Each year, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman highlights some of the top athletes in college football with his Freaks List, and there is usually at least one NC State player on it. Dantonio Burnette does a great job molding guys with his strength and conditioning program, and it shows.
This year, two NC State players made Feldman’s list, both offensive linemen. It won’t surprise you that Ickey Ekwonu is one of them. Dylan McMahon is the other.
Ekwonu, area pancake king and maple syrup magnate, will be one of the top 2022 NFL Draft prospects at offensive tackle. He’s likely to impress at the Combine next year, if Burnette is right:
Strength coach Dantonio Burnette says Ekwonu, who has hit 18 MPH on the GPS at practice and vertical jumped 30 inches, will run as fast as former Wolfpack first-round offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury, who clocked a 4.92 40 at the NFL Combine.
That would be an elite time for an offensive lineman: Bradbury’s 40 was the third-fastest among offensive linemen at the 2019 Combine. That’d be impressive and it would help solidify his stock, but it’s hardly the reason there are so many eyes on him: it’s his physical strength and nasty demeanor on the field that have made him one of the best players in college football at his position.