Weeks after the fact, Jesse Williams benching 600 pounds is still a hot topic among the media.
(That could be because the average journalist won’t ever accomplish such a feat.)
When asked about that lift, the Alabama nose guard kind of just…shrugged.
“I wasn’t the only one who benched heavy,” Williams said. “I was just lucky enough to be the one that benched the most.”
Everyone knows the story: Williams bench-pressed 600 pounds during a recent summer workout session and tweeted a picture as proof and it went viral. Even now, weeks later, it’s still getting press.
Williams, who spent three weeks at home in Brisbane, Australia this summer for the first time in about a year-and-a-half, said that when his friends and family heard the news, they weren’t shocked.
“I’ve been lifting big ever since I started,” he said. “A lot of my friends in Australia lift more than that. I mean, it wasn’t as [big] a surprise for them as it was for everyone over here.”
Williams was cut off at 600 for safety reasons, but said he probably could have gone 40-50 lbs. heavier, which is like lifting two D.J. Flukers—Alabama’s biggest offensive lineman (6-6, 335).
“Now that you put it that way, it makes me seem like some sort of superhero,” Williams said. “I wish I could push two D.J. Flukers around at once…But like I said, I didn’t try to make a statement, just tried to show how hard we were working throughout the summer.”
Heavy lifting oftentimes leads to weight gain, but not in Williams’ case. He’s been able to become strong and powerful and maintain a weight of 320. He says credit goes to the team nutritionist, who helps players make informative and healthy eating choices based on what they want to achieve on the field.
Last season, Williams played defensive end and Barrett Jones played left tackle and the two battled everyday in practice. Now both have been moved to the interior of their lines, with Williams at nose guard and Jones at center. They just can’t stay away from each other.
Jones, who made sure to keep his voice down so Williams wouldn’t hear him giving a compliment, said, smiling, that Williams is a “unique combination of strength and quickness” and is much quicker than given credit for.
“The way I feel is that if I can block Jesse in a 3-4 nose, I can block anybody,” Jones said. “He’s a really unique kind of guy who really is that true game changer at nose.”
Jones isn’t the only Alabama player who gets the pleasure of feeling Williams’ wrath on a daily basis. Running back Eddie Lacy, who has yet to pronounce himself back to 100 percent after suffering a turf toe injury this spring, said if he had to choose one guy on the Tide’s defense he’d hate to see, it would be Williams.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see Jesse,” Lacy said. “Big. Strong. Fast. Not too much you can do when he’s right in front of you.”
Not even a spin move or something sleek and slippery?
“No, there’s no spinning away from Jesse,” Lacy continued. “If he’s there, he’s there. Just take it for what it is.”
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