There's a reason why kickers and punters are exempt from the bench press at the NFL Scouting combine. It just doesn't matter much at the positions. But they still go over to the drill with their group -- which was with some offensive linemen Thursday -- to the station.
And Arizona State punter Michael Turk not only participated, he put on a show.
That's a literal show, since the bench press these days in Indy is surrounded with stands in the convention center, and while most spectators are still coaches and scouts, one section is filled with fans chosen to watch. (Thursday, that included about a dozen Cardinals season ticket holders, in town and hosted by the team). Those fans are encouraged to cheer while the players are lifting, and it was hard for anyone who was looking on not to take notice of Turk.
Turk, who averaged 46 yards a punt in his lone ASU season and then declared early for the draft, ended up with 25 reps at 225 pounds, a stunning number. That was more than any wide receiver, more than all but one tight end, and more than a lot of offensive linemen, including Andrew Thomas (21) and Tristan Wirfs (24). (It should be noted that not every player chooses to take part in the bench press here, opting instead to wait for a pro day.)
It's not as if that strength will earn him a draft spot -- Turk said earlier in the week he's just hoping to be drafted, period, which is no sure thing for a kicker or a punter -- but it certainly put the Sun Devil's name in the headlines here in Indianapolis.