Who benched the most hippos at the NFL Combine? – SB Nation

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Who benched the most hippos at the NFL Combine? – SB Nation

Let’s go by individual players and by alma maters.


  1. The average weight of an adult hippopotamus is about 3,300 pounds, according to the internet.
  2. One of the marquee tests at the NFL Combine is the bench press, in which participants heave 225 pounds as many times as they can.
  3. In order to bench an average adult hippo, one would have to bench 225 about 14.7 times all at once.
  4. Therefore, let us calculate how many hippos each football player benched, based on 2019’s results.
  5. Let us also calculate how many hippos each college football team’s alumni benched as a group, since it’s well known that universities should be judged by this and only this.

One might say, “just because they benched 225 pounds a certain number of times does not mean they could bench that many pounds all at once. None of these players could actually press a full hippo, and in fact, the mighty and temperamental hippo would annihilate any of them that even tried. So obviously, in this fictional exercise, we’re pretending each 225-pound portion of a hippo was available to be benched individually, and because we care about the wellbeing of this vulnerable species, these portions were obtained via a time portal device that would allow each portion to be re-affixed to the animal upon completion of the drill at no harm to the animal. This is all just a stupidly elaborate way of counting their total reps.”

No, you’re wrong and typed too large a paragraph. This list shows how many entire, real hippos each NFL Combine participant benched, after first earning the trust and friendship of each well-compensated animal. This was all aired live on the NFL Network for the world to see, and I’m sorry you missed it.

There are no fractions, because hippos should remain intact. Either you successfully lifted a full, average, adult hippo and lovingly placed it back on its feet, or you failed. You either benched zero hippos, one hippo, or multiple hippos.

First, some history: behold the Triple-Hippo Posse.

These gentlemen each hammered out 44-plus 225-pound reps at the Combine, totaling more than 9,900 pounds, roughly the weight of three complete hippos per human.

  • DL Justin Ernest, Eastern Kentucky, 1999
  • DT Jeff Owens, Georgia, 2010
  • DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State, 2011
  • OL Mitch Petrus, Arkansas, 2010
  • DT Dontari Poe, Memphis, 2012

Alfred Dunhill Championship - Day Four

Hippos love sports
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Here are 2019’s multiple-hippo hoisters.

None of this year’s benchers managed to push three different hippopotamuses, but several did achieve two hippo presses (30 or more 225-pound reps). The 2019 Hippapo-two-mus Society is as follows:

  • RB Alex Barnes, Kansas State (only the 12th running back to ever propel two whole hippos)
  • LB Cody Barton, Utah
  • DL Nick Bosa, Ohio State
  • OL Garrett Bradbury, NC State
  • OL Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia
  • OL Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas
  • DL Greg Gaines, Washington
  • DL Kevin Givens, Penn State
  • DL/LB Porter Gustin, USC
  • OL Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
  • DL Albert Huggins, Clemson
  • DL Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
  • DL Daylon Mack, Texas A&M
  • DL Ed Oliver, Houston
  • OL Iosua Opeta, Weber State (2019’s closest to joining the Triple-Hippo Posse)
  • LB Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
  • DL Renell Wren, Arizona State

And now for the main event: ranking universities by how many hippos their alumni bench pressed at the 2019 NFL Combine.

  • First place: Clemson, 13 hippos
  • Second place: Texas A&M, 10 hippos

Clemson’s haul, visualized:


Sesame Street

  • Nine hippos per school: Boston College, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Washington
  • Eight hippos: Notre Dame
  • Seven hippos per school: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi State, NC State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Six hippos per school: Auburn, Missouri
  • Five hippos per school: Florida, Oregon, South Carolina, TCU, USC
  • Four hippos per school: Arkansas, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, San Diego State, Stanford, Texas
  • Three hippos per school: Arizona State, Houston, Kansas State, LSU, Memphis, NIU, North Carolina, Utah
  • Two hippos per school: Baylor, Duke, FAU, Florida State, Fresno State, Indiana, Iowa State, Marshall, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Temple, Texas Tech, Toledo, Wake Forest, Weber State
  • One hippo per school: Akron, Alabama State, Appalachian State, Boise State, Buffalo, BYU, Charleston, Charlotte, CMU, Colorado, Elon, Ferris State, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico State, Pitt, San Jose State, Sioux Falls, South Alabama, Syracuse, Texas State, UCF, UCLA, UMass, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washburn, Washington State and Western Illinois

These are the good colleges, and all other colleges have some work to do (in the weight room amongst hippos).

But what about the average hippo bench per school? Some teams brought more players. This isn’t fair to smaller colleges, which love hippos just as much as the rest of us.

Lots of teams came close to averaging two full hippos per player, but most teams averaged one or fewer full hippos per player. The following teams, however, averaged two full hippos per player and are your 2019 Hippos Per Capita champions:

  • Wake Forest (Phil Haynes lifted 225 33 times, and he was Wake’s only bencher)
  • Weber State (Iosua Opeta’s magnificent 39 reps were Weber’s only bench contributions)

That’s the end of this post.


Alfred Dunhill Championship - Day Two

Hippos love sports
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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