Offensive linemen have to be big and brutal, and they smash other big, brutal guys over and over. Aches and bruises come with the job, and days off are few and far between during fall training camp and the season.
Junior offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton would agree. Last season, Throckmorton played in 97 percent of the team’s snaps, an extraordinary number. Head coach Mario Cristobal wants that number lowered this year, but Throckmorton is too good to rest too often.
On a rare day off, junior Calvin Throckmorton works out in a different way. He tweeted:
The book is about how to build skills and leadership. One of the chapters is called “prioritize and execute,” in reference to how the former Navy SEALs say it is more beneficial to focus on a select few tasks than try and juggle many at once.
The lesson stood out to Throckmorton, and it makes sense. During fall camp, he played four positions along the offensive line. He has already played right guard and tackle in his career, and now in the depth chart against Bowling Green, Throckmorton is listed at left tackle and right tackle. All of the above works out his body and mind.
“It’s been great,” Throckmorton said. “I like being able to see the defenses from different perspectives and it just helps me that much more. I’m able to that much better understand the actual defensive looks that we’re going against, so it’s been helping me a lot.”
Throckmorton, center Jake Hanson and left guard Shane Lemieux are the iron men of the offensive line. All three have 25 consecutive starts, and all three have performed well. But Throckmorton’s versatility sets him apart, and only the players and coaches will know which tackle position he’ll play until kickoff.
“[It’s] just a tremendous credit to him,” offensive line coach Alex Mirabal said. “It’s ability, durability, flexibility — those are important things for playing along the offensive line.”
Throckmorton finds playing multiple positions fun, and Mirabal knows he’s got the brain for it as well.
“You’re talking about a kid who has got a 4.2 (GPA) in school,” Mirabal said. “This is easy … He knows it just helps him become a better player because now he knows everything that is going on around, not just his spot. So he’s able to play without blinders and see the entire field, and it’s been nothing but beneficial to him.”
Will Throckmorton play 97 percent of the snaps at multiple positions this season? Maybe he’ll be flanked by an offensive line that has more depth than it did a season ago.
He’ll also be on the line with the guy who gave him the book to read. Hanson read it before him and passed it along. Throckmorton hopes he can do the same.
“I’m trying,” he said. “I think it’d be great if some other guys picked it up.”
Follow Jack Butler @Butler917