A comparison of physical and performance characteristics of NCAA Division I football players: 1987 and 2000
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Dr. Richard Latin
Few studies have established normative data on performance variables of football and fewer exist that compare results from one decade to the next. In 1985, Olson and Hunter compared the data from 1974 and 1984 on 13 Division I team's. Berg, Latin and Baechle (1990) collected normative data on 40 Division I teams and made comparisons to rankings, offensive vs. defensive players, position comparisons, and major conferences. However, this research is outdated and no current research has assessed the changes in performance variables over time for Division I football players. The purpose of this study is to compare normative data from present Division I NCAA football teams and to make comparisons to 1987 Division I NCAA football teams using Berg et al. (1990) data. Surveys were sent out to all Division I Universities that offered football, requesting data on the starters at each position (excluding kickers). Players were divided into 8 positions for comparisons: quarterbacks (QB), running backs (RB), receivers (WR), tight ends (TE), offensive linemen (OL), defensive linemen (DL), linebackers (LB), and defensive backs (DB). Comparisons included height, weight, bench press and squat strength, vertical jump, vertical jump power, 40-yard dash speed, and body composition. Independent T - tests were used to analyze the data with level of significance at p< 0.01. It was hypothesized that (1) vertical jump power would be greater for present LB's and DL than previous LB's and DL, (2) percent body fat would not be different between the two groups for each, (3) present LB's would be faster then previous LB's, (4) present DL would be faster then previous DL. Present football players (all positions) have significantly greater vertical jump power than previous football players. Present WR, DB, and LB's had significantly less body fat while OL had significantly more body fat. Present LB's were significantly faster than previous LB's. There was no differences in speed present and previous DL. In the last 10 or so years, Division I college football players in general have become bigger, stronger, faster, and more powerful. Further research is warranted to investigate if these trends will continue.
Secora, Craig A., "A comparison of physical and performance characteristics of NCAA Division I football players: 1987 and 2000" (2002). Student Work. 663.
A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2002, Craig A Secora