If you’re a college football player, you should be in tip-top shape.

Sounds like common sense to first-year Tarleton State head coach Cary Fowler, who is adding a twist to the start of the Texans’ preseason training camp next week.

After players check in Wednesday, they will be greeted by a tough conditioning test at the start of Thursday’s workouts. Fowler will require all players to run 110 meters 16 times with only 25 seconds of rest in between.

“Be in shape. Stay in shape. Work hard over the summer to be in the best shape possible. That’s all I ask,” Fowler said. “I’m not surprising anyone with this. I told them at the end of the spring they would be doing this. Now it’s here and we’re going to find out real quick who is ready to play football for us.”

Fowler says the conditioning test is much tougher than the shuttle runs NFL defensive end Albert Haynesworth was forced to complete by Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

“This will be a lot tougher,” he said. “I’m not trying to kill anyone, but I want to work with guys who show up to camp ready to roll.”

The Texans will have just three weeks to prepare for their season and Lone Star Conference crossover opener Sept. 2 against Northeastern State.

“We made good progress in the spring, but now it’s for real,” Fowler said. “We have a lot of new faces coming in and only three weeks to get ready to play in the toughest league in all of Division II. We have to have guys who are going to show up ready to go.”

The Texans are coming off a 10-3 season in which they won a share of both the LSC league-wide crown and the LSC South Division title. They advanced to the national playoffs, eliminating Texas A&M-Kingsville in the opening round before being eliminated by Central Washington.

“That was a good season, now we have to move on and take the next step forward,” Fowler said. “We can’t do that if we’re not in shape, and we’re going to find out who is and isn’t in shape real quick next week.”