Cougar walk on turns in stunning performance

PULLMAN -- Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Phillip Brandt. He saw scarce Saturday action during his college career -- Brandt, a 6-0, 224 pound running back/linebacker scout teamer, appeared in just one game. Yet for those in attendance at WSU's Pro Day on Thursday, Brandt arguably posted the flashiest number of any Coug.

Not even the most prophetic of pundits could have forecast what Brandt did inside the IPF at Washington State in front of NFL scouts at Wazzu's Pro Day.

Where to begin?

How about his downright ridiculous 39 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds.

Some food for thought -- Brandt pressed 315 pounds 10 times to ‘warm up.'

Perspective: Brandt's 39 reps were three more than any other running back or linebacker at this year's NFL Draft Combine.

More perspective: Nobody at this year's combine, no offensive or defensive lineman nor anyone else, did as many reps as Brandt.

Let that sink in. A guy that played in just one college game in his entire career, bettered each and every player regarded as a top NFL prospect at this year's combine in the bench press.

Brandt said 39 was a good showing, but not his best.

"Forty-one is my best ever, so I was kind of hoping with the adrenaline, I'd get 42," Brandt said. "I'm happy with it."

Brandt, far from regarded an NFL prospect when the day began, said his lack of playing time will make his goal of continuing to play football tougher -- but it also made his pro day that much more valuable.

"I don't have a whole lot of film so this is kind of my day to shine," Brandt said. "I hope I opened some eyes with the bench and the 40 (yard dash)."

Brandt's 40-yard dash, unofficially listed at a 4.7, is a little slow for a running back, but if he sticks around at linebacker, his strength and agility could help him to stick somewhere.

Brandt said he's still in the process of choosing an agent, but that he's optimistic he'll get a tryout when everything is said and done.

"(Agents) think I can play at the next level," Brandt said. "Getting a tryout is all I really want."

Brandt, clearly possessed of great upper body strength, said teammates occasionally give him a hard time about his strong pectoral muscles. But Brandt was insistent that he works out other parts of his body on a daily basis.

"A lot of people joke, ‘Phil's not going to squat today, he's going straight to bench'," Brandt laughed. "I do legs just like everybody else, (the bench) just happens to be one of my strong suits."

Elsewhere, Brandt had a strong three cone drill, showing good lateral burst. His vertical leap was below average for his position(s) and his shuttle and broad jump were solid, but not spectacular. Nobody seemed to pay much attention to him until his bench press. After that, all eyes were on him.

Football is of course about more than just putting up a monster number on the bar, as impressive as that number may be. There's lateral movement, instincts, quickness and speed, of course. But on this day for Brandt, just call him the walk-on wild card out of Washington State.

His numbers were certainly there on Thursday, and then some. All he wants now is a shot.

  • All of the WSU assistant coaches were in attendance at the Pro Day, lending support and watching intently.

    Andrei Lintz, when he wasn't competing, was loudly cheering his teammates on.

  • For more CF.C coverage of Washington State's Pro Day, click here

  • For the twitter feed of Pro Day as it happened, click here

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