Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MARSHALL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; Jean-Felix's Newfound Flexibility a Big Boost for His Game

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

MARSHALL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; Jean-Felix's Newfound Flexibility a Big Boost for His Game

Article excerpt

HUNTINGTON - In Marshall offensive lineman Sandley Jean-Felix's rise to the role of the Thundering Herd's top left tackle, the top half of his body has been especially integral. His long arms and hands that can swallow a handshake whole have been very important tools. He admits, though, that his bottom half needed some work.

The most crucial area of improvement was his hip flexibility, something he spent the entire offseason developing and something he feels is much better as preseason camp continues.

Jean-Felix came to Marshall in 2013 from Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, standing at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds. He's grown to 317 pounds this year and as much as that's spurred his success, his hip flexibility has been even more important. He feels much more powerful and able to drive defenders away from the ball.

"Some plays, I demolish people, and that's because of flexibility, he said.

That newfound trait was the result of plenty of spring and summer sessions with the Herd's strength and conditioning coach, Scott Sinclair. At some points, flexibility trumped everything else in offseason workouts.

"It's really tough, Jean-Felix said. "In summer workouts, he would allow me to work out with the team. He'd just keep me to the side, stretching. I'd go home at least 30 minutes a night to stretch.

As entrenched as the redshirt sophomore is at starting left tackle, he hasn't relaxed. He enjoys the responsibility and wants to continue fending off his backups to keep it.

"I still have to work as if it's not my spot, that I'm still trying to get that spot, Jean-Felix said.

***

Jean-Felix's predecessor at left tackle, Trevor Mendelson, didn't go far after his 2014 senior campaign. Actually, he's still on the Joan C. Edwards Stadium turf every day, working as a graduate assistant with offensive line coach Alex Mirabal.

Mendelson didn't start right out on this track. He worked for three weeks at a bank in Columbus, Ohio, before he realized his heart remained on the gridiron. He had been talking with Mirabal since Marshall's Boca Raton Bowl win over Northern Illinois about his desire to coach, and decided to follow that dream. …

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