The SEC includes plenty of workout warriors, but there are two monsters on the defending SEC division winners.

Check out their recent feats of strength.


Tale of the Tape: 6-foot-4, 270 pounds

Feat of Strength: 42 bench press reps at 225 pounds

Position: DE

Year: True sophomore

Hometown: Woodbridge, Va.

Gym Story: Hand is very comfortable in the gym.

It’s no surprise, then, that he went to a local Virginia spot after his freshman season at Alabama to catch up with friends. He didn’t intend to work out, according to But with his mentor, John Harris, present, the friends goaded him into showing off his bench press gains.

Hand pumped out 42 reps, or more than any player has produced at the NFL Combine since Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe hammered out 44 in 2012.

According to

The reaction in the gym, Harris said, was reminiscent of crowds during old NBA dunk contests. “If you’ve ever seen an old dunk contest when Jordan jumps from the free-throw line and everyone goes crazy, it was that kind of atmosphere,” Harris said.

“If I didn’t see him do it, I wouldn’t believe it myself,” Harris said.

Harris arrived at Alabama weighing 260 pounds and benching 23 reps at 225. He reached 38 reps by the end of his freshman year. Now he’s 13 pounds heavier and regularly reaches 40.

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Tale of the Tape: 6-foot-4, 310 pounds

Feat of Strength: Squat max of 785 pounds, bench press of nearly 500

Position: OL (right guard at the moment)

Year: Redshirt senior

Hometown: Fargo, N.D.

Gym Story: McGovern’s father, Keith, was a bodybuilder and lifter. Naturally, he started lifting weights in elementary school and designed his own gym.

“The fact it looks like a dungeon is probably my favorite,” McGovern said of his basement workout facility, according to the Columbia Tribune. “It feels like the old-school bodybuilding gyms that are always in the rundown part of town. You just see concrete walls. I like that aspect of it. I have all the weights I need and, whoever wants to” can “come over and work out. It’s fun.”

Evan Boehm, the team’s senior center, didn’t always agree with that last assertion. Boehm, dealing with turf toe, had started all 12 games in 2012 as a true freshmen, and McGovern enlisted him as a workout buddy on leg day at the student recreation center.

Boehm, his good friend, refused to talk to him for three days afterwards.

“Connor benches and squats a house,” Boehm said. “Am I jealous? Kind of. A little bit. But he works his butt off. You look at a kid in the weight room like that, you want to be that kid in the weight room.

“I feed off of him in the weight room, he feeds off of me on the football field. We just basically feed off each other all the time.”

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