The stories of Jack Imbt’s strength are that of legend.
So, for a challenge, I stepped into the weight room with the Troy football star.
Imbt can deadlift 605 pounds, but he’s not satisfied with anything he’s done in the weight room.
“Always trying to go up and do more, so not ready to settle there yet,” Imbt said.
For the challenge Imbt had me do the same things him and the other linemen did, just with much, much less weight.
Just doing the lower weights is a workout. Trying to get Imbt’s weight to even lift an inch was impossible for me.
The stuff of legend is all very real.
For Imbt the passion to workout started with his dad.
“My dad, he was really big into it in high school and college and he really showed me the way and I have lived in the weight room ever since then,” Imbt said.
On the field Imbt is as dominant as they come.
There is just one thing stopping the Troy star from being a big-time Division I player, and that’s his height.
“My biggest issue is probably my height,” Imbt said. “I decided you can’t control that, so I’m going to work on things I can control, like my strength and speed and work from there.”
Being right around six feet, Imbt knows it’s harder to get the attention that bigger players get.
“It’s definitely very frustrating,” he said. “That’s something I think about a lot. I don’t feel like sometimes I’m given the same looks because of my height. But, there is nothing I can do about that, so I just pride myself on doing what I can do.”
While Imbt dominates on both sides of the ball in high school, he knows it will be defense in college.
“I am definitely defense,” he said. “I obviously can play offense, but they aren’t looking at six-foot guards really. I can play nose guard at six-feet, but it’s a little harder to play guard at six feet.”
On defense Imbt tries to use his size to his advantage.
“Where I play on the field, obviously I’m a zero or one technique nose guard, so I can eat up locks and use my speed to get around people,” Imbt said “That’s a huge advantage for me to be able to stay low to the ground and stay powerful.”
The one thing that Imbt takes pride in is when he does go up against some of the best kids in the state, like when Troy faced Southern Columbia last year. He knows they have high D1 players, but he also knows he will try and outwork everyone he faces.
“It’s a great challenge to see how you really stack up against kids who are the best of the best,” Imbt said. “It helps they have kids on their team getting recruited all around the country, because that allows people to see them. That’s the biggest thing, getting noticed.
“For me it’s blue collar work. That’s where we come from, that’s what I take pride in. I work harder sometimes than those kids going big D1 and that’s what I take pride in.”
Imbt enjoys using his strength to his advantage on the field.
“I can tell a difference, I like overpowering people,” he said. “Pancake blocks come pretty easy. I think that’s the number one thing, my strength.
“It’s definitely fun, and it looks good on a highlight reel to.”
And, when Imbt does talk to colleges, they like his strength.
“I go to some different colleges and talk to their strength coaches and coaches, and look at their programs and see how they are developing their kids and we try and implement that to our weight room as well,” Imbt said. “That’s my number one draw. Colleges like when you come in strong and physically developed and that’s what I’m trying to build.”
Right now Imbt is still looking to decide where he wants to play in college.
“I’m looking,” he said. “Trying to build relationships with a lot of different schools and go from there.
“I have looked at levels from D3 to Division I. I am talking to a lot of FCS schools, a couple D2 schools, it’s been all over really.”
For Imbt the goal is just to play in college, but getting a chance to go to a bigger level, with football scholarships, would certainly be a plus.
“The main goal is obviously to play football, because I love to play football, but that would be nice, it would be less to pay back,” Imbt said.
For Imbt a lot of what he does in the weight room is stuff he learned from the kids before him.
“I had great role models,” Imbt said. “Kyle Schucker, and Ben Sherman, they come back sometimes and used to train with me. I look at what they do in the weight room and how that translated to the field. I’m trying to bring the same effort and mentality to the weight room as they did.”
It’s not just Imbt that works hard, it’s the entire Troy line that’s in the weight room putting in the work.
“We take pride in our line,” he said. “We have a very tight knit line right now. We have t-shirts saying trench mob on them, because we are a trench mob, we are a family. We work out together, we are together probably 90% of the time, so we take pride in our offensive line.”
And, one of those linemen is Jack’s brother Mason. Mason and many of the other linemen are pushing to try and reach weights like Jack and that just makes Jack better.
“It’s great, I can see them pushing themselves to try and get to my weights, and it pushes me,” he said. “We break down on brotherhood every day for our offensive line. We take pride in saying we are the best, smartest unit on the field, and we truly believe that and we are just out there to overpower people.”
The one thing Troy’s linemen know is if you play them, you are going to feel it the next day.
“That was exactly our mentality going into Southern Columbia,” Imbt said. “We might not win, we probably won’t win, but we want to make sure they know they got hit. We can hit, we can play, and we are going to hit you if you try and play us.
“Even if we don’t win, we want other teams to feel like they had to play a game. Feel like they played us.”