Alabama Football: Trent Richardson and the Tide's 5 Strongest Players
Football is a game that usually requires a good combination of speed and strength, but sometimes old-fashioned brute force is what you need most, and the Crimson Tide have it.
Head coach Nick Saban likes his players strong and over-sized at almost every position. Saban doesn't release weight room numbers, but that hasn't stopped rumors from spreading like wildfire regarding who's the strongest.
Players have also given strong indications during media interviews.
After examining some clues the players have given, their play on the field and a bit of speculation, here are the top five strongest players on the team.
5. Anthony Steen, Right Guard
Steen's lack of experience and footwork issues have limited what he's been able to accomplish on the field, but every once in a while he completely dominates his opponents.
When he hits his blocks perfectly, he pushes the defender several yards off the line of scrimmage, well out of the way of the ball carrier.
Coming out of high school, Steen, now 6'3", 303 lbs., benched over 400 lbs. and squatted almost 600. That's considerably more than the average high school lineman.
Anthony has been with the Tide since his redshirt 2009 season and will be a fourth year junior in 2012. It wouldn't be far-fetched to say he's gotten a lot stronger under strength coach Scott Cochran.
4. Trent Richardson, Running Back
Though he may not be the strongest player on his team, Richardson is likely the best pound-for-pound football player in the nation, which could include Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.
At just 225 lbs., Richardson is known to bench around 475 lbs. and squat over 600. Could he do more? We won't know as long as he's at Alabama, for Scott Cochran fears Trent may break something—a quick way for Cochran to lose his job.
Trent isn't just one of the strongest players on his team, but the nation as well. He's stronger than many NFL linemen on both sides of the ball.
I fully expect Trent to break numerous records at the upcoming NFL Combine, but his lifting prowess hasn't limited his agility.
3. William Vlachos, Center
Vlachos has been regarded by many players as a weight-room beast and one of the strongest players on the team for several years at Alabama.
He's only 6'1" and just under 300 lbs., but on the field he uses that smaller size to get better leverage underneath his opponents, driving them up and out.
In an interview with the Tuscaloosa News, it was confirmed that Vlachos benches over 500 lbs.
The Battle Dwarf is a top-5 center on many draft boards and will soon be playing in the NFL.
2. Jesse Williams, Defensive End
Jesse currently takes the field as a defensive end, but with Josh Chapman graduating, Jesse Williams seems to be the ideal selection for the starting nose guard position.
He is built like an upside down triangle. His legs are small for a guy his size, but he is extremely quick on his feet. His upper body is about as muscular as you'll find in college football. He doesn't have a sizable paunch like most linemen, so that thickness is pure muscle.
In an article by John Zenor, William Vlachos said this about Jesse:
He certainly looks the part. There’s no question about that. He bench presses a lot more than I do already. The great thing about him is, he’s pretty versatile. He can play noseguard, end, what you want him to play, he can probably play it. He runs like a deer, even as big as he is.
As before, Saban doesn't release weight room statistics, but if Jesse benches more than Vlachos, then it's safe to say he's pretty strong.
Since arriving in Tuscaloosa, he has dropped over 10 lbs. while simultaneously gaining muscle. Come next year, he's sure to be the undisputed strongest player on the team.
1. Josh Chapman, Nose Guard
Time after time players and coaches have confirmed that Josh Chapman is the strongest player on the team, and is stronger than Terrance Cody was back in 2009.
Chapman isn't the best pass rusher, but you wont find a better nose guard in the nation when it comes to stopping the run. There's a reason why Alabama's rush defense is first in the nation.
He uses his strength to occupy multiple blockers, and when he does his job, the Tide's linebackers roam free.
Unconfirmed word on the street is that Chapman maxed his bench this year at 580 lbs.
He'll be in the NFL soon enough.