Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, and just in case you didn’t know that, ESPN The Magazine showed the world this week by putting all 325 pounds of Vince Wilfork on a cover for its Body Issue that hits newstands Wednesday.
“I’ve known this weight and this bigness since I was a sophomore in high school,” the 6-foot-2 defensive lineman told ESPN during the shoot. “I don’t know how to feel to be under 300 pounds. I don’t even know how to feel being 310 or 315.”
He does seem to know how to feel about smoking ribs, though.
On that note, too, Wilfork, who currently plays for the Houston Texans, isn’t fazed when people joke about his size.
“I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of my body,” the two-time Super Bowl champion said. He added that he especially loves his calves. “People can talk about me all they want, I don’t care. I never lose sleep.”
When it comes time to retire, the five-time Pro Bowler doesn’t plan on remaining as large as he is now.
“I know once I finish football, I’m not gonna be as active as I am playing football so I have to do something,” he said. “No matter what I have to do to dedicate myself to get the weight off, that’s what’s gonna happen.”
One of those activities could be gymnastics, Wilfork hinted only half-jokingly it seems.
“I used to do flips at 300 pounds,” he said. “I might start this year just to show the world what type of athlete I am.”
Wilfork also might want to show the world more about what type of model he is. In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, the 34-year-old had a message for his former Patriots teammate Tom Brady and Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen.
“Have Gisele tell her people to call my people and maybe we can do something,” he said.
In the meantime, Wilfork will have to settle for the ESPN shoot which also features 18 other athletes baring it all. They include: Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor, Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, U.S. women’s national soccer team forward Christen Press, retired Olympic diver Greg Louganis, Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, world champion wrestler Adeline Gray, surfer Courtney Conlogue, champion steeplechase runner Emma Coburn, motocross star Ryan Dungey, WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, Olympic fencer Nzingha Prescod, beach volleyball star April Ross, paratriathlete Allysa Seely, Olympic boxer Claressa Shields and transgender Team USA duathlete Chris Mosier.