After graduating in December, former Purdue linebacker Joe Holland is now preparing for April’s NFL Draft at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis.
St. Vincent’s performance specialist Brandon Johnson said Holland has already excelled five weeks into the eight week training program.
“His attention to detail and ability to take care of the little things really stand out about him,” Johnson said. “I think he can have a productive NFL career.”
Holland said he’s noticed significant improvement physically, most notably gaining ten pounds since Purdue’s final game.
“I’ve gotten faster, I’m moving better laterally and I’m doing all of this with the extra weight,” Holland said.
Holland said he thinks St. Vincent is the ideal place to prepare with physical, athletic, medical, nutritional and psychological training all available on-site.
“It’s great to have everything in one place,” Holland said. “The staff is
unbelievable at getting you to perform at your peak level at the right time.”
Fifteen other potential draft picks are training with Holland at St. Vincent, including a pair of All-Americans in former Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris and San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman. Johnson said Holland and several of the other trainees have improved most notably in the nutritional aspect.
“Sometimes the athletes get on college diets and don’t know what it takes nutritional wise,” Johnson said. “He’s been doing a great job with that here to take care of his body.”
A typical day at St. Vincent for Holland includes a morning session working with speed sessions and position work.
After getting any needed treatment and a lunch break, the afternoon consists of NFL Combine-specific workouts, such as doing as many repetitions as possible while benching 225 pounds.
“The grind of the training is over,” Holland said. “I’m focusing on technique more than anything now to get ready for my pro day in April.”
If the NFL doesn’t follow through for Holland, he has a backup plan in place as he was recently accepted to the Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Holland plans to take advantage of the school’s one year deferment for the time being and put his football career to the forefront.
“The opportunity to play in the NFL is not something I’m going to turn down,” Holland said. “I’ll have to see where things go in the next year football wise and then make a decision.”