"I was pleased with the effort today," said Ruben. "Like yesterday when we squatted, we had to hold out some kids for precautionary reasons, but the players who were able to lift did some good things."
Starting Center Chris Spencer benched 485 pounds and was going for 500 when he felt a tweak in his pectoral muscle of his left arm. "I think he would have made 500," said Mendoza, "but there was no need taking a chance. Chris doesn't have anything to prove in the strength department."
Backup Offensive Guard James McCoy surprised a lot of folks by also benching 485, while FB Rick Razzano was just five pounds behind at 480.
"I felt real good today," said Razzano. "I think I could have gotten 500, but Coach Mendoza made me stop. He said there was no need in risking injury this close to the season. I understand, but I really believe I could have gotten it."
Offensive Tackle Tre' Stallings was next in line with a bench of 465, his personal best.
DT Daniel Booth was next on the bench food chain with a bench of 455. Daniel got 425 in the "warm-ups," but skipped 435 and 445 to try his personal best of 455. He was successful to the delight of about 30 Rebels gathered around him cheering him on.
Offensive Tackle Bobby Harris also got a personal best of 450 pounds. Backup FB Craig Holcombe pushed the bar up at 435 pounds, but faltered on his attempt at 455. Just behind Harris at 440 pounds, was Offensive Guard Marcus Johnson.
DT Michael Bozeman, C Tony Bonds and DT Andrew Wicker each benched 425 pounds. Bozeman wasn't satisfied with his lift and will try tomorrow to match his personal best of 440 pounds he set last year.
Defensive Tackle Chris Herring pushed up 420 pounds while DT Jeremy Garrett went from 405 pounds last spring to 415 pounds today. DE Jayme Mitchell rounded out the 400-pound benchers by dusting of 405 pounds. Jayme came inches from making 415, but he just couldn't get his long arms locked out on the extra 10 pounds.
FS Eric Oliver, at the SEC Media Days, DT McKinley Boykin and several others who have 400-plus benches were absent or held out of the lift. "McKinley has crazy strength," Mendoza smiled. "Like Spencer, he doesn't have anything to prove and he's been hampered with some nagging injuries. There is just no reason for him to max on anything this close to the season."
Other notables, according to Mendoza were: DB B. Brown (350), RB Vashon Pearson (395), FB Lorenzo Townsend (385), Josh Braithwaite (375), WR Mike Espy (315), DB Tavarus Horne (315), TE Robert Hough (315), WR Kerry Johnson (325), CB Trumaine McBride (320), SS Kelvin Robinson (355), LB Patrick Willis (340). "I mention these kids because they showed a lot of improvement over a year ago. We had a bunch of kids that tested strong-to-very-strong for their positions, but improvement is what we look for when we max," Mendoza closed.
Rebel Notes: TB Brandon Jacobs has usually benched over 400 pounds since he's been at Ole Miss. Today he topped out at 395. Why? Because he's been asked to drop some weight from his normal 235 pounds. He's now 224 and said he feels "a lot faster." The reasoning? It looks as if Brandon will get extra TB duty and that's what the coaches are tailoring his body for. . .
The newcomers were not required to go through max tests this week, but the strength coaches did have them do bench reps with 225 pounds. Here's how some of them fared: LB Garry Pack (14 times), S Jamarca Sanford (19), Ol Maurice Miller (18), LB Brandon Thomas (20), DB/WR Larry Kendrick (16) and DE Cory Mills (17). Pretty good start for the younguns!
Bench press max numbers
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