T Nation

Try Out For Football


Lately it's been running through my head that I should try out for the spring practice team at my school. And then eventually try to make it on the roster. I'd like to be strong (or free) safety. Though I'd probably end up on special teams considering my height.


I'm 19, 175-180lbs (might be less, quite a bit of stress recently, horrible sleep and eating habits).

-Bench: 315# for a shitty 1rm

-Bench Reps: 185# 27 reps (still had a few in the tank...I think I can get 35-40 I'll try again next week)

-Squat: 545#

-Deadlift: 495# (think I can pull more if I pull sumo)

-W. Chin Up: BW + attached 170#

-Pullups: 33 in a row (left maybe 2 in the tank)...No Kip.

-Power Snatch + OHS: 185#

-Power Clean: 255#

-Burpees in 15min: 832

In high school ran a 4.6, and I never weight trained, of course I weighed something around 130 with a backpack on. I might be faster now, or slower, more than likely I'm the same speed.

I can dunk a basketball (not with authority, but it looks pretty cool for my height) I barely get my hand over the rim... I've always been close to that, until recently I got accomplished it (5-6months ago).

Here's the pinch.

-I've never played football before other than intramural leagues and thats a freakin joke.

-The college I attend is USC.

So do I have a chance (in hell?) or should I keep going for MMA :-p (I'll be working to make it on TUF 4 if this doesn't work out).



I say go for it! You only live once and the worst that can happen is that you work for a month and get cut loose. Go talk to one of the coaches and see what they think. It's doubtful that you'd get playing time anytime soon, but they can always use some raw talent and brains for their scout teams and you can dress for home games.



Even if you have little chance, why not try? It's fun as hell, and you'll meet some pretty important people on that campus.


You were doing good up to this part. I'd say go for it if it were a JC or DII. USC? RUKIDDINGME?

The fact that you never payed is telling. You can't just step out there and be a beast. And at that level you are way too light even for a SS.

Then again I could be wrong. If anything it would be a good experience to at least try. Maybe you can dress down 1 game Rudy?


Ya I"m waaaaayyy too light. But we have a couple corner's who are my weight, only diff is that they're taller (by 2 inches). and I think I make that diff up with my vertical.

We'll see. I"m going for it, I just want to know my odds.


If this is the case, keep your mouth shut out there and learn. Your problem is going to be knowing coverages and defensive schemes as well as offensive schemes.

I think your biggest challenge will be learining how to sell out with your body. At the college level you can't just walk out and play at the intensity level you'll need. You need to learn that the harder you go, the less it will hurt in the long run. Don't be timid.


You have to want it as bad as Rudy.


Is there anything you DON'T try, Xen Nova?

I have a friend who walked on and made it at my school (only plays special teams, but just being ON the team means a lot). It's a pretty reputable 1-AA school, and he was considerably smaller and not nearly as strong as you. He's an incredible athlete though, started at a decent high school, and that is the difference maker. I think most coaches believe that strength and speed can be trained, but raw athletic ability is something you already have or never will. From some of your other posts I know you do a lot of MMA and boxing so you obviously have something going. Give it a shot. If you don't now your chance in the future won't be there. But USC...wowsa...some of the best athletes in the world will be your competition. Best of luck!


I echo Rockscar's points. You have some very good gym numbers, no doubt. All in all, give it a shot. Why not?

The caveats? Well, playing in the secondary is certainly not easy, especially to play one of the safety positions where you have to read and react. A lot of that is learned and then there are some out there (Roy Williams, Ed Reed) with that freakish ability to seemingly know where a play is going to happen and get there.

You do probably have a better shot at special teams.

Overall, go for it... but bear in mind that even the guys on special teams are some of the best athletes in America and if you knew them in high school, they would have been the guys absolutely dominating on your high school team (most likely).


I don't mean to be harsh, but in all honesty these stats don't mean anything.

Your gym lifts most likely are well above average for strong safety or free safety, but that doesn't mean dick. No one is going to care how many burpees you can do in 15 minutes, or how much weight you can hang off your weiner and still do a pull up.

You obviously are very well conditioned, very explosive, and very strong, all of which are all excellent for football-- but to play D1 ball you're going to have to be very good at PLAYING FOOTBALL.

There are guys that I play rugby with that haven't lifted a weight in their life and probably have more raw talent in their pubic hair than I do in my entire body. My strength and conditioning lets me keep up with them-- and this is DII Club Sports.

Are you hell bent on football? You might get more satisfaction and definitely more playing time out of rugby. Just an idea.



I know there's a guy on here who played at Penn St. recently, I think there's a picture of him in uniform in his avatar. I don't know if he was a walk-on or not, but Penn St. is big time football so he should be able to give you some idea as to what to expect.

While your lifts are impressive, the fact you've never actually played might be too much to overcome. You might want to purchase some pads and jump in front of some cars or something to replicate the impact of a 300 pound offensive tackle pancaking you. Football hurts, and at that level it hurts alot. But good luck, I've known some kids who walked on at Auburn, G Tech, and Georgia, and you match up pretty well strength wise. But they were also real good players in high school.


One more thing Xen, I've noticed your post about wanting to become this, or do that, or have a carreer you can kick peoples ass in...etc. It seems you waffle around a lot about stuff you would like to do.

How is this any different that a 'what if'? THIS will be 'the' dedication of your life up to this point if you do it.


What the heck, give it a shot. It's always fun to test your self.

One typo I'd like to point out. You accidently put a 1 in front of the 70 in your pull up stat.


Man, at that level and at that school, someone was probably half joking but they called it right...you're gonna have to want it as much as Rudy.

Your athletic background will make it easier on you but the fact that you have never stepped on a football field means you have no idea how the game is played.

But just wearing a USC uniform means a hell of a lot. Work on your lateral speed and do it.


By the way, I have no advice for when you decide to be God. :slight_smile:


Actually I think that's probably correct.

One other plug for rugby, Xen-- The guys you'd be stepping on-field with have been playing football for probably 15 YEARS including pee wee. It's much more common for someone to start out playing rugby for the first time in college.

This is like you living in the U.K. and deciding that because you're pretty quick and you can kick hard that you're going to walk on with Manchester United.



Your odds are slim. However it could happen and if you don't make it no big deal.

I played in college. If I was you try the following:

  1. Make big plays and get noticed. You
    will have to stand out.

  2. Showcase your speed if your fast. Win
    the drills. The scholarship guys can
    dog it. You should try and win every
    sprint. If you can stick people then
    stick them everytime. You never know
    when the coach is watchimg.

  3. Think about special teams. Lots of
    big plays are mad on special teams.

Good luck!


well, let's get something straight here...

he didn't say anything about being on the roster right away... he said he wanted to try out for the spring PRACTICE team, and HOPEFULLY get a spot on the roster.

I agree, he's in for it man, this is going to be TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH, but if he's intelligent and has athletic ability, he could make the practice team. Let's face it - NFL teams have drafted college basketball players who've NEVER played football, simply based on athletic ability.

Perhaps you'll want to grab one of your buddies who's ON the team or has played football before to train you in the meantime so that you at least have a VAGUE idea as to what you're doing on the field.


Give it a shot!!

It may sound derogatory, but every team needs practice fodder. With an 85 man scholarship limit often teams will take a few walkons that have awesome attitudes/work ethics for just that reason. I had a friend who was a walkon for a BCS conference bowl team, that played DE at 5'8 225. Obviously he wasn't going to see playing time, but he was tough as hell and would bust ass in practice. He loved just having the oppurtunity to practice and play football.


Give it a shot. I walked on to Nebraska last spring (didn't make the roster) and I'm doing it again this year.