat. He also claimed better results in most of the individual strength evaluations in the weight room.


Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops applauded Werner for seeking to maximize his football potential, but did joke with the media that he wouldn't mind the junior play at least year's weight too.


"I believe he's just trying to get where he believes he can play at a very fast, high level all the time," Stoops said. "I joke with him all the time, I say 'I liked you bigger… you played pretty good at the size you were at before.'"


Werner indicated he is looking to increase his size back up to the 265-pound range after the wear and tear of two-a-days, a net reduction of 10 pounds from last season. No matter the weight, he feels the pressure of the defensive ends underneath him on the depth chart.


"Scary good," Werner said of his segment-mates. "We always talk about depth, but if I would go down right now, they wouldn't miss me."


In addition to high praise for ends Giorgio Newberry and Tank Carradine, Werner said the situation at right tackle is making him a better player as well. Thought to be one of the question marks heading into the season opener, Werner, who lines up opposite that position, said the shuffling allows for more personal skill-sharpening.


"It improves me because I have to work different moves," he said. "If I go against the same guy every day, I know his weakness and I'm using the same stuff over again."







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