Walker Williams is like a lot of top high school football recruits. The Tacoma (Wash.) Baptist High senior offensive lineman spends a lot of time in the weight room. He likes to vary up his offseason conditioning, and he hates to run, so he tends to spend most of his time on the Stairmaster elliptical machine exercise bike dance floor in Zumba workouts.
Wait, hold on. A top offensive lineman is keeping fit with Zumba? He is, and Walker told the Tacoma News Tribune that the Latin music-inspired dance routine designed for women is actually a perfect cardiovascular workout for football fitness.
"It looked fun, I went in and did it," Walker told the News Tribune. "I don't really care what other people think about my dancing.
"Zumba is a great cardio tool. The only rest you get is between the songs and that's only for four or five seconds."
As one might expect, the sight of a 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive lineman gyrating among a room full of women can seem a bit out of place. Still, Williams -- who is ranked as one of the top 50 offensive tackles in the current senior class by Rivals.com and has committed to play for Wisconsin -- said he has received nothing but support from the more traditional Zumba dancers at his local gym.
In fact, some even applauded the first time he walked in out of sheer respect for the fact that a man would try Zumba.
Now, some of Williams' past teammates are claiming that the dancing may have helped make him an even better lineman. Puyallup (Wash.) High offensive lineman Joshua Garnett claimed that Williams' footwork has improved notably since he started Zumba classes and that his quickness would really stand out among other linemen when he gets to Madison.
For now, Williams will be happy to keep his slightly off-kilter training regime, happy to acknowledge that he is a, "dancing fool."
"Whenever you see me, I'm usually dancing," he said. "It's all fun for me."
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