Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ivan In Auburn

ESPN's Ivan Maisel was in Auburn today to check out the official arrival of the freshman class. Some very nice work from Mobile-native Maisel here, peeking into a world most fans never see:
All of a sudden, the players against whom these prized freshmen will line up can be four years older and stronger. That's where football equipment manager Jim Vanzandt comes in to protect them.

Vanzandt measured the scholarship freshmen over the summer for their helmet and pad sizes. He measured the invited walk-ons on Wednesday. Many freshmen don't realize he knows what he is doing.

"In high school, their pads didn't fit them," said Vanzandt, who has been working at Auburn since 2002. "They managed to protect themselves by being bigger and faster. Your helmet should fit tighter than they're used to and their shoulder pads should be tighter. Some of the defensive linemen will literally get their helmets slapped off their heads. They've never been slapped by somebody this big and fast."
Good stuff. Regardless of who you root for, read the whole thing.

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