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3 Things High School Football Players Are Doing that Will Get Them Kicked Out of College


By: Chad Wilson – Editor Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Every February,  there is the joy and jubilation that comes on National Signing Day.  All of the pictures taken,  the smiles on the faces of the parents and family symbolizes dreams being met.  What many fail to realize is that a lot of the smiles turn into frowns and disappointment as a growing number of athletes are being sent back home or end up transferring from the school they originally signed with.

Some of the circumstances when it comes to transferring are out of the student athletes control but many of them are.  Here are three really big things that some high school football players do that get them sent back home from college.


Many high school seniors experience that thing known as senioritis.  Wikipedia describes it as the following:

mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.

Some are able to turn their academic light back on when they arrive at college but some others are not.  For some,  high school was one big bout of senioritis.  Academic probation and stress is what plagues these athletes at the next level.  Your lack of will to study and learn WILL catch up to you at some point.  If it didn’t catch you in high school,  it will catch you in college when you are ineligible causing you to miss valuable practice and game time.  In college, your back up will often times be as talented or even more talented than you physically.  Go ahead and let him steal some snaps from you if you want to.  You will have some nice helmet less action shots of yourself on the sidelines. Let me see your right click on those.  If you happen to skirt by college without a dedication to your studies,  it’ll catchup with you when you don’t make it to the league or when you do make it to the league and someone smarter than you stiffs you for all of your cash.  Get on academic probation enough in college and your team now has a legitimate reason to release you from your scholarship and to quote the great Jimmy Johnson “they’ll get someone that looks just like you.”


In a football locker room,  almost anything is forgivable but being a thief is on the short list of things that are not.  If you have a passion for taking things that don’t belong to you,  your days as a college football player are numbered.  Aside from the unlimited amount of fists you are going to have coming at you,  the plots made against you by your teammates to have you removed will be things Hollywood would die for.  Stealing is a crime against your family and if your family can’t trust you,  they have to get rid of you.  The heat you will feel as a result of your five fingered ways will be so hot,  you will likely volunteer to leave.  Soon you’ll be back home in your teen bedroom that you will likely share with someone else.  The hardest part is that if you are known as a thief,  another school is not going to sign you.  Nothing will break up team chemistry faster than you passion for that felony.  If you’re into theft,  I suggest you find a way out before you land on campus.


For those who don’t know what Kush is,  it’s your latest slang for marijuana.  The drug has taken on more nicknames over the years than anyone can count.  Countless number of athletes enter their college careers already fully go on an addiction to this plant.  Forget about your political feelings about the drug.  Carrying it and using it is currently a crime and against any school’s policy.  In high school, you had very few consequences for using marijuana.  There were no random drug tests and all you had to do was keep your use away from your often distracted parents and you were good.  Because of these lack of consequences,  you went full go on this habit and now you are addicted.  You don’t think you are but you are. When you are taking out of this world measures to circumvent and beat the random drug tests in college as opposed to just stopping,  guess what,  you’re addicted. Getting caught with marijuana in your system can and will lead to your removal from the school and the university. When that is at stake and you still must engage in the practice, guess what, you’re addicted.  Marijuana has been known to sap your motivation.  It can change the order of your priorities.  Why risk it?  Get your third strike for smoking and you’re back home in that teenage bedroom.  You’ll have all the time in the World to test out all of the theories on the effects of the drug on your ability to secure a bright future.  Good look with your life goals after that.

So there you have it.  Three things you may want to make a point of avoiding NOT in college but right now while you are in high school.  Habits formed are hard to break. Don’t start because it may be too hard to stop.  If you have started,  make every effort now to change the behavior before you get to college or you may see your dreams go right down the drain.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email:

Four Star 2017 Recruit Marco Wilson Makes Ridiculous Acrobatic One Hand Catch


By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

One hand catches have become all the craze since Odell Beckham’s famous Sunday night mid-air snatch during the 2014 season.  Across America,  pros and amateurs alike have attempted to put their own spin on Beckham’s amazing feat, many to no avail.

Enter Marco Wilson.  The sophomore defensive back at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida pulled of a one hand catch that has caught on both nationally and internationally.  Friday afternoon,  Wilson was out with a couple of his teammates on the field and launched into a backflip while simultaneously snatching a football thrown by a classmate out of midair.  His video was placed on and seen by the site’s visitors.

By the time Wilson woke up on Friday morning,  his video had gone viral and was plastered across the front pages of, World Star Hip Hop and Bleacher Report.  Since it hit the air waves,  Wilson’s feat has been featured on CBS Evening News and KTLA out in Los Angeles with contact being made by NFL Network, CNN and a host of other media outlets.  Several international Twitter accounts have also posted the video to be seen by their audiences.

The high schooler is no stranger to acrobatics.  He has been performing a number of front flips, back flips and other athletic stunts since his early elementary years.  A fan of parkour,  Wilson even has a video on YouTube displaying an array of parkour moves throughout his local town Miramar, Florida.  You can see that video by clicking here.

Wilson is also a standout defensive back for the defending 5A state champs at American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida.  He is rated 4 stars by recruiting outlets like, 247sports, Scout and ESPN.  He already holds offers from 12 division I schools.  His brother, Quincy Wilson, is a sophomore cornerback for the Florida Gators.

Marco Wilson’s Amazing Acrobatic One Hand Catch on

3 Great Ways to Handle Disappointment in Recruiting


By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

You work hard at this thing called football. You go hard in practice, you put in work on your days off and you do everything that need to do but still the offers aren’t coming. That’s the story for many high school football players across the country. You are not alone.

What happens to many in this situation is that they give up. Some do it abruptly, others will slowly do so over time. Giving up is not the answer. For many the problems lies in their expectations and the perception of themselves.

I have already informed many of you of the guidelines many top schools have in terms of measurables for their prospects. When coaches set out on the recruiting trail they are sent out with requirements as to what a recruit needs to have in terms of height, weight and speed at a position. I can’t tell you how many times I have received calls from college coaches saying “coach I need a 6’4″ defensive end” or “coach I am looking for 6′ cornerbacks.” That typically means, the coordinator or the head coach has told the position coach, go out and find me a guy with those requirements?

The fact that coaches are looking at you and not offering you does not mean that you are not a good football player. Most of the time it just means that you don’t fit the requirements that they are looking for. The coach out on the recruiting trail can not be told to go find a 6’4″ defensive end and come back to the recruiting meeting with one that is 6’1″. It’s like a wife telling her husband to go to the store to buy eggs and he comes back with butter. You can bet that there will be a fight coming up.

So what you need to do as a recruit is realize that it’s not always about you. Many times it has to do with what that school and coach need right now. So what do you do about it?

1) Don’t give up on your Division I dreams. If you are convinced that you are a division I football player, continue working your tail off and improving day by day. As much as you can seek out competition against those with division I offers and attention you need to do so. This is a way to improve your skills and stay on point.

2) Start paying attention to Division I-AA and Division II schools. This may seem like the opposite of #1 but it’s not. You don’t have to give up on your Division I dreams to pay attention and do research on 1-AA and II programs. If you do not get the Division I offer you are looking for, it would have been in your best interest to have had communication with 1-AA and II schools so that they know you. Ignoring schools at this level because you are D1 or bust is not a good strategy. It’s similar to not going to class in college because you are convinced that you are going to the NFL. We all know that’s not a good strategy.

3) Realize that Division I schools are not the only place where the NFL finds it’s talent. Do the research, many high quality NFL players made a name for themselves at smaller schools before getting their NFL opportunity. Why can’t this be you? Joe Flacco played at Delaware, Tony Romo at Eastern Illinois, Ravens WR Steve Smith started his college career at a junior college and Super Bowl XLIX hero, defensive back Malcom Butler played at West Alabama. What matters most is your perseverance, focus and determination. If you really want to make it to the NFL you will make it from anywhere. Just keep working hard, studying the game and doing your class work. You will be the next great story that will inspire young players who were once in your shoes. Think of all the attention you will get when it is learned that an All Pro like yourself made it from a small school.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email:

Top 4 Ways to Get Recruited by College Football Coaches


By: Chad Wilson – Editor of GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

If you are a high school football player chances are you want to continue playing football at the college football level. In the college football recruiting game there are some things that are consistent and the following four things are just that. Here are the top 4 Ways to Get Recruited by College Coaches.


It’s no secret, height wins in the recruiting game. 6’2″ cornerbacks are getting offers like they are going out of style. If you are 6’6″ playing defensive end and or tight end, college coaches have their eyes are on you. There’s noting like a 6’7″ left tackle and everyone is looking for a 6’4″ quarterback. So you are asking, why is he telling me this? I have no control over my height. While height is largely genetic, there is evidence to support the notion that sleep and rest could contribute to an increase in your height. If you’re young, get your rest. It could really pay off!


Speed kills. You’ve heard it before. Some of the greatest players to play this game had the crucial element of speed. Whether it’s the running back that can turn a simple handoff into a 75 yard run or a wide receiver that can catch a 5 yard slant and go the distance, speed is very attractive to the college football coach. Join the track team or do some speed specific training. Athlete’s Acceleration can help. They have outstanding, simple methods for speed development. Click here to visit them. College coaches always want to know how fast you are.


You can’t judge a book by it’s cover… Don’t tell that to college football coaches out on the recruiting trail. Undoubtedly a well developed frame with ripped muscles and lean mass will always garner attention. Of course you will have to be able to play the game with a reasonable amount of efficiency but we are already assuming you are a good player. A good player that looks like he has been in the weight room will more often get looks before a great player that looks like he has never touched a weight. Learn to love the weight room.


In life you can always get ahead by knowing what you are good at but also equally important, by knowing what you are not so good at. Either improve on those weaknesses or stick to what you are good at. Often times it is difficult to determine this yourself. Many struggle with this task. However, some of the best will seek the opinion of others. At GridironStuds, we offer a great service that has helped 100’s of student athletes called a FULL EVALUATION. We know what colleges look at and can tell you what they are seeing in you. It’s an awesome tool that every college prospect should use and it’s affordable. Email me if you are interested in this important service –

In my six years in the recruiting business, I have observed these FOUR factors consistently leading to an athlete being recruited more than the average. .

Good luck and as always, if any of you need help with recruiting feel free to reach out and touch me using any of the contact info below. We offer a couple of services that can definitely aid you in getting recruited by college football programs.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players.  Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email:

5 Things You Need to Do This Offseason To Get Recruited


By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

The offseason is where champions are built. You’ve heard that before but the offseason is also where a lot of recruiting work is done. If you are looking to get more attention in the recruiting game, here are 5 things you can do this offseason to improve your chances of getting recruited by college football programs.

1) HIT THE WEIGHT ROOM: One of the #1 things college recruiters are going to do this offseason is try to get out and see prospects in person. The obvious reason for this is that they want to see how the prospects move around. Another big reason is to verify the “size” of the recruit. Verifying the height and the build of the recruit is a big deal in college football recruiting. You have no control over height but you do have control over how you look. Developing and maintaining a lean body gives you the look of a future college football player. Having a college coach come to see you and you look like you’ve never touched a weight will lead to them questioning your dedication to the sport. Hit the weight room.

2) GET TRAINING: Developing skill and knowledge about your craft is how people succeed in life. This also applies to football. Across the country, the people you are competing with for scholarships are out getting the training they need to excel at their position. If you are not doing the same then you fall behind the competition. A quarterback should be getting in work with a QB trainer. There are many of them out there. Do your research and find a quality one. The same goes for all of the other positions. Your work with a trainer on your craft will show up in camps and during the season. People will notice.

3) SPEED, SPEED, SPEED: Everything in society is moving faster and nowhere is that more apparent on the football field. A slow athlete just does not get recruited, period. If you are not on the track team then you BETTER being doing something this offseason about improving your speed. If your team is not doing speed workouts then I highly suggest you address this issue on your own. One of the best products I have seen for athlete speed development comes from Athletes Acceleration. It really attacks the core principles of speed development in a simple way. I highly recommend. Visit them by clicking here.

4) ATTEND CAMPS: Some debate the merits of 3rd party camps like Rivals, Under Armour, NUC, FBU, etc. I do not. If you are going to these camps expecting recruiters to pour into your inbox then you are going to them for the wrong reason. Attend these camps for one major reason and that is competition. It is important for you to get out and find your competition. It is important for you to know where you stack up against those who are competing for the scholarships you want. The best way to do that is to attend these events. How do you stack up against the 4 and 5 stars? What do you need to work on? You get answers to those questions at these events. Use them for your advancement.

Need recruiting help and advice? Contact me via email:

When It Comes to Money Mayweather, Respect it You Must


Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

I spent a good part of my night last night arguing with Mayweather fans about why I can’t get excited about what he does but I have to admit this. You or I don’t have to like it but you have to respect it.

After taking in some of the comments made but more so after listening to him post fight and analyzing his comments I’ve come to a conclusion.

A young man from the ghetto who grew up in tough circumstances made a plan and has been executing it since he was a teenager. I am always in favor of a plan. I am always in favor of scheme, tactics and the use of one’s mind to win. This is exactly what Floyd does. While I would favor more physical domination in the sport of boxing, this is not my plan, it’s Floyd’s.

Floyd is a little man who found a brutal sport. He devised a plan to survive at his size in this viscous endeavor and rise to the top. His plan and his execution of it has earned him more money than anyone could imagine a person from his circumstance could make.

Further endearing to his achievement is that his plan extended beyond ring antics. Floyd knew a style like his alone would not garner worldwide attention. He knew enough to know his style in this brutal sport would not excite the masses. With that in mind, he created a persona.

This money hungry, flaunt my riches act performed by Mayweather has combined with his flawless record to make him the most talked about boxer of his time. It has also made him the richest. He has provided for his family and then some. What he has done is no different than anything done by the millionaires of the WWE or the actors on the Hollywood big screen.

A big part of Floyd’s plan and success is the undefeated record. As such, he did what he had to do to protect it. Carefully planning his opponents is unbecoming of the nature of the sport. However, it was the proper execution of his plan and he’s winning in a big way.

There’s much in Floyd’s personal life to make you want to discredit him. I will say this, many from his circumstances would have been buried by some of his mistakes. What kind of personal life did Mike Tyson have?

Floyd’s endearment to the young generation I can only hope is born out of the admiration of him overcoming the odds to live the American dream. I can hope it is not an infatuation with the antics. I now realize it’s an act executed with an end game in mind.

Historians won’t call Mayweather the best because of his style in the ring. He is not viscous like Tyson, not comical like Ali and not powerful like Roy. You know what? Floyd doesn’t care. He was in this for the money and he damned sure got it He will walk away in tact. Well played Floyd. Well played. Top 5 Players in the 2015 NFL Draft


By: Chad Wilson – Editor GridironStuds Blog

There have been mock drafts, draft shows, draft analysis, draft previews and draft insight.  Doesn’t matter where you go,  the NFL draft is in your face.  Well here’s one more draft article.  Over the years there have been a fair amount of draft busts and some superstars that have come out of the first round which will be spotlighted tonight.  This 2015 draft will once again produce busts and perhaps some guys that will end up in Canton.  In my opinion,  here are the Top 5 players in this year’s NFL draft.  I base the list on ability, production and risk.

1. Leonard Williams – DT – Southern California:  Defensive lineman have been all the craze in this pass happy era of the National Football League.  Williams is a physical freak that is one of the more chiseled 300 lb. athletes you will ever see.  He was a highly productive player at USC with 21 sacks and a ton more mayhem caused.  While most 300 lb. defensive lineman are lined up at tackle,  Williams’ athleticism allow him to play the defensive end spot where many project him to play in the NFL. Anyway you look at it,  Williams is tough matchup for any offensive lineman, a problem for all offensive coordinators and one of those can’t miss prospects that come around every now and then.  Williams a 4 star rated player by Rivals coming out of high school and was the 5th ranked strong side defensive end in his class.

2. Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama:  There are many that will say you can find a ton of wide receivers in the NFL draft.  There aren’t many like this guy.  Underrated coming out of high school,  Cooper’s athletic gifts combined with his work ethic struck fear in defensive backs across college football during his career with the Crimson Tide.  Jon Gruden says Cooper has “a large inventory of routes” and that would accurately describe his game.  Whether its the go route, comeback, dig or curl,  Cooper is running it with precision.  He can catch the ball and do something dangerous with it afterwards.  He’s a nightmare off of the line of scrimmage and goes hard all game long.  He is essentially Jerry Rice with 4.42 speed. Picture that.  Wide receivers have a high bust rate in the draft but Cooper’s determination will not allow that to happen.  Cooper was a 4 star prospect out of high school according to Rivals and was listed 45th in their Top 100 the year he graduated.

3. Dante Fowler – DE / OLB  – Florida:  Pass rushers have become key in the NFL game.  With rules making it tough on the secondary to stay in contact with wide receivers,  defensive ends and pass rushing outside linebackers have been given the task of disrupting the high octane passing games.  Moving the quarterback off of his spot is the name of the game and that is what has brought Dante Fowler his fame.  While Fowler did not rack up huge numbers in terms of sacks,  if you viewed any Florida games during his time there,  he contributed to an enormous amount of failed plays by opposing offenses.  The relentless edge rusher tallied 34 tackles for a loss in his career at Florida and has excited teams at the top of the draft with his physical abilities. Fowler’s 4.60 forty yard dash at 260 lbs. makes him a candidate to play either DE in a 4-3 scheme our OLB in one of the growing number of 3-4 schemes popping up in the league.  He was a consensus 5 star prospect coming out of high school in 2012 and was the 3rd rated weak side defensive end prospect.

4. Cameron Erving – OT – Florida St.:  While Iowa’s Brandon Scherff has been considered the top OT in this draft and is likely to be the first offensive lineman selected,  I am riding with Cameron Erving as the best OL in the pool.  Erving came to Florida St. as a defensive lineman where he played his freshman year and sophomore year.  He then moved to the other side of the ball to offensive tackle and became a dominant player.  His junior year,  Erving earned All ACC honors along with 2nd team All American.  He was a top candidate for the Outland Trophy entering this past season but made a switch to center when FSU starting center Austin Barron season ended with an injury.  It is rare that a 6’6″ tackle makes a seamless move to the center position.  Erving was a leader on the FSU front and that has to impress you.  Erving has played defensive tackle, offensive tackle and center.  The lessons learned from all of that will pay off huge at the next level.  On top of that Erving is 6’6″ with longer arms and range than Scherff and for my money,  he seems more of a sure thing.

5. Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin: The consensus is that Gurley will be the first taken but most analysts say Gordon not too far behind.  In my opinion,  he’s the guy I want if I am looking for a back in this draft. The knock on Gordon is inconsistent hands.  That’s nice but I need my running back carrying the rock not running routes.  I am sure Gordon can execute the screen play and the check down with no adventure.  If that’s all he does while tallying up 8 or 9 1,000 yard seasons for my franchise then I hit a home run. You can’t argue Gordon’s production for Wisconsin.  He put up 2,500 + yards this year after cranking out a 1,600 yard season in 2013.  There’s noting like being the hunted going into a season and performing above expectations.  I prefer Gordon over Gurley because Gordon can avoid contact,  while Gurley seems more apt to invite it.  This means Gordon is more likely to stay in the lineup and be on the field on Sundays.  Ultimately,  your first round pick needs to be on the field and not only was Gordon durable for Wisconsin,  his 4,915 yards and 7.8 yards per carry average makes him one of the most productive college football backs of all time.  Gordon was a 4-star rated back by Rivals coming out of high school in 2011 and was ranked the 24th RB overall in the country.  Tonight he will be one of the Top 32 men selected in the 2015 NFL draft.

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Three Things You Need to Do During Spring Practice To Be A Success


By: Chad Wilson –
Editor Blog

For many, Spring football has already begun. It’s your chance to deliver on all of the promises you made at the conclusion of last year. If success is what you are after, here are three things you will need to do this Spring for it to be a success.

1) SET GOALS: Setting a goal helps you to focus. Focusing leads to high performance. Any successful person will tell you that they got there by setting a goal. Spring football will be no different. Set challenging but reasonable goals. IT is important that you write them down and post them somewhere where they can be seen. Seeing those goals on a daily basis resets your focus at times when it will wander and it will wander.

2) FOLLOW THROUGH: Many people set goals and think that’s it. You must check your progress as you continue along towards your goals. At some point you may need to make adjustments to what you are doing or even adjust the goals to suit the situation. Either way, following through and checking your progress is essential.

3) KEEP TRACK: Measure your progress. This actually means keeping stats. This may sound corny to you but sometimes success means being corny (actually more than sometimes). How many catches did you have today? How many times did you score? How many pancake blocks? How many tackles? How many INTs? Keeping track of your day to day productivity will not only keep you in competition with yourself but it will also give you something to look back on in the future to see how far you have come.

Do these three things this Spring season and you are almost guaranteed to come out a success. When college coaches arrive to watch practice, nothing should change because whether they are there or not, you should always be giving 100% when you step out on the Gridiron.

Good luck and as always, if any of you need help with recruiting feel free to reach out and touch me by sending an email to:

The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever


What Research Found Out On This Very Important Topic
By: Chad Wilson   @Gridironstuds

Please follow me on Twitter @Gridironstuds

Football fans across America continue to obsess over the most simple drill in the game of football. Is there anything more discussed than the 40 yard dash? Every Spring, this drill takes center stage and undoubtedly the question is asked 1,o00’s of times. What’s the fastest 40 yard dash?

Just as sure as you get the question asked 1,000 times, you will get dozens of ridiculous answers. For starters, let’s find out why the 40 yard dash? When and why did 40 yards become so significant? It started in the 1960’s with the NFL team that had the most developed and comprehensive scouting department and that was the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to this time period, NFL coaches chose the 50 yard dash as the mark of measure to determine a player speed worthiness. In 1960, Gil Brandt, the director scouting for the Cowboys along with his department came up with the 40/20/10 measurement. The 40 was used for all players. The 20 yard split time of the 40 was of great significance for linemen since the thought was that they rarely run 40 yards in a game. The 10 yard split was important for wide receivers as a measure of their burst off of the line of scrimmage. With this, a drill was born and almost 50 years later, it has become the center piece of info on a prospective high school, college or professional football player.

So who had the fastest 40 yard dash ever? Research confirmed what I already knew and that there is no way to really tell. Here are some important things to know about the 40 yard dash:

Run your fastest 40 ever. Click on the pic.

– A hand time (use of a stop watch) will usually be faster than an electronic time

– There are two types of electronic times:

1. When a watch is started by a coach and an electronic beam records the time when it picks up the player crossing the end point

2. When an electronic beam picks up the movement of a player from the start and starts the clock. An electronic beam also detects the player at the end point and stops the clock. This time will be slower than version #1 and even slower than a hand time in which a coach starts his stop watch when he sees the player begin the run and then stops the watch when he sees the player cross the finish line.

– An accurtrack time will be the slowest of all. Accutrack is what is used at track meets. The clock in accu-track timing starts when the starter’s pistol is shot. The runner’s time for the event is recorded digitally when the technology detects the player crossing the finish line.

Studies have shown that that average reaction time by a human to a starter’s pistol is .25 seconds. For this reason, anyone who compares a 40 yard split time in a 100 meter event and compares it to reported hand timed 40 yard dash marks is making a big mistake. If you want compare the 40 yard split of a runner in a 100 meter event, subtract .25 seconds from the recorded time. So, Olympic runner Justin Gatlin’s 4.42 forty yard dash split recorded during his Gold Medal winning 9.85 100 meter run, would convert to a 4.17 forty yard dash by football standards.

After much research a few things have come up over and over and over. These things plus my own two eyes would lead me to believe that Darrell Green, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were the fastest football players to ever play the game.

It has been said consistently that Darrell Green recorded a time of 4.09 at the Washington Redskins’ training camp in 1986. That’s a hard time to swallow but Green’s obvious speed has been put on display many times while he was in the NFL. Green ran down from significant distances two of the fastest running backs to play in the NFL (Tony Dorsett and Eric Dickerson). Green has said in interviews that the fastest time he has ever been aware of running is 4.15. To his credit, Green does have a verifiable and official time of 10.08 in the 100 meters while he was a college student at Texas A&I University. If anyone could run a sub 4.1 forty, it was Darrell Green.

Many sources report a 4.12 forty yard dash time for Bo Jackson and if you watched him turn the corner and run down the sidelines in 1987 versus the Seattle Seahawks, you would not doubt any time reported by this freak of nature. Repetition does not make it a fact but if enough sources have reported this time to make me believe it. Jackson has an official 10.39 time in the 100 meter dash in college.

Deion Sanders has the closest thing of the three as a verifiable 40 yard dash time. Sanders ran a 4.21 forty yard dash at the 1989 NFL combine and kept right on going through the finish line into the first round of that year’s NFL draft. Like Green and Jackson, anyone who watched Sanders play would have little trouble believing that Sanders pulled off this feat. Sanders recorded a 10.21 100 meter mark while at Florida St.

Of course there are scores of reported 40 yard dash times that have made the rounds on the Internet. Some are ridiculous like the 3.9’s attached to a couple of players and some 4 flats that were attached to some others.

Here are some of the problems with reported 40 yard dash times from team workouts. Some times you can’t be sure that the distance run was indeed 40 yards. There’s always the chance that the distance was not properly marked. When teams do individual private workouts for teams, often times the scout has not brought the necessary tool to mark off the distance. There’s also the chance that player’s will cheat the distance. I have first hand knowledge of a player starting in front of the starting point to run a forty, fully taking advantage of the fact that there was only one scout on hand and that he could not tell if the player was indeed starting at the correct mark. Another problem is the angle of the surface. There are plenty of practice fields across the country that have a slope. Coaches see great value in having their players run on a slight decline to record eye popping times. Savvy scouts will insist that players run up one way and then down the other. An average of the two times is taken to get the most accurate time. One other problem is that some players run the 40 yard dash with cleats on grass while other places have their players run on a synthetic track with spikes on. Guess who would record the fastest time.

In my personal experiences, I have seen some sub 4.3 forty yard dashes in my time. Kevin Williams of the University of Miami (1989-92) ran a 4.28 forty yard dash before my own eyes. Former Hurricanes Tremain Mack (4.25) and Al Shipman (4.27) ran sub 4.3 forties before my own eyes. Track star Henry Neal recorded a 4.20 forty yard dash before my own eyes in a workout for the Miami Dolphins in 1996. The Dolphins did not sign Neal since his football background was quite limited. I never watched him run an actual 40 yard dash but after having to cover him in training camp, I am inclined to believe every second of Joey Galloway’s reported 4.18 forty yard dash.

One player that is not on the list is Bob Hayes of the Dallas Cowboys. No doubt, Hayes was one of the fastest men, if not

Bullet Bob Hayes

Bullet Bob Hayes

the fastest man to put on an NFL uniform. However, as it relates to the 40 yard dash, I could find no time recorded for this Olympic Gold medalist. Hayes has the fastest 100 meter time for an NFL player at 10.05. Should current Florida Gator Jeffery Demps make it to the NFL for any significant amount of time, he will own the fastest time at 10.01. Demps ran this as a high schooler and owns the national prep record for the event.

The fastest recorded 40 yard split on record belongs to Olympian Maurice Greene. During his World Record 60 meter run of 6.33, a mark that still exists, Green crossed the 40 yard mark at 4.18. Remembering that .25 seconds must be subtracted from that time due to Accu-track timing and you come up with a 40 yard dash time of 3.93 seconds. What’s the problem with that time? It was run on an indoor track with spikes on giving the runner an advantage over the football players who have run on grass with cleats.

In an effort to centralize all the reported 40 yard dash times. I will start what we call the SUB 4.3 Club. I will attempt to keep a running record of the sub 4.3 forty yard dashes and their owners in this list. I will refrain from adding times of the ridiculous and will do some research on all times that qualify. I will say one thing, can you web surfers stop reporting that Deion Sanders ran a 4.57 forty yard dash backwards. That’s just flat out ridiculous.

Enjoy the following list of reported (and somewhat believable) 40 yard dashes run under 4.3 seconds. We will continue to add on to this list over time. Did I miss someone? Comment on this article and make your case. Please do not quote high school forty yard dash times. Nothing against them, let’s just stick to college and pro football right now.

Listings in bold are new ones added since last update.

The Official Unofficial Sub 4.3 Forty Yard Dash List at
1 Bo Jackson Auburn Tigers 4.12
2 Michael Bennett Minnesota Vikings 4.13
3 Alexander Wright Dallas Cowboys 4.14
4 Darrell Green Washington Redskins 4.15
5 Ahman Green Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.17
6 Joey Galloway Ohio St. Buckeyes 4.18
7 Terrell Sinkfield Northern Iowa 4.19
8 Henry Neal Blinn JC 4.2
9 Onterio McCalebb Auburn Tigers 4.21
10 Deion Sanders Florida St. Seminoles 4.21
11 Kevin Curtis Utah St. Aggies 4.21
12 Don Beebe Buffalo Bills 4.21
13 Breshad Perriman Central Florida 4.22 added 4/3/15
13 Donte Stallworth Tennessee Volunteers 4.22
14 Willie Parker North Carolina Tar Heels 4.23
15 Clayton Holmes Dallas Cowboys 4.23
16 Rondel Melendez Eastern Kentucky (1999) 4.24
17 Chris Johnson East Carolina Pirates 4.24
18 Taylor Mays USC 4.24
19 Phillip Dorsett University of Miami 4.25 added 4/3/15
19 Marquis Goodwin Texas Longhorns 4.25
20 Tavon Austin West Virginia 4.25
21 Steve Williams California 4.25
22 Ike Taylor Pittsburgh Steelers 4.25
23 Randy Moss Marshall University 4.25
24 Michael Vick Virginia Tech Hokies 4.25
25 Jerome Mathis Hampton 4.25
26 Sam Shields University of Miami (Packers) 4.25
27 Dri Archer Kent St. 4.26
28 Devin Hester University of Miami 4.27
29 Darren McFadden Arkansas Razorbacks 4.27
30 James Jett West Virginia 4.27
31 Jacoby Ford Clemson Tigers 4.27
32 Trindon Holliday LSU 4.27
33 DeMarcus Van Dyke University of Miami 4.28
34 Kevin Williams University of Miami 4.28
35 Champ Bailey Georgia Bulldogs 4.28
36 CJ Spiller Clemson Tigers 4.28
37 Raghib Ismail Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4.28
38 Walter Sutton SW Minnesota St. 4.28
39 Rod Woodson Purdue Boilermakers 4.28
40 JJ Nelson UAB 4.28
41 Standord Routt University of Houston (2005) 4.29
42 Fabian Washington Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.29
43 Laveranues Coles Florida St. Seminoles 4.29
44 James Williams Fresno St. 4.29
45 Gaston Green UCLA 4.29
46 Johnny Knox Abiliene Christian (Chi. Bears) 4.29

Note Updated 4/3/15: Pro timing days are still going but we do have two highly publicized entries onto the list. UCF’s Breshad Perriman cranked out a 4.22 forty at UCF’s pro timing day at 6’2″ and weighing 215 lbs.  Only Randy Moss is taller than Perriman on this list.  After running a 4.35 at the combine,  Miami’s Phillip Dorsett cranked out a 4.25 at the University of Miami’s pro timing day.  If you’ve had a chance to see video, it looked every bit of 4.2.  Dorsett becomes the 5th Miami Hurricane added to the list.

Note Updated 2/24/15:  Similar to last year we have only one new entry from this year’s NFL draft.  After talk leading up to the combine of Miami’s Phillip Dorsett possibly breaking Chris Johnson’s record, only University of Birmingham Alabama’s JJ Nelson who was able to go under 4.3 seconds.  Nelson earned his way onto our esteemed sub 4.3 list with a mark of 4.28 unofficially (4.29 officially).  The next fastest mark at the 2015 combine came from Michigan St. cornerback Trae Waynes at 4.31.  Dorsett did put a blazing time at 4.33 but it is quite short of Chris Johnson’s standing combine official record mark of 4.24.  Stay tuned for some mutant clocking a ridiculous time at one of the upcoming Pro Days.

Note Updated 2/26/14:  While the 2013 combine added four new members to our list, 2014 was not as generous. Kent St.’s Dri Archer was the only member of this year’s combine to go sub 4.3 and thus get added to the list.  Archer listed at 5’7 3/4″ completed his dash in 18 steps which equals 6’5″ Calvin Johnson’s mark for the fewest amount of steps for the 40 yard dash at the combine.  That is truly amazing power in his strides. With Archer, the list now grows to 45 in total.

Note Updated 2/25/13: 2013 Combine has done well to add to our growing list. First Tavon Austin blazed up the Indy track with an effort-less 4.25.  Then Texas WR Marquis Goodwin refused to be outdone and posted up his own 4.25.  Auburn’s Onterio McCalebb made them both sit down with his hand timed 4.21.  Only Goodwin remained under 4.3 when the official times released as he ended up with 4.27.  McCalebb and Austin both ended up with 4.34 official 40 times.  I do count hand times for this list so all three make it.

Note Updated 3/05/13: Added Steve Williams from California who ran an unofficial 4.25 at the combine. Also added former Northern Iowa WR Terrell Sinkfield who ran a 4.19 at Minnesota U’s Pro Day on 3/04/13.  Here’s an article discussing Sinkfield’s run.

Note Updated 1/11/12: Three new additions to the list.  Clayton Holmes as prompted by a visitor named Kane who reminded me about the speedster front the Cowboys.  After some research I was satisfied that he did indeed run a 4.23 forty yard dash during him time with the Cowboys.  The other two additions came from an interview I happened to view from Tom Shaw who has trained some of the fastest men that have ever played and continue to play in the NFL.  Ike Taylor of the Steelers who Shaw says ran a 4.25 coming into the NFL.  Shaw also said Taylor once ran a 4.18 but I will stick with the 4.25 run before pro scouts.   Shaw also mentioned how Rod Woodson ran a 4.28 at the NFL combine.  I don’t know how that fact escaped me but it has escaped me no longer.  So three new additions.

Notes Updated 3/05/11: Two new additions to the list.  I added the 4.20 forty yard dash that I witnessed Henry Neal run at a Dolphin tryout in 1996.  I remember it well because I had to run my 40 after his.  My 4.44 clocking seemed pedestrian after Henry mowed the lawn for the scouts.  Neal was not a football player but a track star that was well put together.  He was 5’9″ 177  of all muscle.  Perhaps some Dolphin scout saw him on his travels and flew him in for the workout.

The other addition is Walter Sutton.  I was reminded of this by an ex-Miami teammate of mine named Kelvin Harris who resides from the Fort Myers area that Walter Sutton also came from.  Sutton was drafted in the 4th round in 1991 by the Atlanta Falcons.  Sutton unfortunately was not able to start his NFL career because he was prosecuted on a drug dealing charge.  Sutton attended SW Minnesota St. and the best way to get drafted that high out of a school that size is to have speed and Walter did, clocking a 4.28 forty for the Falcons in a pre draft workout.

Notes Updated 3/02/11: DeMarcus Van Dyke is the latest addition to the list after clocking a 4.28 at the NFL combine.  That’s about as legit as it gets.  Van Dyke is the 4th Miami Hurricane to make the list.

Note Updated 1/11/12: Three new additions to the list.  Clayton Holmes as prompted by a visitor named Kane who reminded me about the speedster front the Cowboys.  After some research I was satisfied that he did indeed run a 4.23 forty yard dash during him time with the Cowboys.  The other two additions came from an interview I happened to view from Tom Shaw who has trained some of the fastest men that have ever played and continue to play in the NFL.  Ike Taylor of the Steelers who Shaw says ran a 4.25 coming into the NFL.  Shaw also said Taylor once ran a 4.18 but I will stick with the 4.25 run before pro scouts.   Shaw also mentioned how Rod Woodson ran a 4.28 at the NFL combine.  I don’t know how that fact escaped me but it has escaped me no longer.  So three new additions.

Notes Updated 1/24/11: Foolish me for not updating this sooner with Sam Shield’s 40 time since I witnessed it myself on his pro timing day last spring.  While I still had my mouth open from his 11’3″ broad jump where he seemingly got stuck in the air,  I watch Shields go out and chew up the first 40 yards like a 6 year old chews up a pack of bubbilicious.  He then smoothly coasted through the 2nd twenty and had scouts huddling up like they were calling a play on 4th and 1.   There were times all over the place ranging from 4.30 to 4.22 but the one most heard was 4.25 so that’s what I went with.  Johnny Knox is also deserving to be on this list. Knox, from the Bears, ran a 4.34 at the combine when he was coming out but he also ran on his pro timing day and there are may reports that put his time in the 4.26-4.29 range.  4.29 is what I have heard the most,  so that is what I went with.

Notes Updated: 3/04/10: USC’s Taylor Mays has been added to the list with his unofficial 4.24 at the NFL Combine.  Eventhough his official time was a 4.43,  I must include Mays’ time since several of the times on the list are hand times just like his.  Pretty amazing given Mays size (6’3″, 230 lbs.).  I may say that’s outside of Bo Jackson’s time,  Mays’ may be the most impressive when you take in the size factor.  Trindon Holliday has also been added for his unofficial 4.27 run at the combine on 3/01/10.

Notes Updated 3/01/10: Clemson’s Jacoby Ford and CJ Spiller were added to the list today.  Ford’s time at the Indianapolis NFL combine was a 4.27 unofficially and 4.28 officially.  CJ Spiller’s unofficial time was also a 4.28 but his official time ended up being a 4.37.  I am taking the 4.28 because there are many times on this list that are unofficial hand times.  Any way you look at it,  CJ Spiller can fly.

Notes Updated 1/04/09: Who knew this article would become so popular.  This has ended up being one of the most popular sports articles on the Internet since I wrote.  Just goes to show how much of a hot topic 40 yard dash times are.  I have received so many comments and emails about 40 yard dash times.  Please understand this 40 yard dash list is an “official” list meaning the times on it can be verified.  I am sure there have been some sub 4.3’s run out there but they have been done in a way that can not be verified.  There are a 100 stories about some boy name “D-Rock” who ran a 4.17 with some high tops on at lunch time on the grass field.  I can’t put those times on there.  There are even times that may be closer to official that I won’t even include.  For instance,  anyone who has seen C.J. Spiller or Jacoby Ford from Clemson or Trindon Holliday from LSU run could guess that these guys probably run sub 4.3 forty’s.  I am sure they have probably run them for some coach or strength and conditioning guy.  In fact,  Ford is said to have run a 4.26 at Clemson.  Holliday’s high school coach claims he ran a 4.27 but I am suspicious of high school forty yard dash times.  I need to tell you that up front.  Spiller has an alleged low time of 4.28.  However,  he also has a high time of 4.47.  On situations like that,  I will just wait to see what they run at the combine or in their private NFL workouts.  Sometimes,  they don’t hit the times you expect them to hit.

NOTE: Some of the times listed above may have been run on a track with spikes on. In cases where I know that to be true, those players are excluded from this list. Football is not played on a synthetic rubber surface with track spikes on. DeAngelo Hall’s reported 4.15 on Virginia Tech’s indoor track when he was a junior in college would be an example of that.

Is there someone missing from the list? Comment on this article with name and the time. I will check it out and add it if research dictates that it should be there. Comment on this article.

Best GridironStuds Video of All Time: Jeff Luc or Tavon Austin?


By: Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

There have been over 5,000 videos submitted to since we started in 2009.  Amongst those 5,000 videos there have been some outstanding athletes and football players that have displayed some remarkable skill.  With that said,  two videos stick out in my mind as the absolute best to have graced the pages of  Today,  I am asking you,  which one was the best:

2010 Prospect Jeff Luc – Linebacker – Treasure Coast High School, Florida

2 A.M in the morning and I am getting ready to go to sleep when an email comes in notifying me that there is a new video submission on  Anxious to go to sleep and curious about a middle of the night submission,  curiosity won out.  I didn’t just watch Jeff Luc’s video once at 2 AM in the morning, I watched it five times.  I had never seen a high school linebacker get after people and inflict such pain like Luc did.  An email to his brother,  Alex who submitted it and I learned that Luc had no offers.  Jeff’s video would go viral after posting on and he would graduate from Treasure Coast as a 5 star.  Luc would eventually sign with Florida St. on signing day and later transfer to Cincinnati where he recently completed his senior year.  Luc is currently preparing for the NFL draft as he is part of the 2015 draft class.  CHECK OUT THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEO BELOW:

2009 Prospect Tavon Austin – Running Back – Dunbar High School, Maryland

I don’t know who submitted Tavon Austin’s video to but I thank whoever did.  Austin’s video was one of the early submission on our site and no one who watched his video could say they weren’t entertained.  From the hard hitting Gucci Mane instrumental, to the pre-highlight theatrics by Austin and his Dunbar pals,  his highlight video was made for popcorn.  While I don’t recommend the type of intro Austin’s video has for most high school prospects,  the 55 seconds you have to wait before the actual highlights was well worth the wait.  Austin’s video was another one that was watched, restarted then watched again countless times.  Austin’s video is 10:57 long and he is tackled only twice throughout the entire video and both times he scored.  This means that Austin scores in every clip for 10 minutes of a highlight video.  Well, all but one clip (the first one features him knocking a defender off of his feet on a crack back).  To say that all Austin did was score touchdowns on his highlight video would be a disservice to the production. Along the way, Austin has entertaining celebrations with teammates, clowns the hell out of defenders and has several opponents chasing ghosts as they trying gather him in.  There’s even a referee in extremely baggy clothes at 5:37 on the film to add comic relief.  Austin went on to sign with West Virginia as one of the most heralded prospects in the 2009 class.  In 2013, he was drafted #8 overall by the St. Louis Rams becoming the highest drafted member of to date.  CHECK OUT AUSTIN’S HIGHLIGHT VIDEO BELOW:

So who had the best highlight video of all time?  Was it Jeff Luc or was it Tavon Austin?  Leave your answer and your comments below.

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