The relationships between football playing ability (FPA) and selected anthropometric and performance measures were determined among NCAA Division I-A football players (N = 40). Football playing ability (determined by the average of coaches' rankings) was significantly correlated with vertical jump (VJ) in all groups (offense, defense, and position groups of wide receiver-defensive back, offensive linemen-defensive linemen, and running back-tight end-linebacker). Eleven of 50 correlations (groups by variables), or 22%, were important for FPA. Five of the 11 relationships were related to VJ. Forward stepwise regression equations for each group explained over half of the criterion variable, FPA, as indicated by the r2 values for each model. Vertical jump was the prime predictor variable in the equations for all groups. The findings of this study are discussed in relation to the specificity hypothesis. Strength and conditioning programs that facilitate the capacity for football players to develop forceful and rapid concentric action through plantar flexion of the ankle, as well as extension of the knee and hip, may be highly profitable.
(C) 2002 National Strength and Conditioning Association