Here is the list of the top 10 strongest college football players for the 2011 NCAA Football season. Each of these athletes are absolute genetic freaks who have some of the most impressive feats of strength and workout routines around. We want to give credit to Bruce Feldman of ESPN who originally came out with this top 10 list. However, we revised this list with new players and what we deem as the correct order. Those athletes who are in better physical shape and have lower body weight get additional consideration for being stronger. Find out who makes the list…
1) Mike Martin
DT, Michigan Wolverines 6’2, 300 lbs. Senior
Anyone who can bench press 505 pounds, squat 700 pounds, power clean 430 pounds, hang clean 475 pounds and run a 4.9 second 40 yard dash is deserving of the top spot on this list. Martin does it all in the weight room and on the athletic field. Not only does he excel in football but he was a two-time high school state champion in wrestling and the shot put in his hometown state of Michigan. Martin is looking to improve on his solid play after getting All-Conference selection by both the coaches (2nd team) and the media (honorable mention) last season.
2) Travis Frederick
OL, Wisconsin Badgers 6’4, 338 lbs. Sophomore
Frederick became the first offensive lineman in Badgers history to start as a true freshman in 2009 when he played center against Northern Illinois. Besides his solid all-around play, he earned that start because no one on the field, let alone the nation, has a stronger lower body than Frederick. Frederick broke Chris Pressley’s school record by posting a 770-pound squat. In addition, Fredrick’s upper body is almost as equally strong; he can bench around 500 pounds. After redshirting after his freshman year in 2010, Frederick looks to get back right where he started for the 2011 campaign.
3) Trent Richardson
RB, Alabama Crimson Tide 5’11, 220 lbs. Junior
Standing at only 220 pounds, Richardson bench presses 475 pounds, squats 600 pounds and power cleans over 365 pounds, in addition to a 4.4 second 40 yard dash. Richardson is so strong that his strength and conditioning coach will not let him go heavier than that for fear of injury, saying “The last thing I need to do is mess this kid up”, indicating that we’ll never know his true one rep max. Richardson knows what it takes to get strong as he was the state of Florida’s weightlifting champion back in high school. Richardson is a true athletic and strength prodigy and is probably pound for pound the nation’s strongest player. The junior running back looks to savor the load this year for Alabama’s high-powered offense, looking to mimic the Heisman Trophy play of ex-teammate Mark Ingram.
4) John Simon
DT, Ohio State Buckeyes 6’2, 270 lbs. Junior
John Simon, the 6’2, 270 pound defensive tackle for the Buckeyes, left high school with a 450 pound max bench and a max squat of 700 pounds. Even at the young age of 16, Simon could bench 31 reps of 225 pounds! Keep in mind that it’s been a few years since Simon posted those insane feats of strength. You can only imagine how strong the man is now (however, we may never know). It would not be surprising if Simon can max out well over a 600 pound bench and an 800 pound squat. Simon is known to of done 48 reps for the 225 pound bench press, one rep shy of Stephen Paea’s all-time NFL Combine record. As a result, there will sure be a lot of hype for him heading into the NFL Combine. Simon is the glue and leader of the Buckeyes defense with 57 career tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 12 tackles for loss. He has been named to the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, honoring the top collegiate defensive player in the country. Although Simon most likely has the strength to lift more than anyone on this list, we need to go by his old max bench and squat numbers (since his current max lifts have not been confirmed). This is why he comes in at #4 but could easily be #1 on this list.
5) Brandon Boudreaux
DE/LB, Troy Trojans 6’1, 239 lbs. Senior
Boudreaux may be the only football player in the nation who can challenge Stephen Paea’s 49 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press at the 2011 NFL Combine. Boudreaux is so freakishly strong in his chest that he benches 225 pounds for 44 reps with even more room to spare! Strength coach Richard Shaughnessy says Boudreaux has done close to 50 reps before. At only 239 lbs., Boudreaux can realistically break Paea’s mark, doing so with 60 pounds less bodyweight. Boudreaux broad jumps 10 foot 5 inches and can run a 40 yard dash in 4.6 seconds. Shaughnessy compared him to “a little Lee Haney”. Boudreaux hasn’t had a productive year to date but is looking to show some spark going into his senior year.
6) Josh Chapman
DT, Alabama Crimson Tide 6’1, 305 lbs. Senior
Although he doesn’t have the dominance of former Tide teammate Terrence Cody, Chapman sure has that freak strength that can be a problem for any offensive lineman. According to the Crimson Tide strength staff, Chapman benches 580 pounds and squats 630 pounds. This season Chapman is regarded as one of the better nose guard prospects in his class.
7) Doug Martin
RB, Boise State Broncos 5’9, 201 lbs. Senior
They say big things come in small packages. Doug Martin is a prime example of that. The 5’9 Martin, known by his teammates as the “Muscle Hamster”, possesses the most impressive stats in the Boise State program with a 530-pound squat, 405-pound bench press, a 374-pound hang clean, and a 40 yard dash of 4.42 seconds. He also vertical jumps 37 inches and did 28 reps on the 225-pound bench press. With Kellen Moore getting all the attention this year, Martin should certainly not be overlooked, looking to improve on his previous all-star season of 1,260 yards and 12 TDs.
At only 5’10 and 222 lbs., Burnett may lack the true size of a linebacker but possesses some of the best pure strength at the position. He can squat 600 pounds, bench press 460 pounds, and power cleans 350 pounds. Last season, Burnett led the Yellow Jackets in tackles despite not starting until Week 5. Head coach Paul Johnson deems Burnett as a “heat-seeking missile.”
9) Michael Ford
RB, LSU Tigers 5’10, 202 lbs. Sophomore
At just over 200 lbs., Ford gives Trent Richardson a run for his money as the nation’s pound for pound strongest player. Ford benches 425 pounds, power cleans 352 pounds, and squats 510 pounds, all while doing a 42 inch vertical. Tigers strength coach Tommy Moffitt, who had worked at Miami, believes that Ford reminds him of former Hurricanes star Andre Johnson in the weight room. Ford looks to compete for the starting running back position heading into this season.
10) Eric Richter
OL, Colorado Buffaloes 6’3, 310 lbs. Senior
A junior college transfer from Saddleback College in California, Richter amazed his new Colorado teammates with his raw strength, repping out 500 pounds on the bench press three times. According to Colorado’s strength coach, Richter can bench press 405 pounds for six to eight reps and did 41 reps of the 225-pound bench press. Richter is listed third at left guard on the Buffaloes roster but his pure strength may make some noise this year for the Buffs.
C, Notre Dave Fighting Irish 6’3, 303 lbs. Senior
Braxston Cave’s 520-pound bench press is beastly, making him one of the strongest offensive linemen in the country. Cave didn’t live up to his full potential last season but is looking to be the lead anchor for the Fighting Irish offensive line.
List adapted from Bruce Feldman’s “Top 10 strongest men in college football” article in ESPN Insider: http://insider.espn.go.com/ncf/blog?name=feldman_bruce&id=6396414