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Alabama’s Jesse Williams aiming for Combine bench press record

Jesse Williams AP

The Scouting Combine is still a month away, but former Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams is already staking his claim as the strongest man there. And the strongest man who has ever lifted at the Combine.

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Williams can max out at 600 pounds on the bench press, and he told News.com.au that he expects to break the Combine’s all-time record for repetitions of 225 pounds. But he added that the bench press isn’t his primary focus as he prepares for the Combine.

All the teams know how strong I am. I’m trying to show off other attributes,” he said.

Williams was discovered by Jerry Dominguez, the defensive coordinator at Arizona Western junior college. Dominguez recruited Williams to Arizona Western after taking a trip to Australia to school students in the fundamentals of American football, then coached him there before he transferred to Alabama. Dominguez told the New York Times that Williams should be able to do 55 to 60 reps at 225 pounds.

The Combine’s all-time record is 51 reps by Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky in 1999. Others have claimed they could break Ernest’s record only to fall short, including David Molk of Michigan last year, who said he’d top the record but ended up with only (only?) 41 reps.

Of course, breaking the Combine bench press record says little about whether a player can make it in the NFL. It’s worth noting that Ernest wasn’t drafted and never played in a regular-season game (although he was briefly on the Saints’ roster). What Williams has going for him is that he was a starter at both end and tackle on Alabama’s defensive line, and that he’s athletic enough that the Crimson Tide occasionally put him in the backfield as a fullback in short-yardage situations. (Williams buried Manti Te’o to lead the way on a touchdown run in the national championship game.) NFL teams will also likely see Williams as a player who still has room to improve, having grown up playing rugby and basketball and not having a lot of experience with American football.

Ultimately, the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Williams looks like a first-round pick because of what he can do on the field, not in the weight room. But setting a record in the weight room would be a nice bonus.

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33 Responses to “Alabama’s Jesse Williams aiming for Combine bench press record”
  1. riggz91 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:48 AM

    haha only 41!?!?! It would be hard to just do the bar 41 times let alone 2 plates on each side.

  2. nokoolaidcowboy says: Jan 23, 2013 10:53 AM

    Try not to hurt yourself showing off kid. There’s a lot at stake.

  3. annodomini90 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:57 AM

    The news story states that Jesse will break the record, not Jesse himself. He just admitted to being strong.

  4. bigks77 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:01 AM

    How about a pie eating contest at combine? The guy has to lift about 2 inches to complete a rep

  5. fuglyflorio says: Jan 23, 2013 11:02 AM

    He may not be the strongest … but he’s got a good shot at ugliest.

  6. cospgsmadman says: Jan 23, 2013 11:05 AM

    I can lift 400 pounds over my head, but still…nobody likes me…lol

  7. tremoluxman says: Jan 23, 2013 11:06 AM

    Man, he’d look great in Viking purple next to Kevin Williams.

  8. mazblast says: Jan 23, 2013 11:07 AM

    “Williams buried Manti Te’o to lead the way on a touchdown run”

    At least that burial can be verified.

  9. maddog111 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:08 AM

    Seriously, how the hell is a college student able to afford all those tats?

  10. grantgoodman93 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:17 AM

    This guy looks like a bonafide beefcake. Try more beef and less cake Jesse

  11. 3fingerlenny says: Jan 23, 2013 11:26 AM

    Looks like a fat pig to me

  12. stewart09 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:27 AM

    great guy i have met him before in Brisbane. he is a humble young man who wants to be a role model for indigenous youth in Australia even better he is a monster on the field not just the weights room. he is less raw than Poe last year but with similar (if not better) physical attributes. Top 15 pick

  13. bigzant82 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:30 AM

    cleveland browns draft him
    he’d look good sacking big ben #7 for next 5-10 years we need a young stud to pari with rubin,sheard and others

  14. benroethlisberger7 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:31 AM

    We win ball games. That’s what people need to understand.

  15. jwamd1959 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:37 AM

    Another stupid jock who got punked. His 15 minutes are way over. He needs to go the f**k away now. No one cares about the imaginary girlfriend anymore.

  16. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 23, 2013 11:46 AM

    Don’t be the next Markus Zusevics and tear your pecs trying to push it at the combine… after a certain point it doesn’t matter. There is no cash prize for breaking the record.

  17. FinFan68 says: Jan 23, 2013 11:50 AM

    I’m sure we all remember who the guy that owns the record is. In fact, I just read it in this article and couldn’t tell you unless I scroll up and see it again. It has almost nothing to do with football ability. Why would this even be a goal?

  18. Justin says: Jan 23, 2013 11:52 AM

    These records are so stinking dumb. The dude weighs 320 LBs (as least). So benching 225 pounds for that many reps isn’t all that impressive because it is only a fraction of his body weight. So if you weigh about 200 LBs it would be equivalent to benching 135 LBs which is not nearly as daunting of a task. Big people can throw up big weights.

  19. grendelg says: Jan 23, 2013 12:10 PM

    Basketball you say? World’s biggest TE who can crush people when he blocks? Who’d want to tackle him in space?

  20. rippedoffhead says: Jan 23, 2013 12:37 PM

    Don’t forget about Stephen Paea with his 49 reps… and he looks to have a decent future in the NFL. Strength definitely helps in the trenches. (granted lower body strength is equally, if not more, important than upper body)

  21. nivekred says: Jan 23, 2013 12:39 PM

    I pick things up and put them down. I pick things up and I put things down. I pick things up and I put things down.

  22. houstontexans99 says: Jan 23, 2013 12:50 PM

    As silly as it is, look at what it did for Poe who wasn’t even seen as a 1st rounder before the combine. Add in the fact that Williams was seen as a mid-late 1st rounder and he could go top 10 if he blows people away. Wanted this guy on my team but no way he falls that far.

  23. cball77 says: Jan 23, 2013 12:54 PM

    I thought that Vaughn Martin from the Chargers had some insane numbers on the bench that came close to setting the record a few years back.

    Don’t watch a ton of Chargers game but I think he’s been a serviceable 3-4 end for them.

  24. rtant2013 says: Jan 23, 2013 1:46 PM

    @justin

    Dude you are absolutly crazy if you don’t think teaching 225 40+ times is impressive. Let’s say you weigh 200 lbs, let’s see if you can beach 150 40+ times, I highly highly highly doubt it. That’s a lot of reps and the dude maxs out at 600 that’s almost 200 lbs past his body weight. But after NFL scouts saw him bull doze over Te’o like he was a rag doll, I think they were already impressed with this big guy.

  25. thejohnsmith1122 says: Jan 23, 2013 1:51 PM

    annodomini90 says:
    Jan 23, 2013 10:57 AM

    The news story states that Jesse will break the record, not Jesse himself. He just admitted to being strong.

    —————————————–

    Re-read the article.

    “A native of Brisbane, Australia, Williams can max out at 600 pounds on the bench press, and he told News.com.au that he expects to break the Combine’s all-time record for repetitions of 225 pounds.”

  26. romoscollarbone says: Jan 23, 2013 1:55 PM

    To the guy trying to discredit the feat, bc Williams weighs 320lbs and states 225 is a fraction of his body weight. Yes, yes it is. However, I’d like to see you take a weight that’s 95lbs less than your own and bench it 35 times. Let alone 51.

    It’s not about the act of lifting the weight, it’s about showing you’ve been dedicated and put the needed time it at the gym. So much so that your cardiovascular along with muscular endurance is such, that you can push out 50 reps. That’s crazy at any proportional weight.

  27. thelastpieceofcheese says: Jan 23, 2013 2:08 PM

    The only benefit of the bench press is the ability to push off guys from you at the bottom of a pile up

  28. psousa1 says: Jan 23, 2013 2:25 PM

    No way. Bench press is very important for an offensive lineman. You have to have that good ‘punch’ at the point of contact with the defensive lineman. Take two guys who both have the good punch technique but one is stronger than the other – who will perform better. The stronger guy

  29. seabronco says: Jan 23, 2013 2:37 PM

    Stephen Paea DT from Oregon State broke the record two years ago with 49 reps

  30. romoscollarbone says: Jan 23, 2013 5:57 PM

    Paea broke the record at his position (DT) but not the combine record.

  31. yankees99 says: Jan 23, 2013 10:51 PM

    All of you Jessie Williams haters wish you had a player like him on your team. He will be an all pro for many years in the NFL.

  32. mewanning says: Jan 23, 2013 11:42 PM

    Remember 600 was what he pressed before he was seen and stopped by the strength coach. He had 660 on the bar when stopped. He and his teammates “know” he would have lifted that and maybover 700.

  33. Justin says: Jan 24, 2013 12:59 PM

    romoscollarbone says:
    Jan 23, 2013 1:55 PM
    To the guy trying to discredit the feat, bc Williams weighs 320lbs and states 225 is a fraction of his body weight. Yes, yes it is. However, I’d like to see you take a weight that’s 95lbs less than your own and bench it 35 times. Let alone 51.

    —————————————-

    This statement clearly comes from a guy that does far too much watching of football and not enough of anything else. I weigh 195 LBs. Are you honestly asking me to grab 100 lbs and see if I can bench it 50 times and expect me to have a ton of difficulty? Not trying to be an “internet tough guy” but that task is not too steep. I am no where near what an NFL player should be at either.

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