Pollard says GSU football players are stronger and faster

Ben Pollard likes what he is seeing from his Georgia State football players during strength and conditioning sessions this summer.

“We are making some gains,” he said. “I feel better about some of the things that are happening.”

Because of NCAA rules, Pollard can’t say how many players are participating or who specifically is doing well. However, he  was able to say that there are more players participating this summer and that several players, including numerous true freshmen, are impressing him.

“I believe that some of the true freshmen will step in and help us,” he said. (Twitter followers will note that offensive lineman Garrett Gorringe, defensive lineman Joe Lockley and wide receiver Avery Sweeting have been getting compliments from GSU fans and followers).

It’s much different than last summer, Pollard’s first, when the players didn’t know him and he didn’t know the players. That unfamiliarity made it hard for Pollard to accomplish as much as he wanted. The team went 3-8 and he said the team’s need to be stronger and faster led to breakdowns in confidence.

“The mental part of getting more confident is continuing to grow,” he said. “It’s easier to feel better about yourself when you are stronger. We weren’t physically out of things, we had mental let-downs confidence wise.

“That’s where we have to grow up, have to mature, have to grow up.”

With a full offseason, Pollard has gotten after them.

Last summer, just one player was able to squat more than 500 pounds. During a recent round of testing, 23 players surpassed that mark and one hit 600. No player was able to bench more than 400 pounds last year. This year, a true freshman lifted 425 and several more players have lifted more than 400.

The team worked out for four weeks in June, had a week off, and are back at it this week. Pollard said the team lifts weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They run at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday, after which they participate in seven-on-seven drills. They have 14 more sessions remaining.

Pollard said the second-year players, particularly the linebackers are among the strongest players on the team. He wants to see more from the offensive line, which needs to replace three starters, and the defensive line. He predicted two true freshmen could see playing time, one on each unit.

Pollard said he hasn’t tested the players’ speed, because he doesn’t to risk a player tweaking hamstring or sustaining any injury that may cause them to miss training. But he said he can tell that the players are much faster and that some of the true freshmen are very fast.

“Younger kids pushing older kids,” he said. “I think we will play faster as a group because we will be in better condition.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

48 comments Add your comment


July 9th, 2012
1:40 pm

This should definitely prevent us from having 4th quarters like last year.


July 9th, 2012
2:27 pm

Let’s hope we can see the difference on the field. I really am holding hope that things will be different this season


July 9th, 2012
2:35 pm

Good work Doug! Glad to be talking football.

That true freshman was DT Joe Lockley. He put up 455lbs on the bench, 600lbs on the squat and 350lbs on the power clean. That dude is 100% beast. Immediate contributor on the defensive line.


July 9th, 2012
3:39 pm

Great news. Year to year progress is great as is, it appears, more motivated freshman.


July 9th, 2012
3:47 pm

How is the freshmen corner named Myles doing?

Internet Tough Guy

July 9th, 2012
6:53 pm

This makes the trolls sadder and madder. In your face, trolls.


July 9th, 2012
10:10 pm

This is awesome news! This team has a lot too prove this season, to both the university and opponents. I’m thinking that this team will surprise many people this season. Go Panthers!


July 9th, 2012
10:19 pm

Thanks for the coverage Doug, great job. I hope we will see a marked improvement over last your now the CBP has a year under his belt. Last year was atrocious and I don’t think my nerves can take that again. Even though this year’s schedule is tougher that is no excuse. I will support the kids no matter what but winning would sure make it easier!!


July 9th, 2012
10:29 pm

Atrocious is an understatement. Losing to UTSA! West Alabama!! ST FRANCIS!!! For goodness sake that’s the equivalent of us beating Tenneessee, Houston and Alabama respectively. Thank GOD we shed that LOSER Thompson. Now we need to just get rid of Bond and we should be okay.


July 9th, 2012
11:41 pm

Great news to hear


July 10th, 2012
7:58 am

Can’t wait for opening game. Keep working hard kids, Bilukidi/Massau are proof that it eventually pays off.


July 10th, 2012
8:21 am

Can’t wait for the opener! Way to go guys and Coach Pollard and keep up the good work! GO GSU PANTHERS!!!


July 10th, 2012
8:43 am

Impressive numbers. I’m sure it doesn’t really compare to other marquee schools right now, but the improvement is welcome and much needed.

True Blue

July 10th, 2012
12:13 pm

Great write up Doug. I can’t wait to see all the talk transcend onto the field. I was unimpressed at the spring game. Let’s hope everyone shows up this season.

New GSU student

July 10th, 2012
12:20 pm

Great! I am a new student and I ‘m looking foward to our football game with UT.

I can not wait to see GSU players beat the UT Vols.

Go Eagle!


July 10th, 2012
2:12 pm


July 10th, 2012
3:03 pm

I was pretty worried that our new S&T coach would lead us to a 3-8 season… But I guess we’ll really see his work this year.

GO Panthers! Go GSU (Georgia State University)!

VSU Alumnus

July 10th, 2012
3:34 pm

Good luck this year. Moving from 1-AA to the Sunbelt is bold. I hope you succeed. Go Panthers and Blazers !


July 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

@ New GSU Studnet – Georgia State University is the 1st GSU, (became a University over 20 years before Georgia Southern College.

GSU Panthers!!!!! The 1st Real GSU!!!!


July 10th, 2012
8:11 pm


July 11th, 2012
1:43 am

Awsome news….im foaming at the mouth for the season to start!! GOOOO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!

Argentina Blue

July 11th, 2012
9:42 am

Georgia Southern is older than Georgia State but State reached university status first. They’re both “GSU”, though. If anyone has a problem with that then they should take it up with the BOR.


July 11th, 2012
10:37 am

@Argentina Blue – Georgia Southern doesn’t even market itself as GSU because, um, its not. So there’s no reason to take anything up with the BOR.

Red Panther

July 11th, 2012
3:32 pm

Keep working hard; it will show up on the field

5150 UOAD

July 11th, 2012
4:48 pm

You guys will always be losers.


July 12th, 2012
6:58 am

I ran into one of the GSU players at Walmart off Howell Mill last week (not name dropping to avoid them trouble if not suppose to talk) and he informed me that GSU just recently beat Georgia Tech in a 7 on 7 scrimmage. Any word on this Doug?

Concrete Cats

July 12th, 2012
8:30 am

Put your money where your mouth is, UOAD.


A GSU and GT Grad


July 12th, 2012
10:08 am

There are many AAAAAA high schools in GA that can beat GT in 7 on 7 I would not brag about that. I love GT football it is a real surprise when Tech passes thats why they are successful. Hard to believe that Coach Johnson was at pass happy Hawaii at one time. Hopefully as the years go by he can find a way to work 4-5 more passes into his game plan. Now the whole GSU thing can be settled in a football game winner gets to keep GSU the other will use GASU. You know Curry wants no part of the crew from Statesboro. (BORO)

Incoming GSU freshman

July 12th, 2012
2:53 pm

Great to become a GSU student. Hardly wait for season to start.
Go Eagle!!!

Chicken Bone

July 12th, 2012
5:41 pm

More GNATS loose in the ATL from the Farm BORO! lol


July 13th, 2012
9:07 am

Lets not forget the real GSU from Statesboro scored more points on Bama the national champ in 1 game than LSU did in 2… They are the second best collage team in Ga.. And again I am a Tech fan and a realist.


July 13th, 2012
11:19 am

Doesn’t matter which school uses GSU or not. In a few years, all of college football will know GSU as the GSU Panthers and Georgia State University. Nobody will know southern as GSU.

Concrete Cats

July 13th, 2012
11:22 am

The second best college team in the state is stuck in FCS? You’re an insult to the Tech curriculum. LOL

Paint It Blue

July 13th, 2012
11:25 am

Not sure why you guys are trading blows with Southern fans. GSU’s archrival is Florida Atlantic.

See you in FBS. Or not…


July 13th, 2012
1:48 pm

Second best college team? So what, a Tech fan is saying Tech is the third best team? Or are you saying UGA is third after Tech and Southern? Either you’re not a Tech fan, you’re not a realist, or you’re not educated

A person SMART enough to know...?

July 13th, 2012
3:05 pm

Hey – I still ain’t SMART enough to know anything. Gotta go – Mom is calling me for a fruit sandwich!

Atlanta Mafia

July 13th, 2012
3:09 pm

@Argentina Blue – GSU was named in 1969 and GaSo became a university in 1991 or 1992 so where did you get that both are GSU. Usually the first is the first! So is GaSo going to use GSU Jr.?


July 13th, 2012
3:21 pm

HAHA too bad Georgia State University owns the rights to the GSU acronym. That’s why Southern can’t use it in any of their logos, because we’d sue the pants off of them!

Argentina Blue

July 13th, 2012
3:26 pm

I went to Georgia Southern and Georgia State. They’re both good schools for what they are (State’s graduate business program in Atlanta is doubtless one of the finest in the South and probably top 20-25 in the country) but neither closely rival Tech in overall academics.

Football? Easy – Southern is the number 3 college team in Georgia. Realistically, they’re not far behind Georgia Tech and I wouldn’t be shocked if they beat the Yellow Jackets (or even the Bulldogs for that matter). The program has improved dramatically since Monken came to Statesboro and the Eagles may have their best team ever this year.

Argentina Blue

July 13th, 2012
3:45 pm

@Atlanta Mafia – They can both be “GSU” both schools’ names are abbreviated the same way. I really don’t care what moniker either one uses, though. For Southern I think the “GS” with eagle athletic logo looks sharp.

8-Year Plan

July 13th, 2012
6:21 pm

Let GS continue to mull over that 8-year plan. And if you want to know who the big three are, with regards to football, look no further than the AJC. Hint: A sub division I school from a Podunk town is not listed!

The Big Three

July 13th, 2012
6:25 pm


Sub Division I Schools



July 13th, 2012
11:53 pm

Well i guess you better start suing ga southern because for years i have seen gsu on ga southern gear…… oh wait so should so cal sue so carolina or should so car sue so cal for USC? Wait what about ohio st and okla st….. oregon st….. this is a stupid debate both schools use gsu.

Old School

July 14th, 2012
9:16 am

Great write up Doug, thanks. Looking forward to seeing better line play on both sides of the ball this year!


July 14th, 2012
5:38 pm

@Argentina Blue, It is very simple and NO! GaSo is NOT GSU, period!
Go ask yourself why GaSo never uses the name – because it can NOT do so, period!

[...] A: I’m a lot stronger than I was in the spring. I’ve had increases in my maxes and just overall … [...]


July 15th, 2012
12:58 pm

Georgia St Uni = GSU
Georgia So Uni = GSU
Gambling St Uni = GSU

“Before Mark Becker became Georgia State’s president in 2009, the school had steered clear of using GSU — in school publications, paraphernalia, anywhere — to avoid confusion with Georgia
Southern, which has received significant publicity from its six national championships in

Georgia southern ticket office is 1-800-gsuwins
Georgia southern housing is gsuhousing.com
Georgia southern fan sites are gsufans.com and gsueaglenation.com
The entrance to Georgia southern has the letters GSU design on its shrubs

The argument is stupid BOTH schools use GSU!

Argentina Blue

July 15th, 2012
6:03 pm

@takerjw – Yep, not to mention they also sell ball caps and other items with “GSU” on them at the University Store on campus in Statesboro (and at other locations). You’re right – the argument is silly. Some of these guys act like Georgia State University trademarked the GSU abbreviation. I guess given the realities of the Panthers’ fatuous football program, clowns like Atlanta Mafia have to find some form of diversion.