Big Ten's biggest, smallest characters
Here are some stats to digest that have nothing to do with projections or rushing yards. Nate Wozniak, is a foot-and-a-half taller than Antonio Whitfield. Corey Clements, is nearly two-and-a-half times the size of Gregg Garrity.
The Big Ten certainly has a wide range of players. Here’s a little something about the conference’s biggest and smallest members.
Nate Wozniak, Minnesota (6-foot-10)
This story tells you all you need to know about Nate Wozniak’s listed height of 6-10. The Center Grove High School grad has yet to catch a pass as he enters his third season in Minneapolis. With the NFL departure of Maxx Williams, the Gophers are looking for another big target at tight end. None in the conference, and possibly the country, are bigger than Wozniak. According to Kill, he’s gotten even bigger this offseason. At 270 pounds, Williams has the size to be a Big Ten blocker. His biggest issue, Kill told the Pioneer Press, is pass-catching. Still, there certainly is plenty of upside.
Antonio Whitfield, Michigan (5-foot-4)
It only took one season on the Michigan track and field team for Whitfield to make his way over to the football program. As he says in his Twitter bio, he long-jumped his way on to the football field. Despite his 160-pound frame, Whitfield squatted 480 pounds — three times his weight — as a high school senior, according to his recruiting profile. He has had reps on special teams, though his block in the back against Maryland negated a punt return touchdown. It remains to be seen what kind of role the speedster will have on special teams in the Harbaugh era.
Corey Clements, Purdue (420 pounds)
Believe it or not, the Boilermaker offensive tackle lists himself at 350 pounds on his Hudl page. On the Purdue athletics page — the only one that actually counts — he’s 420 pounds. And based on the Big Ten Network’s tweets from Purdue camp, he’s every bit of four bills. Clements suffered a concussion in the weight room over the summer, which limited his availability for the first few days of fall camp. The Arizona Mesa Community College transfer will have to earn his way into a Purdue starting lineup that returns all of 2014’s group.
Gregg Garrity, Penn State (157 pounds)
Though the Penn State junior might not tip the scales, few in State College have bigger family names. Garrity’s father and grandpa both played for the Nittany Lions. Garrity’s dad, Gregg, cemented his name in Penn State lore when he made a diving catch in the 1983 Sugar Bowl that helped lock up the program’s first national championship. It’s known around Penn State as “The Catch.” The youngest Garrity may not have his dad’s background yet, but he did crack the lineup as a true freshman in 2013. Garrity made his presence felt off the field, where he served as the director of marketing for the group Penn State Football Uplifting Athletes, which is a non-profit group that raises money for rare diseases. There’s nothing light about that at all.