When I attempted -- rather pathetically -- to go through Cincinnati's winter workout program earlier this year, I joked to the strength coaches that maybe I could at least do as well as a punter. They shook their heads and told me I had a long way to go to match their punter in the weight room.
Well, now I don't feel quite so bad about it. Colleague Bruce Feldman has released his annual "Freaks" list of workout warriors, and Bearcats punter Pat O'Donnell scored a victory for punters everywhere by checking in at No. 10. Writes Feldman:
"Yes, a punter. Don't roll your eyes, though. This guy is one of the more imposing punters since the Pittsburgh Panthers' MMA fighter Dave Brytus. The 6-foot-5, 217-pound O'Donnell has a 355-pound bench, broad jumps 9'2" and his 10-yard split of 1.53 seconds is actually faster than the time Jeff Demps clocks."
Feldman lists West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin among those players who just missed the cut. If O'Donnell is making this list ahead of Irvin, that tells you something.
OK, are there any long-snappers I could take on?
Also on the list, checking in at No. 4, is Syracuse receiver Dorian Graham. Feldman writes:
A converted defensive back, Graham uses his speed and explosiveness as a special teams standout for the Cuse as a gunner flying down the field covering punts. At 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, Graham hang-cleans 341 pounds, benches 405 and squats 525. His body fat, according to SU coaches, is a microscopic 4.3 percent. "Statistically, he's off the charts," says Orange head coach Doug Marrone. "The guy can almost power clean twice his body weight and ran an electronic 4.31 40." Marrone added that Graham is working hard to improve his route running, and the coach is hoping that Graham can become more than just a special teams star in his senior season this fall.