Alabama football fans already know that Crimson Tide defensive tackle Jesse Williams is a beast in the weight room. His 600-pound bench press caused an explosion on Twitter a while back. Now that his days with the Tide are over, he intends to take his feats of strength to the next level.
The Brisbane, Australia native appeared on news.au to talk about his time in the States, during which he helped lead the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national championships, as well as his plans for the NFL Combine next month.
Participants in the Combine engage in activities designed to test strength, speed and agility, to allow NFL teams to gauge each player’s prospects before the NFL Draft. Among these is the bench press, in which athletes hoist 225 pounds for as many repetitions as they can manage.
The all-time record for reps is 51, set in 1999 by Justin Ernest of Eastern Kentucky. Williams expects to break that record when his turn comes around. Stephen Paea of Oregon State came close in 2011 with 49.
Williams thinks he has a strong shot at the record, and Tide fans have seen his strength on the field and in the weight room. But Williams wants to prove that he has more to offer pro teams than just brute force.
“All the teams know how strong I am,” Williams said. “I’m trying to show off other attributes.”
Williams was often put into the game on offense in goal line situations as a blocking back, leading fans to cheer for him to get a hand off, a la William “The Refrigerator” Perry of Chicago Bears fame. Williams has been clocked at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Regardless of whether he breaks the bench press record, Williams is yet another example of the success of the Alabama strength and conditioning program.