Like the rest of his new University of Tennessee at Chattanooga teammates, Dean Haynes was breathing hard and sweating profusely as he ran short sprints at Scrappy Moore Field on Friday.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound safety from Tunnel Hill, Ga., who transferred to UTC from North Carolina State in May, has spent the month of June training with the Mocs. The former Northwest Whitfield High School standout said the workouts have been productive, as has the time to get to know the players on the team.
"It's a real valuable time and I'm using it to the best of my ability, just to get out here and interact with the guys and figure out my role on the team," said Haynes, who is driving up from Tunnel Hill each day.
"Workouts [stink] always," he said after Friday's running, "but you've got to put in the work in the summer so you can perform in the fall."
Haynes knows offensive linemen Adam Miller, Dustin Tate and Synjen Herren from their days together at Northwest Whitfield.
UTC has had about 40 players in town working out this month. A few were attending the first session of summer school, but most were working and training, Mocs strength coach Scott Brincks said.
"I've got a little over 40 guys here right now, and the rest of them will be back on Wednesday," Brincks said.
The Mocs report for preseason practice in early August, so Brincks has about six weeks to get everyone ready for practice. He is allowed to work with the players for eight hours a week.
"I just want to get them in shape," he said. "Right now we're [setting personal records] strength-wise. [Linebacker Gunner Miller] power-cleaned 365 pounds just the other day. That's a PR for him. [Defensive lineman] Toyvian Brand power-cleaned 335 pounds, which is a PR for him."
As practice approaches, Brincks said, running will replace lifting as the primary focus of workouts.
Take a stroll by the football offices on any day during the week and you're likely to see quarterbacks Terrell Robinson and Jacob Huesman studying video. Neither is working, so they've both been putting in a lot of hours getting physically and mentally ready.
"We're watching film constantly and getting work done," Robinson said. "This is basically our job."