Freaks Week: Top 25 ‘Freaks’ in college football for 2015: Nos. 10-6
For more than a decade, we’ve been spotlighting the biggest "Freaks" in college football — those guys who are the top workout warriors in the sport or the guys who possess some rare physical abilities that wow folks inside their programs. Our Top 25 countdown comes thanks to the input of many coaches, players and sports information directors around the country. The countdown to No. 1 continues through the week, and here are Nos. 10-6.
10. Uso Olive, Wyoming, NT: Cowboys coach Craig Bohl spent a lot of years at Nebraska. He played for the Huskers, served as a graduate assistant with the team and later spent a decade as an assistant in Lincoln. He says he’s not seen anyone do some of the things Olive can do in the weight room. Wyoming’s strength coach Zach Duval, also a former Huskers staffer, said the 5-11, 310-pound Olive has done five reps on the bench with 555 pounds with one two-by-four on his chest (to prevent shoulder injury). In addition, Olive has squatted 876 for two reps “with no problems and he did it with no wraps.” Duval also said Olive can bench 225 over 40 times “easily.” The video below shows Olive squatting 765 for a double.
9. Dadi Nicolas, Va. Tech, DE: One of the stars of Bud Foster’s nasty defense, the 6-3, 236-pound speed rusher had a team-leading 18.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2014. The Florida native clocked a blistering 4.40 in the 40 this offseason. His 10-yard split of 1.61 also is terrific, as is his vertical jump of 41 inches.
8. KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame, CB: The second Fighting Irish player to crack the Top 25 Freaks list, Russell showed off some of his athleticism this offseason with this incredible vault atop six boxes. The 5-11, 196-pound senior also has proven to be a standout DB for Notre Dame. He should put on quite a show after his college career when he gets to the NFL combine. In South Bend, he’s already broad-jumped 11-2 1/2 to go with his 40-inch vert. He’s also extremely strong for his size, squatting 500 pounds, benching 350 and doing 20 reps of 225 — only two corners did more at the Combine in the past two years.
7. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss, DL: The former 5-star recruit has been an anchor of one of the SEC’s best defenses (and the nation’s No. 1 ranked unit in scoring defense in 2014.) The 6-4, 290-pound junior isn’t built like any other DT. He’s got only 10 percent body fat. He’s clocked a 4.7 in the 40, vertical-jumped 34 inches and broad-jumped 9-8 to go with a 440-pound bench and 650-pound squat.
“Unbelievable combination of size, speed, and motor,” said strength coach Paul Jackson. "Only knows one speed. Attacks every workout and plays every play as hard as anyone I have seen.”
6. Jalen Ramsey, FSU, DB: A 6-1, 202-pound junior, Ramsey isn’t just one of college football’s best players, he’s also the ACC’s long-jump king, winning titles this past year at the outdoor and indoor championships. He ran the first leg of the 4×100 relay for the Noles’ ACC outdoor championship team and placed fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a personal-best of 26-1.75 in the long jump. On the field last year, Ramsey was everywhere for the FSU D, making 9.5 TFLs, 12 pass break-ups, two interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles.
Bruce Feldman is a senior college football reporter and columnist for FOXSports.com and FOX Sports 1. He is also a New York Times Bestselling author. His new book, "The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks," came out in October 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB and Facebook.