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Longo center stage for Irish this summer

Jun 21, 2010, 1:46 PM EST

One of the best parts of the Notre Dame Fantasy Football Camp was spending time with the new head of Notre Dame’s strength program, Paul Longo. We had around a half-hour with Longo and his two lieutenants, Jacob Flint and Lorenzo Guess, where our small group poked and prodded the three men in charge of transforming the Irish football team into a group that can play in the high-tempo style that Brian Kelly and company plan to play.

Recently, both Bruce Feldman and Pat Forde of ESPN spent time on campus, getting to know the new regime in charge of Notre Dame football. Forde focused his time on Longo, and he put together a nice article on the man who plays the most important role for the Irish this summer.

Here are a few key snippets from Forde:

Watch the short, bespectacled 51-year-old with the salt-and-pepper crew
cut work, and one thing stands out: the sound of silence.

The Haggar Fitness Center comes with a state-of-the-art sound system,
satellite radio and multiple flat-screen televisions. None of them was
on when the Fighting Irish players reported for the first day of summer
conditioning earlier this month.

No thumping music. No ESPN. No distractions or artificial stimuli. And
no barking by Longo.

This runs counter to the Screaming Wildman strength coach stereotype and
to the reputation of the weight room as a den of noisy intensity…

According to the Irish players, Longo doesn’t have to do much to prove
himself or sell himself. They know the fourth-quarter stats. They know
that he has a direct line to the head coach. And they know that they
came up short several times last year in the fourth quarter under
Charlie Weis.

“Last year they did their best to prepare us with their philosophy,”
sophomore linebacker Manti Te’o said. “Coach Longo has the record to
back his up. I don’t want to degrade the other coaches, but it’s more
efficient now. It makes sense.”

One of the things I found most fascinating was the simplicity of the workouts. The Irish will spend the majority of their time working on platforms, strengthening their bodies as a whole. While Manti Te’o’s comments probably speak volumes, one of the best tidbits that I heard while at camp was on the continued transformation of Chris Stewart. At 358 pounds, Stewart is the largest player on Notre Dame’s roster. When Longo and his staff came to town, Chris was able to do one pull-up, which is pretty impressive when you consider the weight he’s carrying. Fast-forward six months, and last week Stewart ripped off 20 pull-ups in a row. That’s incredible. 

With Longo Beach built and a full slate of strength and conditioning work already being tackled, this will be one of the most important offseasons in recent Notre Dame history. Longo was careful not to give away any trade secrets during our visit to campus, but after a few days it was pretty obvious that he’s got a system and plan in place that’s one of the very best in college football. 

  1. lawwolf - Jun 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Stuff like this just makes me more and more excited about the up coming season. And to top it all off today I was able to purchase tickets to the Purdue game. I can’t wait.
    On a somewhat related topic, having only been to two previous games in my life, is there anyone that can tell me how close to the top row 16 in LS is? I guess what I’m asking is does anyone know how many rows there are? Thanks and GO IRISH!!!

  2. Luke - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    LS isn’t a section I’m familiar with. Our tickets are in the lower (old part) part of the stadium, section 17. The upper levels are 101-136.

  3. lawwolf - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    Sorry, it was level L2, section 133, row 16.

  4. Luke - Jun 21, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Here’s a link to see what your view will be like. You’ll likely need to stand the entire game because you’re in the student sections.
    http://www.und.com/facilities/nd-stadium-seating-chart.html

  5. eric - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    student section is in lower bowl only. section 133 is not student section. you will be above students and have a great view of the game, there are no bad seats in ND stadium.

  6. lawwolf - Jun 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Thanks Eric. That should be a lot of fun above the students.

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