EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Make no mistake: Playing Division I FBS football is very difficult and every program has its ways of identifying the weak links.
To open fall camp, UTEP tests its players conditioning, mental toughness and intestinal fortitude with the 300-yard shuttle test. It’s simple: five 60 yard sprints, then a two-minute break, then five more 60-yard sprints.
“Its the roughest day of the year. It’s very painful; excruciating pain after,” said quarterback Calvin Brownholtz.
Iowa’s Hayden Fry was the originator; Bill Snyder took it to Kansas State, and Dana Dimel has now adopted it with the Miners. Each position group has a different time it has to make; their two runs are averaged out to equal a final score.
“How hard can you go close to maximal effort and then recover quickly and go again? It’s just like they do on the football field,” said strength and conditioning coach, Kevin Schadt.
Defensive backs, running backs and wide receivers must average a time under 45 seconds; quarterbacks, tight ends, linebackers and specialists in 48-49 seconds; defensive ends in 50 seconds; defensive tackles in 54 seconds; and offensive linemen in 56 seconds.
“One of our players last year that had been through it at Kansas State (Walter Neil) said that if you pass this test, you’ll be successful in life. That’s how much of a test of your integrity it is,” said Dimel, who, interestingly enough, has never actually run the test himself.
Those who don’t make their times have extra conditioning throughout fall camp. KTSM 9 Sports Director elected to attempt to complete the timed trial himself on Thursday, and was able to pass the offensive lineman mark.