Ask me 15 years ago if I thought I’d ever be critiquing the butts of men and I would have laughed you out of the room. Looking back, I can say that time makes asses of us all.
I’m seriously looking at men’s asses and I have to approach it with a little bit of humor because the initial sound of it seems absurd. But you have to consider the essential value of the butt in sport.
A strong gluteal region (the minimus, maximus, medius, and tensor fasciae latae) is essential to an athlete’s acceleration, speed, lateral agility, flexibility, and power. The hips also aid processes like throwing the football that are often associated only with upper body mechanics.
The size and definition of the “bubble” can be an important layer of information that helps an evaluator understand the potential of the player. Maurice Jones-Drew was short, but look at him from the hips-down and the UCLA star has the size and definition of a powerful, agile NFL starter.
Trunks With The Goods
Leonte Caroo: At 5’11, 217 lbs., the Rutgers receiver is built from top to bottom like a dedicated, top-end athlete. The dimensions seem a lot like what you’d expect from a running back, but even at this size he appears shaped more like a strong receiver. The sub-6’0 frame was a small surprise because Caroo carries his weight well. I’ve heard comparisons ranging from Anquan Boldin to DeSean Jackson in terms of explosive athletic ability. The thighs and truck look the part of a pro receiver.
Kenneth Dixon: The La Tech runner looked bigger to me stripped down to his undershorts on the Mobile stage than he did in his uniform this fall. The reason is well…he is. His listed weight as a senior was 212 lbs. He came to Mobile at 217 lbs. Known for his skill with jump cuts and determined running style, Dixon’s bubble looked like that of an NFL runner. When he appeared on stage, my first impression was that he looked bigger than 212. Apparently an extra five pounds can make an impression on the naked eye.
Jordan Payton: At 6’1″, 216 lbs. Payton carries his weight well and looks like someone who can hang with the punishing nature of pro football. Like Caroo, the UCLA receiver as a well-developed bubble that is more proportionally aligned with the rest of his frame than a running back, linebacker, or defensive end.
Jake McGee: The Florida tight end looks the part at 6’5″, 252 and he still looks like he can add more weight to his arms, legs, and of course…the bubble.
Sterling Shepard: Rock-solid athlete with a bubble that looks a little running back-like. Physically, Shepard looks ready to contribute right away.
DeAndre Washington: This will be my first look at the Texas Tech runner. Cecil Lammey is a fan. The Footballguys writer told me on the drive to Mobile that he likes Washington’s purpose when he changes direction and he believes there’s true power to his game. Washington’s bubble looks built for heavy lifting. It was a little shocking to learn that he’s 5’7″ when staring at a butt that belongs on the frame of someone 4-5 inches taller and weighing around 220-230, but it’s on a 197-pound prospect. I’m intrigued.
Graham Glasgow: The Michigan tackle is a well-proportioned athlete at 6’6″, 306 and it’s evident that he will be capable of adding another 25-35 pounds without a problem.
Big Vehicles, No Luggage Compartment
Shawn Oakman: Talk about a statue, Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier described him to me as a mausoleum or a weathered, green (lots of ink on Oakman’s body) statue. But the butt…well, it was kind of like seeing a Lionel Train set caboose attached to the line of CSX freight cars. There are also compelling conceptual issues, but the toy caboose might explain why Oakman doesn’t bend that well, lacks explosion against resistance, and his change of direction is disappointing for a defensive end.
Nick Vannett: If I had to guess the Ohio State tight end’s weight, I would have guessed he was 230 lbs. I would have also pegged him as prototypical quarterback if I had to guess his position based on his shape alone. The fact that he weighs 256 lbs. and he carries it in a way where he appears lean, could be promising. However, his body type left me wondering if he can add more weight to his frame.
Henry Krieger-Coble: An average-built athlete in this context, the Iowa tight end was smaller than I expected. At 248 lbs., I don’t think Krieger-Coble can add much more to his frame without getting sloppy fat. He might add 10 pounds that convert from fat to muscle onto his 6’3″ frame, but his frame says “role player” more than starter. That said, I care more what the film says rather than what my eyes tell me when looking at him in his underwear.
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