SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Call Mike Orakpo a freak, and he’ll take it as a compliment.
National college football writer Bruce Feldman named Orakpo one of the biggest freak athletes in the sport.
“To actually see my name and Texas State University being represented in the list is really amazing,” Orakpo said.
The strange compliment comes from the Texas State senior linebacker having over a 40-inch vertical, running a 4.53 40, bench pressing 560 pounds, which is nearly 100 pounds more than twice his body weight and squatting over 700 pounds.
“Man, what was I thinking putting that much weight on my back? To be honest, that is a lot of weight,” Orakpo said with a laugh. “It’s really hard work and dedication. I work hard and I take my craft very seriously in what I do. You can bench and squat as much as you want to, if it’s not translating onto the field, then, in this sport, it means nothing.”
Mike’s brother, Brian Orakpo, a former Texas defensive end and current Washington Redskin, headlined the freaks list in 2008.
“When I was talking to him about it, we was kinda reminiscing on the conversations we was having when he was telling me at that time, it’s gonna be you in a couple years,” Orakpo said.
Earlier this week, Orakpo was also named to the watch list for the Butkus award, given out to the country’s best linebacker. Just another sign of how much he’s turned his career around after he was kicked off the team at Colorado State in 2012.
“Everybody, I feel like, goes through their own trials and tribulations, but it’s just what you do to overcome them,” Orakpo said. “From that point on, I have matured. It’s just been a long process for me, but it’s definitely heading in the right direction.
He just hopes that direction includes Texas State’s first ever bowl game.