Generally speaking, the YouTube comment section is a soulless pit where decency goes to die. But every once in awhile, they get it exactly right.
Case in point—the top comment on this Samaje Perine highlight video: “This cat ain’t a running back: he’s a tank wearing a football jersey,” user Nate Broadus writes.
That pretty much nails it.
Quite simply, Perine might be pound-for-pound the strongest player in the entire 2017 NFL Draft class. A 5-foot-10, 235-pound wrecking ball of a running back, Perine racked up 4,122 rushing yards and 49 rushing touchdowns during his three seasons at the University of Oklahoma.
From his NFL.com scouting report:
“Creates for himself with power. Arm tackles won’t like the results. Drives through initial contact and continues to churn out additional yardage. Pad level is always where it is supposed to be. Delivers a message when he finishes runs.”
To make a running style like Perine’s work at the highest level, a player has to be strong. Ox strong. Perine fits the bill and then some. Anyone who saw him work out at Oklahoma has a story about his superhuman strength. “He could be an offensive lineman. He probably has the strength of two linemen,” former OU lineman Nila Kasitati told SoonerSports.com.
Just how strong is Perine? Well, he just absolutely crushed the Bench Press test at the 2017 NFL Combine. Perine put up 30 reps of 225 pounds, which was by far the most of any running back and more than all but four of the offensive linemen. Dating back to 2006, the most reps a running back has recorded at the NFL Combine is 32.The craziest part is that Perine used to be able to bench even more when he was in high school. Perine told TulsaWorld.com that he once put up 225 on the Bench Press for 35 reps during his high school days.
STACK recently visited with Perine while he was preparing for the Combine at Proactive Sports Performance. His strength was immediately evident. I watched in awe as Perine (who had already done quite a bit of upper-body work earlier in the workout) piled on the plates and went to work on the Bench Press:
“Samaje, the kid is limitless. I could put anything on the bar and he’ll move it,” Ryan Capretta, director and founder of Proactive, told STACK. “As a performance coach, he’s the kind of guy you love to work with. He has everything.”
According to Perine, he started to get into weight training when he was a freshman in high school. “My freshman year was when I really started lifting weights. It’s weird but I really liked the sound. We had metal plates, so the sound of heavy plates clanging off of each other—it was addicting. To me, at least. I never stopped. Now I’m addicted,” Perine told STACK.