Today, Sports Illustrated writer Bruce Feldman released his annual list of the biggest freaks in college football.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley took the No. 1 spot, but a number of other intriguing athletes ranked high on Feldman’s list. One such guy? Vita Vea, a 6-foot-4, 346-pound defensive tackle from the University of Washington.
The massive Vea was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection last season after amassing 5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss in limited playing time. He reportedly runs a 4.8 40-Yard Dash and boasts a 33-inch Vertical Jump. Those numbers might not sound all that amazing, but you have to put them into context given Vea’s incredible size.
At the 2017 NFL Combine, only three defensive tackles ran under a 4.9 in the 40-Yard Dash. Vea outweighs each of them by more than 40 pounds. His 33-inch Vertical Jump would’ve been the best result among defensive tackles at the 2017 Combine by a full inch. Guys as heavy as Vea simply aren’t supposed to move so explosively.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Vea starred as a 280-pound running back during his days at Milpitas (California) High School. As a senior, Vea rushed for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 12.3 yards per carry. While there aren’t a ton of highlights of Vea toting the rock, the ones that do exist give you an idea of just how tough he was to bring down:
It’s like trying to tackle a Dodge Caravan.
With another year of experience under his belt, expect Vea to be a force in 2017 and a possible top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Photo Credit: Michael Wade/Getty Images