Scott Wedige is typically in the middle of everything.
Being the starting center for the NIU football team, the Elkhorn, Wis. native finds himself as the lynch pin of the offensive line, barking out orders to his teammates in the trenches.
After Tuesday’s practice was cut short due to weather, Wedige took some time to talk with the Northern Star about how the Huskies are adapting to the new terminology of first-year head coach Dave Doeren, the early stages of running a no-huddle offense and how the linemen are shedding some spring weight.
Northern Star: How’s it been taking in the new terminology under Doeren?
Scott Wedige: At first it was a little rough. It’s a lot to comprehend, and [the coaching staff] expected a lot of us right away, which is a good thing, because high standards are a good thing.
As the spring has gone on, we’ve really spent a lot of time learning everything. And it’s been really showing on the field; Offense, defense; everyone’s getting a lot better and more comfortable within our offensive and defensive schemes. And it’s going to be fun to see next fall.
NS: On offense, you guys are now running a no-huddle. What’s that process been like?
SW: The initial difference was just that it is fast; you’ve got to be in shape, you can’t be overweight. It’s fast and tight. It puts defenses in a tough position because we’re getting up and getting down; we’re not huddling and not taking that 30 seconds in between plays.
We’re taking 15-20 seconds. It’s only 15 seconds difference, but it is a lot of difference on our conditioning and [the defense’s] conditioning.
It is great, because we get a lot more basic looks, because we get lined up faster and they can’t get really intricate blitzes. So it’s easier for us.
NS: How does all that moving around so quickly work for you big guys up front?
SW: We’re in shape now, for the most part. But we’ve still got to lose some weight.
For myself, I weigh about 315, 317 right now. So I’ve got to get down to about 302. That’s what they want me at, so you can make a whole long season and be in shape, and really push the tempo.
I know a lot of guys need to lose a few pounds here and there. They want us between 300 and 305, just so that we have that 15-20 pounds off you, [it’s] going to make a big difference in the fall.
It will be good going with [strength and conditioning coach Brad Ohrt], and working in the summer.
NS: So what do you guys have to do to shed those pounds?
SW: Eating a little better. It’s more than just cutting things, but watching what you’re eating. Pick up a few more fruits and vegetables a day.
But also work with coach Ohrt.
We have a “big guy” program, so if you need to lose some weight, you go on the elliptical, do a little extra running.
It’s called the “cardio crew,” and you get after it. It’s not too bad.
You’ve just got to really focus on it, instead of being an offensive lineman and eating whatever is in front of you.