Bridges said playing time starts in the weight roomGRAND FORKS — Romon Bridges may or may not see the field when the University of North Dakota begins its 2012 season as a first-year member of the Big Sky Conference.
By: Wayne Nelson, The Dickinson Press
GRAND FORKS — Romon Bridges may or may not see the field when the University of North Dakota begins its 2012 season as a first-year member of the Big Sky Conference.
Bridges, a redshirt freshman, currently is a third-string receiver. And UND’s receiving corps — based on two spring practices at Memorial Stadium — may be one of the team’s strengths in the fall.
But Bridges already has made his mark in one area — he earned one of the two UND Beefmaster awards during the offseason, which signifies impressive work in the weight room.
Bridges is a 5-foot-9, 154-pounder from Stockton, Calif. His numbers in the weight room during offseason testing earned him the Beefmaster award for the smaller players in the program. Defensive lineman Ross Brenneman earned the ‘Big Guy’ Beefmaster Award.
Bridges said he benched 285 pounds, adding his power clean was 254 pounds and squat 315 pounds.
“You have to be strong to be a football player,” Bridges said. “It’s a man’s sport.”
Bridges said his weight-lifting numbers have shot up dramatically since arriving on campus.
“Coach (Nate) Baukol is a great (strength and conditioning) coach,” Bridges said. “I try and listen to everything he says. I just tried to work as hard as I could every day in the weight room.
“I’ll do everything I can to get on the field.”
UND coach Chris Mussman said the program did have a good offseason in the weight room as 60 personal records were set.
“Our guys buy into the weight room,” Mussman said. “They like to be there. It’s one of the things they enjoy about being a student-athlete.”
UND’s practice Wednesday, the second of the spring season, was markedly better than its first.
“We were better today than we were on Monday,” Mussman said. “We didn’t put the ball on the turf as much.”
And a handful of receivers came up with impressive catches.
Perhaps the best came from tight end Taylor Grant, who made a one-handed grab from quarterback Braden Hanson. The play covered roughly 30 yards.
Zach Adler, Greg Hardin and Casey Young also made eye-catching grabs.
UND’s first two practices came without pads.
That changes Friday when pads will be in place for the first time.
Nelson is the sports editor of the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.