Jalen Hurts squatting 500 on his way to a bigger lift at 16 in 2015. / YouTube

Long before Jalen Hurts was a Super Bowl quarterback and runner-up in NFL MVP voting, way back when he was just a sophomore and junior in high school, he was a competitive powerlifter. You may have seen the videos of him squatting 600 in college or deadlifting 620 a couple years ago, but, more impressively, Hurts was officially squatting and deadlifting nearly as much when just a Texas high schooler and only 16 years old. In fact, he competed in 11 powerlifting meets when he was only 15 and 16 and when he weighed between 186 and 198 pounds.

Jalen Hurts squat
Jalen Hurts squats 600 lbs. at Oklahoma. / Instagram

The Barbell looks back at the best lifts of NFL superstar Jalen Hurts.


When Jalen Hurts was a high school quarterback in Texas, his father, Averion Hurts, who was also the coach of the football team (and still is), encouraged his son to pursue powerlifting. Going into his first meet in 2014, the most the 15-year-old sophomore had squatted was 385 lbs. He opened with that and got it. Averion thought it would be great if his son moved just barely into the 400 Club. But Jalen upped the weight all the way to 445. “So I’m thinking, Okay…,” Averion Hurts remembered. “I didn’t say anything. I was waiting, because if he were to not get it, I was going to get after him.” Jalen squatted the 445 lbs. He also bench pressed 225 lbs. and deadlifted 480 for a 1150-lb. total.

Only five days later, he upped all three lifts: 470-lb. squat, 250-lb. bench press, 500-lb. deadlift for a 1220-lb. total and his first powerlifting win in the boys’ 197-pound division. From then on, Hurts wasn’t just a football phenom; he was a strength phenom, too.

Hurts’ best lifts in a single powerlifting meet as a 15-year-old were: 500-lb. squat, 260-lb. bench press, 500-lb. deadlift for a 1260-lb. total (572 kg.). In other meets at 15, he officially did 510-lb. squats and deadlifts.

His junior year, after he was the high school football divisional MVP, 16-year-old Jalen Hurts continued to increase all three lifts and competed in six more powerlifting meets, winning his division (boys, 197-pound) twice more.

His best-ever powerlifting total was at the Texas boy’s divisional championships on March 7, 2015, when he finished second with a total of 1430 lbs. (649 kg.) with a 570-lb. squat, 275-lb. bench press, and 585-lb. deadlift. This was his final powerlifting meet, and, again, Jalen Hurts, future NFL superstar, was only 16.

Jalen Hurts bench press
16-year-old Hurts locks out a 275-lb. bench press. / YouTube


There are two videos of Jalen Hurts squatting 600 lbs. (272 kg.) in college, one at Alabama and one when a senior at Oklahoma. In both, there’s a spotter just behind him with his hands on his chest some of the time. More impressive is the 570 lbs. (259 kg.) he officially squatted in his best powerlifting meet when only 16 and 196 lbs.

Jalen Hurts powerllifting
Jalen Hurts squatting 600-lbs. when at Alabama. / Facebook


Jalen Hurts reportedly bench pressed 335 lbs. (152 kg.) at Alabama. Like almost all quarterbacks, he did not bench press at the NFL Combine, but, if he had, we project he would’ve totaled 15 reps with 225 lbs. based on his reported one-rep max. Hurts officially bench pressed 280 lbs. (127 kg.) once and 275 lbs. four other times in powerlifting meets when 16.


In July 2021, a video was posted to social media of Hurts pulling a 620 lb. (281 kg.) conventional-stance deadlift (with a parallel-grip trap bar) in Lane Johnson’s “Bro Barn.” This is in line with what he was deadlifting (with an Olympic barbell), sumo-style, over six years earlier when he was only 16. Hurts’ best competition deadlift at 16 was 585 lbs. (265 kg.), weighing 196 lbs.

Jalen Hurts powerlifting
Jalen Hurts pulling a 565-lb. deadlift at 16. / YouTube

See also: 10 Strongest NFL Players Ever