Spartan workhorse: Ringer runs early and often Print
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Wednesday, 17 September 2008 12:50
 EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -Michigan State tests its football players throughout the year, gauging how fast they run and how much weight they lift.
On each of those days just before 5 p.m., Javon Ringer checks to see how he stacks up.
``I just love to compete,'' Ringer explained Wednesday.
If a teammate comes close to running faster or lifting more than Ringer, he will ask strength and conditioning coach Ken Mannie to test him again.
``He's extremely self-motivated,'' Mannie said. ``He doesn't need pep-talks. He challenges himself every day.''
Ringer can run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, the shuttle in 3.8 seconds, bench press 400 pounds, squat 620 and his vertical leap in 39 inches.
``That's off the charts for anybody at any position,'' Mannie said.
Ringer, though, is more than just a workout warrior.
th 43 carries and 282 yards in last week's 17-0 win over Florida Atlantic.
The last player to have as many carries in major college football through three games was Wisconsin's Michael Bennett in 2000, according to STATS.
As if Ringer isn't busy enough, he also returns kickoffs.
``I give a lot of credit to the lower-body workouts coach Mannie puts us through that lets me do what the team needs me to do,'' Ringer said. ``I take care of my legs because they take care of me.''
Ringer is looking forward to showing the country what he and the Spartans (2-1) can do against Notre Dame (2-0) on Saturday at home.
``It's always a showcase game when we play Notre Dame,'' Ringer said. ``You have to bring your A-game every Saturday. But against Notre Dame, you need an A-plus game.''
Michigan State Mark Dantonio gives Ringer high marks on and off the field.
``What makes him such a special player are all the intangibles he has as a person,'' Dantonio said. ``He's got a tremendous work ethic and spiritual faith. He's extremely tough mentally as well as physically. He's really confident, but he's also really humble and team oriented.''
Ringer is starting to attract coast-to-coast publicity.
He tries to shed the hype as if it's a defender.
stars on offense.''
Fighting Irish Charlie Weis would respectfully disagree.
``He's one of the best backs in the country,'' Weis said. ``He's truly a workhorse.''
Michigan freshman Sam McGuffie ran for 131 yards in an 18-point loss at Notre Dame last week, leading to Weis emphasizing tackling during practice and insisting his players don't get content if they slow Ringer occasionally.
``You might stop him a couple times, but that's not going to stop (Dantonio) from giving him the ball,'' Weis said. ``They're going to keep on giving him the ball and you're going to have to keep on stopping him because they're going to keep on giving it to him.
``So, you better bring your lunch pail with you.''
Ringer went to work as a freshman in 2005 to earn the respect of his teammates as soon as he arrived on campus.
Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton said Ringer did just that.
``We all heard that he ran the shuttle run in 3.75 seconds and we were all like, `Yeah, right,''' the former Spartan recalled. ``Then we saw him do it and we never doubted him again.
``He's going to be off the charts at the NFL combine. Plus, his tape will look good because he can do special things with the football and he's a good guy. He's really the total package.''
 

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