Each year for almost the last 20, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman has compiled a list of the biggest “freaks” in college football before the season begins.
Feldman writes that his goal is “to spotlight the players who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the unique physical abilities that wow even those who observe gifted athletes every day,” and he indicates that he enlists the help of a large group of people to compile his list.
Feldman’s 2022 list of 100 players was released Wednesday, and two with Utah ties are on it — former high school star Noah Sewell, who now plays linebacker for the Oregon Ducks, and Utah Utes running back Micah Bernard.
Sewell came in at No. 42, and Bernard is No. 70. Michigan Wolverines defensive tackle Mazi Smith tops the list.
After noting Sewell’s stats last season following a 2020 campaign in which he was the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, Feldman wrote, “The 6-2, 260-pound junior has great movement skills, topping out at 20.85 mph on the GPS. He also bench pressed 425 this offseason, did 655 pounds on the sumo deadlift and power-cleaned 345.”
As for Bernard, Feldman wrote of his emergency fill-in at cornerback in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, and then after citing his stats from last season, wrote, “The 6-0, 202-pound sophomore broad-jumped 10-91⁄2, clocked 4.42 in the 40 and vertical-jumped 381⁄4. Teammate Clark Phillips gushed about Bernard’s Freak credentials, pointing out the guy who is barely 6 feet can do 360 dunks.”