How big is the average college football player? Breaking down the size of different teams, positions, and conferences
Spoiler alert: College football players are big. Okay, sure. That may not be breaking news, but just how big are they? And who are the biggest players in the sport? Which teams are the largest on average? The smallest?
We took a look at the current rosters for all Power 5 teams (schools in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC). Here's what we found out:
The average college football player is 6-1 ¾ inches, 232 pounds. Yep. Just as we suspected. Big.
But there are outliers of course. When taking both height and weight into account, Washington State’s Cody O’Connell comes in as the largest player in the Power 5. The senior offensive lineman is listed at 6-9, 368 pounds. You better believe he uses that size to his advantage. In the 2016-17 season, O’Connell was an Outland Trophy Finalist and the second unanimous All-American in Washington State history.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kansas State kicker Blake Lynch, a 5-5, 141-pound redshirt freshman who has yet to take a kick for the Wildcats. TCU senior running back Stacy Boyd (5-5, 150 pounds) is the smallest non-special teams player in the Power 5, and has four carries for six yards so far in his career.
Here are the 10 biggest current Power 5 players:
|Size rank||School||Conference||Player||Year||Position||Height (inches)||Weight (pounds)|
|1||Washington State||Pac-12||Cody O'Connell||SR||OL||81||368|
|2||Oklahoma State||Big 12||Aaron Cochran||RS SR||OL||80||350|
|3||Oklahoma||Big 12||Orlando Brown||RS JR||OL||80||345|
|4||Georgia Tech||ACC||Shamire Devine||RS SR||OL||79||380|
|6||TCU||Big 12||Matt Pryor||SR||G||79||358|
|8||Washington State||Pac-12||Seth Yost||FR||OL||79||350|
|9||Penn State||Big Ten||Chasz Wright||SR||OL||79||343|
It's not too surprising that lineman take up the Top 10 spots. In fact, they account for just a bit more of the top of the leaderboard: You have to go all the way to No. 665 in the rankings — 6-7, 275-pound Pittsburgh tight end Grant Carrigan — before you find a player who isn't strictly a lineman.
Near the middle of the road are your quarterbacks. Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield (6-1, 220 pounds) ranks as the 213th largest quarterback (out of almost 350), but the 3,994th largest player overall. Arkansas' Cole Kelley — a 6-7, 268-pound freshman — is the biggest. Another player hoping to throw his hat in the Heisman ring this year is running back Saquon Barkley, who stands at 5-11 and 223 pounds, making him the 126th biggest RB in the Power 5 (out of almost 500), but the 4,863rd largest player in all of the Power 5.
|Size rank||Pos.||Average Height (in)||Average Weight (lb)|
But what about the teams as a whole?
Well the largest team in the Power 5 probably won’t come as a surprise: Alabama.
The average Crimson Tide player is 6-2 ½ and 238 pounds.
That’s a far cry from Arizona, who clocks in as the smallest team in the Power 5 with an average player size of 6-0 ¾ and 219 pounds.
So what would happen if you gathered the almost 7,000 Power 5 players together? Well, for starters, you'd have a pretty crowded room. Combined, all Power 5 football players weigh over 1.6 million pounds. That's over 800 tons, roughly the same weight as four empty Boeing 747s, or almost 5 ½ adult blue whales.
Now if you ignored physics for a moment and got those players to stand on top of each other one after another, well, you better hope you’re outside. Combined, the players are over 515,000 inches — just over eight miles — tall. That’s the length of almost 120 football fields, or more than 40 Eiffel Towers, or almost 1 ½ Mt. Everests.
Daniel Wilco has worked at the AJC, Sports Illustrated, and SEC Country. His writing has also appeared on SI.com, Men’s Health, and The Cauldron.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.