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Watermelon-Crushing Dillon Says He’s Got Strongest Thighs

After being stuck on the bench behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams for most of last season, AJ Dillon and his monstrous thighs figure to have a big role in 2021.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The scoreboard reads AJ Dillon’s Quads 1, Watermelon 0.

A video of the Green Bay Packers running back’s famous quads squashing the life out of a tough but overmatched watermelon has received almost 56,000 views on TikTok and close to 93,000 views on Twitter.

“I jumped on TikTok last year and somebody said if you get to 200,000 followers you’ve got to break a watermelon,” Dillon said after Wednesday’s organized team activity. “I’m a man of my word so I had to do it, give the people what they wanted.”

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“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” he said.

Once upon a time, “Thunder Thighs” might have been a cruel nickname. Not so for a powerhouse group of running backs that are bringing thunder to their backfields.

A photo of Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis’ massive thighs went viral last month. On Tuesday, it was a photo of new Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard’s exploding quads.

Dillon said it’s not a competition for who has the most muscular thighs. But, if it was, he’d win.

“I put out a tweet, I said Saquon (Barkley), Nick Chubb, I think Najee (Harris) had a picture from the Reese’s Senior Bowl where his quads were looking big,” Dillon, wearing a “Quadfather” shirt, said. “So, I put out maybe we could make a ‘Quad Squad.’ No competition but, if it does come down to competition, mine are the biggest and we can put that down and state it out the strongest, no big deal.”

Monster thighs deserve a monster nickname. In a Twitter poll created by Dillon on May 25, ‘Quadzilla’ scored a narrow 51 percent victory over ‘Quadfather.’

“Somebody brought up the idea of one leg being ‘Quadzilla,’ the other one being ‘Quadfather,’” Dillon said. He put that to a vote, too. ‘Quadzilla’ for the right leg and ‘Quadfather’ for the left captured nearly 54 percent of the vote.

“So, I’m going to roll with that,” he said. “Either name is applicable and I’m fine with that. I’ll definitely respond to it.”

A second-round pick last year, Dillon carried just 46 times for 242 yards while playing third-fiddle to Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. By contrast, he had 39 carries for 272 yards against Louisville as a freshman in 2017 and 35 carries for 242 yards against Syracuse as a junior in 2019.

In three seasons at Boston College, Dillon carried the football 845 times – an average of 22.8 carries per game. As a rookie, he had a career-high 21 carries against the Tennessee Titans.

Dillon called the lack of touches a “learning experience.”

“At BC, I was used to getting the ball like 25 times a game, but I think there’s something to be said for having two superstars in the backfield doing their thing, learning that you’ve got to make every rep count,” Dillon said. “So, last year, yeah, I got the ball not at all in a game, or two times in a game but, by the end of the year when I got those three reps in a game, I was giving it my all. So, definitely a learning experience, but it’s something I feel like, as I do progress into a bigger role, is definitely going to pay dividends.”

The Packers are counting on it. With Williams taking his career mark of 11.6 touches per game to the Detroit Lions in free agency, it will be Jones and Dillon forming what Dillon believes could be an elite backfield tandem.

“You look at us and you see thunder and lightning, which absolutely we are,” Dillon said in the accompanying video. “But the lightning guy, Aaron, he can grind out some yards. And the thunder guy, myself, I’d like to say I can still beat some guys running away from them.”