Michigan hired Ben Herbert as its strength and conditioning coach in January. Herbert is a former Wisconsin defensive lineman.

Michigan strength and conditioning director Ben Herbert is ‘great addition’

Rachel Lenzi

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What are thoughts on Michigan’s new strength coach? — Mike Londeau, via Facebook

Michigan’s coaches and players are responding positively to Ben Herbert, the Wolverines’ new director of strength and conditioning.

Michigan is making changes to many facets of its football program. From talking to players and coaches, the collective opinion is that the hire of Herbert was a necessary change to the program.

It’s already paying off for Michigan’s players. At first, they were surprised by Herbert’s approach to installing an offseason training regimen. Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. recalled receiving a random text message from Herbert on his first day at Michigan, asking him, “Who is this?”

Bush answered, and Herbert responded: “We’ve got a lot of work to do. Time to come get this work in. No time to rest.”

Rashan Gary has put on eight pounds while working with Herbert, and has noticed gains he made in his speed and explosiveness.

Herbert, players said, takes a holistic approach to strength and conditioning — he emphasizes the work, nutrition, fluid intake and sleep patterns.

Herbert has another advantage. He’s a former Wisconsin defensive lineman, which gives him an advantage in relating to and communicating with players. Herbert knows where they’re coming from. He knows what will help them succeed. He also has helped quite a few college football players prepare for the NFL, including Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

“[Herbert is] the best,” Gary said. “I can’t even describe it. Since he been here, he changed the mindset of us, just coming in every day ready to work and ready to push each other to be the best we can. Having a guy like that, that’s constantly on your back, that constantly wants greatness for you, it’s great having a person like that pushing you along. Having Coach Herb part of the family now is a great addition, and I’m happy.”

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