Staying in shape is of utmost importance for football players, but COVID-19 has made this more difficult.
This is especially true for players like rising senior K.J. Britt, who doesn’t have access to weight room equipment at home.
“I don’t have a trainer here,” Britt said on a teleconference Thursday. “I don’t have resources to a weight room here. So everything I have to do, it’s really just on my own. So I do drops and stuff on the yard, running up the yard. It’s different but it’s positive like, I’m just trying to make sure that I really don’t lose anything. That’s my main thing. I’m trying to make sure that I gain everything but it’s only so much that I could do. It’s only so much.”
Britt is one of many players that are working to adapt to strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell’s new regimen.
Russell, like everyone, has been forced to adapt his workout regimen for players. Some have full access to weights and continue a relatively normal workout schedule. Others, like Britt, are forced to do things differently.
“We’re in an unprecedented time right now,” Russell said in a quote gathered from Auburn Athletics. “Things are a little bit different, but as we always say, and I'm a firm believer, the great ones adjust. The main thing right now is the health and safety of the student-athletes."
Back home with family in Oxford, Alabama, Britt is doing everything he can to make sure he stays in shape.
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“Everything I do is just around the neighborhood,” Britt said. “Real quarantine workouts —pushups, situps, body weight squats, and stuff like that, and jump ropes and stuff like that. It’s been different. I never really thought stuff like this really could happen and I’d be sitting at home in April."
Britt says it’s just been him, his little brother and his little speaker, mostly playing Rod Wave and NBA Youngboy, working out in the yard.
On the offensive side of the ball, rising sophomore Bo Nix has been doing what he can to continue working out, too.
Like Britt, Nix is training with his younger brother, Caleb Nix, a 2022 quarterback at Pinson Valley, and his father Patrick Nix.
With a family of quarterbacks, someone has to run a route to catch the pass, and Bo and Caleb have been doing that.
“Yes, actually,” Bo Nix laughed on Thursday’s teleconference when asked if he's been running routes for Caleb. “I enjoy getting my conditioning in with running routes, so I feel like that helps speed and agility. I feel like I'm a receiver, too, so I feel like I could go out there and play for him.”
An exact timetable as to when players may return to campus has not been laid out, the only thing known currently is that in-person meetings are not allowed through May 31.
Usually, players have the advantage of spring practices, summer workouts and fall camp to get fully into playing shape, but that may be a luxury they don’t have this year.
It’s a luxury, yes, but Britt is not concerned about that right now. There are bigger things at play in the world.
“Look, that’s out of my hands,” Britt said. “I just do what I’m told. That’s above my pay grade right there. People just tell me — I just do what I’m told, so I don’t know how the schedule’s going to work. I really don’t know. I’m really not trying to know, so I just know that we need to get back and that’s all I can do.”
The players have personal Zoom meetings and continue to stay in contact, but Britt is looking forward to being around his teammates again soon.
“Right now everybody’s really just happy to be around each other and really happy to make sure we still talk every day, because that’s something that goes unseen but is really missed,” Britt said. “Just the communication that we have between each other.”
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