Every year, FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman publishes a list of the biggest "Freaks" in college football – the players whose brutish strength and stunning athleticism make them stand out above everybody else. Feldman’s 2016 accounting is out on Wednesday, and it includes a predictable name at the top: Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.
This is what Feldman writes about Garrett, a defensive end-but-basically-whatever-he-wants sort of player who’s better at so many things than so many other guys:
The SEC's leader in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (19.5) and forced fumbles (five) despite seeing an array of double teams, Garrett has more than lived up to his enormous recruiting hype. Listed at 6-5, 262, Garrett’s got the chiseled physique of a DB — a huge DB. The junior has off-the-charts workout numbers. He told me this month he power cleans 440 pounds and bench-presses 485 — staggering when you consider he also has a 40-inch vertical and his fastest 40 time at A&M, he said, is 4.45. "If I could dip into the 4.3s, that’d be great," he told FOX Sports. It’s also been insane to see someone that big moving that fast. Garrett’s diet is pretty tight. "I just try to stay away from soda and try to stay away from candy and sweets," he said, adding that he thinks he can bulk up to 270. Scary thought: Garrett doesn’t turn 21 until December.
Those are some substantial numbers.
Let’s start with the 40-yard dash thing. Garrett alleges he can run a 4.45-second sprint there. Defensive ends aren’t supposed to be able to move that quickly.
The NFL tracks scouting combine numbers as far back as 2006 on its official website, and exactly three linemen in that time have matched or bettered Garrett’s claimed time. Only five linebackers have done it. If Garrett were a defensive back and ran 4.45, he would’ve placed 10th among all defensive backs at the 2016 combine. (He'll eventually get a chance to prove it. Garrett is a consensus top prospect in next year's NFL Draft and has a non-zero chance to go first overall.)
Garrett isn’t going to run his fastest time in every 40, but he’s got the physical upside to move like an elite cornerback while being 6’5 and 262 pounds. That’s preposterous.
In honor of his selection for the top spot on Feldman’s list, here’s a collection of Garrett’s greatest hits.
There was the time he was running too fast and had to literally slow down to tip a Chad Kelly pass and intercept it.
There was the time he destroyed an Alabama punt attempt by turning a blocker into a door.
And there were all the times teams tried to block him with one poor offensive lineman. That’s not gonna work, offenses.
Congrats to Garrett on his placement atop Feldman’s list. Dearest sympathies to all of the SEC’s left tackles for what Garrett is probably going to do to them this season.