Penn State Football: Galt Praises Size And Speed Of James
Penn State tight end Jesse James is a large human.
That much is obvious just by standing anywhere near him. You might even be able to deduce that fact watching him play on TV from the comfort of your couch.
Either way, according to Penn State, James measures up at 6-foot-7 and 254 pounds making him the second tallest player on the team behind only 6-foot-8 tackle Charles Shuman.
"To get a guy that big that does what he does, I haven't seen that," strength and conditioning coach Dwight Galt said. "I've been really lucky. I had five tight ends in the NFL at one time, including Vernon Davis and Dan Gronkowski, Rob's brother, and I'll tell you what -- I'll put Jesse James up there with any of them. The kid is really that athletic and that good of a player."
That's easy to believe.
At Penn State's annual Lift for Life fundraiser James bench pressed 225 pounds a total of 27 times, a mark that would have been good enough for the third best mark for a tight end at the 2014 NFL Combine. He also casually posted 12 reps at 495 pounds in the dead lift competition, an event that James says he has never found his limit in.
On the field he runs a sub 4.6 40-yard dash and has the hands to make all of that talent and size worth it. There isn't a lot that James can't do. From blocking to catching passes and even coming out of the backfield, James is football's version of a 5-tool player.
And Penn State is going to need all of his tools this season.
James doesn't like to talk about himself all that much, but he knows -- even if simply because it's obvious -- that Penn State's offense will rely on him this year. The most experienced pass catcher from a stats perspective and perhaps the most durable body on the offensive side of the ball, James can provide Christian Hackenberg with a massive safety net on any given pass play. Sure, James isn't going to run 30-yard wheel routes, but chances are he isn't going to drop the ball or get taken down easily either.
For an offense looking to redefine itself this year, that kind of asset can go a long way. James will have plenty of help from Geno Lewis, Kyle Carter and Adam Breneman but he'll be the biggest matchup issue is for any defense.
In terms of the even "bigger" question, here's a look at how James stacks up against some former Nittany Lion tight ends.
Kyle Brady: 6-foot-6, 278
Andrew Quarless: 6-foot-4, 252
John Gilmore: 6-foot-5, 257
Mickey Shuler: 6-foot-4, 247
Troy Drayton: 6-foot-3, 260
Vyto Kab: 6-foot-5, 243
Matt Kranchick: 6-foot-7, 260
Ted Kwalick: 6-foot-4, 225
Isaac Smolko: 6-foot-5, 260