LSU using accelerometers to measure the force of collisions during spring practice


LSU is wearing an interesting helmet tool to help measure G-force in spring practice.

The device is known as an accelerometer, and it fits into the back of the Tigers’ helmets. A staff member retrieves data from the technology and uploads it into a massive spreadsheet to help build historical data. All this data will be compiled after spring practice is over and sent to the NCAA. The Tigers also collected data starting last fall in spring camp and throughout the season, but it wasn’t worn in games.

Specifically, LSU is looking into which players take the most blows at practice in an effort to discover which positions are exposed with the most head trauma. One would think linebackers and running backs would be exposed to the biggest blows.

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Interestingly enough, the data has shown that offensive linemen take the highest blows. From the data collected during last fall camp, offensive linemen averaged about 80 to 100 blows of near 30 Gs, according to The Advocate, while defensive linemen averaged 50 blows of 30 Gs, and linebackers and fullbacks were around 20 blows of 30 Gs. Concussions can result when around 80-100 Gs are reached.

The most interesting and intriguing observation is that the collisions ranged significantly from one lineman to another, and they finally figured out why, according to The Advocate.

“Some linemen have better technique than others,” said Jack Marucci, LSU’s director of athletic training.

Offensive linemen are taught to use their hands more than anything, especially in pass-blocking. Collins, for instance, has one of the lowest collision rates of any linemen. He’s an experienced veteran whom many expect to be a first-round NFL draft pick next year.

“He uses his hands more,” Marucci said. “He has better technique.”

This could be valuable information for the NCAA, which has already talked about limiting the amount of full-contact fall practices in order to reduce head trauma.

Who would have thought that good technique can help lead to better overall health?

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports



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