August 24, 2006

Big enough

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Size is relevant in almost every sport. There are certain rules that experts swear by. In basketball, a 6-foot-8, 215-pounder is a 'tweener. He's likely too slow to play small forward and he's not thick enough to be a power forward. In baseball, closers are supposed to be big and tall as smaller pitchers can't generate the velocity needed to get the job done. And in hockey, defensemen are supposed to be at least 6-foot-3, giving them the length and assumed wingspan to do their job effectively. Football is no different.

The difference between a 5-foot-10 inside linebacker and one who stands 6-foot-0 may not matter much in high school, but it makes a huge difference in college and beyond. Quarterbacks should be at the very least 6-foot-2 and interior offensive linemen should be 6-foot-3 or taller. The size standard holds true at almost every position on the football field and is especially relevant at running back. Powerful backs that get stronger as the game wears on are important to some offenses while others rely on pure speed. But either way, they all need to be big and strong enough to handle constant punishment if they want to carry the load.

North Fort Myers, Fla. running back Noel Devine knows this.

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