"I was 270 lbs with a 48-inch vertical, benching 500 pounds, running a 4.5, 4.6." -- LaVar Ball

You read that correctly ...

LaVar tells TMZ Sports his size, strength and agility was OFF-THE-CHARTS when he was a college athlete -- making him a better prospect than any tight end in NFL history. 

So, why didn't things work out for the Big Baller on the field? 

Ball says he has a perfectly good explanation -- and he's using the lessons from his failed efforts to go pro to make sure his kids succeed ... and so far, it's working. 

So ... either this is an Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite moment, or LaVar would've really dominated the league.

You decide.