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The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

February 26th, 2014

 

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 Gridironstuds.com
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 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 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    added  2/26/14
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 Standord Routt University of Houston (2005) 4.29
41 Fabian Washington Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.29
42 Laveranues Coles Florida St. Seminoles 4.29
43 James Williams Fresno St. 4.29
44 Gaston Green UCLA 4.29
45 Johnny Knox Abiliene Christian (Chi. Bears) 4.29


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.

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.

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 mind 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.

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.


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Top Unofficial DB 40 Yard Dash Times at NFL Combine 2012

February 28th, 2012

Follow us on Twitter: @Gridironstuds
email: cwilson@gridironstuds.com

Here are the top unofficial times for the first group of defensive backs at the NFL Combine.

J. Robinson (UCF) 4.29
R. Brooks (LSU) 4.35
D. Bentley (ULL) 4.37
C. Sensabaugh (CLEM) 4.37
J. Hosley (VT) 4.38

J. McMilian (ME) 4.42
Dre Kirkpatrick (ALA) 4.43
J. Fleming (Okla) 4.43
S. Gilmore (Scar) 4.44

J. Hosley (VT) 4.44
J. Jenkins (UNA) 4.44
R. Brooks (LSU) 4.45
M. Claiborne (LSU) 4.47
M. Pellerin (HAMP) 4.47
S. Richardson (VAN) 4.47
C. Thompson (SCar) 4.47
C. White (SAMF) 4.47

C. Brown (UNC) 4.50
T. Fredrick (TX A&M) 4.50
B. Taylor (LSU) 4.50
A. Jackson (CP) 4.50
A. Dennard (NEB) 4.51
T. Wade (ARI) 4.53
J. Thomas (OkSt.) 4.56

Other Notables:

Harrison Smith (ND) 4.56
Phillip Thomas (SYR) 4.59
Cliff Harris (Ore) 4.59

Unofficial 40 yard dash times based on hand timing of Charlie Casserly (NFL Network Contributor).


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Importance of Standardized Combine Testing

December 9th, 2011

Combine season is fast approaching and there will be athletic testing popping up on every open stretch of grass in the major cities across the country.  With so many combines to choose from,  how do you determine which ones are a worthy endeavor and which ones are a waste of time and hamstring energy.  One major aspect that can separate the real from the unreal is the presence of standardized testing at the combine event.  By standardized I mean digital time of the 40 yard dash and other agility drills.  It’s the best way to legitimately gauge one athlete against another either at the local combine or another combine taking place at another location.  I see the implementation of standardized testing being the wave of the future on the high school level if no other reason other than the fact that so many athletes participate in these combines annually.   Zybek Sports out of Boulder, Colorado is taking a leadership role in bringing standardized athletic testing to the high school level.  Here is a recent article written by them on the importance of standardized testing at combine events.

IMPORTANCE OF STANDARDIZED COMBINE TESTING
By: Michael Weinstein – Zybek Sports
email: mike@zybeksports.com 

With fractions of an inch and two decimal places separating the top players on most teams, it is important to ensure an athlete’s data is uniform and accurate.   Colleges and Pro teams need to ensure that the athletes they are considering are being measured consistently and accurately.  The use of Fully Automated Timing (FAT) systems, where the time is started by the athlete and stopped by the athlete, are the first important step in ensuring that athletes are being compare fairly.  Other important steps include: ensuring the system is setup in exactly the distance specified; providing a certificate of timer equipment accuracy, and documentation of the test conditions, including running surface type, weather conditions, etc.  Not following these guidelines will always call into question the accuracy of the claimed time.

 

Zybek Sport’s timing system provides a traceable F.A.T platform.  Wires are used to connect the timer display unit to the remote sensors.  Although wires may seem old-fashion, marks on the wires are placed exactly at the 10 / 20 / 40 yard positions, thus ensuring exact placement of the timing points.  Also, the use of wires precludes any timing interferences / delays in wireless communications with the timing box.  Another issue that needs to be considered when setting up a verified, traceable timing system is ensuring the system is configured properly.  ZAP has designed the basic F.A.T. systems to be extremely simple.  Whereas some timing systems have software and remote communications links, ZAP’s system has two switches:  one on / off and one reset.  This makes operation easy and leaves little room for setup error.

 

Vertical Jump.  
To reduce testing time, many coaches have opted to use devices to measure “hang-time”.  The “hang time” is then used to calculate the vertical jump.  Although this method may be reasonable from a classic physics perspective and is fast, it often does not translate into an accurate actual vertical jump.  The classic vertical flag stack measurement is what the NFL uses and most colleges.  Vertec was the first to pioneer the vertical jump measurement system.  The flag system was and continues to be the most accurate means of measuring the vertical jump.  The use of a Vertec can often be time consuming, however.  For example, some coaches, often a use a piece of tape placed on the pole marking the athletes reach height.  After the athlete jumps, a tape measure is used to determine the distance between the tape mark and the bottom flag.  Accurate, but slow.

 

A new system by ZAP has made the testing very fast with no math.  The reach height is set by adjusting the mask to the height reach height.  The jump height is then simply read from the flag.  Although amazingly simple, this method of determining the vertical jump is very fast, easy and intuitive.  When maximal jump height is needed, the mask is set at a scribed mark and the height is simply read.  This is both fast and accurate.

Providing an accurate, standardized and documented method of physical combine testing is important to the athletes.  Athletes need to be very careful when selecting a testing institution for providing their numbers.  As mentioned, it is obvious that using a hang-time measurement is not an accurate method of reporting the vertical jump measurement.  The NFL uses a series of mechanical flags to measure vertical jump.  The testing company reporting the athlete’s score should use the same system.  The timing system differences, however, are a little more subtle and need to be investigated before accepting times from a combine company as real.  The most important requirement for any testing company is the use of a Fully Automated Timing system.  As seen in most programs, the difference in times between the top athletes is so minor, that any error introduced by a hand start makes the difference between the athletes statistically the same.   Even giving experience coaches the benefit of repeatable hand-eye coordination, it is nearly impossible for the eye to view the start; the brain to process; and the hand to mechanically ‘push the start button’ with 100% repeatability.  At the 2011 NFL combine, the best time in the 40 was 4.28 seconds.  The next nine times ranged from 4.34 to 4.40.  If you had the 4.31 second time, wouldn’t you be questioning the consistency of a hand started time?  Especially because some combine events span multiple days, the starter’s actual reaction time can be influenced by fatigue and ambient conditions that far exceed a few hundredths of a second.  So, ensuring the combine testing company has a repeatable, verifiable; F.A.T. system is of paramount importance to the numbers.  Also, it appears the laser-style start sensor system, is a reliable start method for a F.A.T. system.  Other systems, using a touch pad, can alter the preferred starting position of the athlete and be one additional mental distraction (e.g., am I pressing hard enough? Will I slip on the pad if my back foot contacts the pad, etc.)  that has nothing to do with running the fastest time possible.  Laser start systems measure and test the athlete’s performance.  Additional human errors are eliminated.

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2011 Combine Top 40 Yard Dash Results (WR’s, RB’s, QB’s)

February 27th, 2011

Fast Times in Indy but Not That Fast

As always there were some fast times at the Indianapolis NFL Combine in Day 2 of workouts as the wide receivers and running backs took to the turf along with the quarterbacks.  Times were not as fast as last year’s times as C.J. Spiller, Jacoby Ford and Trindon Holiday set the turf on fire.

No one did anything that would land them on my Sub 4.2 forty yard dash list but nevertheless,  let’s take a look at the bests of the day.

Top QB – 40 yard dashers

Cam Newton and Jake Locker turned in 4.59 times for the QB’s but Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor was your fastest with a time of 4.51.

Top RB – 40 yard dashers

U. Conn’s Jordan Todman and Kentucky’s Derrick Locke were impressive with 4.40 times.  Mario Fannin of Auburn beat them both with a 4.38 but the fastest of the day went to Darel Scott of Maryland who heated it up with a 4.34.

Top WR – 40 yard dashers

Leonard Hankerson surprised with a 4.43 as did Julio Jones with his 4.39 but it was a pair of small schoolers, Ricardo Lockette (Ft. Valley St.) and Edmund Gates (Abilene Christian) that were the fastest at 4.37.

Check out the Top 10 fastest 40 yard dash  times for all positions on Day 2 of the 2011 NFL Combine

Player School Position Time
1 Darel Scott MD RB 4.34
2 Ricardo Lockette Ft. Val WR 4.37
3 Edmund Gates ABC WR 4.37
4 Mario Fannin AUB RB 4.38
5 Julio Jones ALA WR 4.39
6 Derrick Locke Kent RB 4.40
7 Jordan Todman U.Conn RB 4.40
8 Leonard Hankerson Miami WR 4.43
9 Torrey Smith MD WR 4.43
10 Joe Morgan Walsh WR 4.44

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5 Tips to Improve Your 40 Yard Dash NOW!!

April 5th, 2009

By: Chad WilsonGridironstuds.com Blog

So you have to run a 40 yard dash in less than a week and you’re not sure that you are ready to run a fast time. You don’t have eight to 12 weeks to go through the weight lifting, plyometrics and sprint program that involves the parachutes, weighted vests, towing equipment, sled and everything else designed for to make you run that unbelievable 40 yard dash.

Have no fear. Here are 5 tips you can use to run a faster 40 yard dash right now. Caution, this works best for those with little sprint experience. If you aren’t doing the things outlined below then you stand to drop a significant amount of time off of your 40 yard dash immediately.

#1: Fix Your Stance at the Start:

If you aren’t putting your front foot as close to the line as possible then do it now. Put that foot behind the line with space and you are running more than 40 yards. It’s that simple. Get in your three point stance and put your dominant leg at the line (note: if running on grass, twist that front foot from side to side so that you get a firm grip on the grass. You need to be able to push off of that foot without slipping). If you are right handed then your left leg is probably your dominant leg to push off on. That’s the foot that should be on the line, with your right hand right on the line as well. Get comfortable and do not stick your rear end above your head in your stance. Keep your back flat so that you will have some power at the start. This will also prevent you from popping straight up when you begin your run.

#2. Drive Out Low

Easily said and you hear it all the time. So why am I say it yet again? Because many guys don’t do it. The problem for most guys is that they think they are coming out low but they are not. Here are a few ways you can ensure that you stay low. First while you are in your stance waiting to start, pick out a point on the ground ahead of you. That point is where your back foot will land when you take off. When you start, you are going to keep your eyes on that spot until your back foot hits that spot. Make sure you pick out a spot that is far enough away from the line that you will take a long enough first step. After that foot lands, you would need to keep your head down for at least the first 20 yards (preferably the first 30) of your 40 yard sprint. Bringing your head up will most often bring your body up. Keeping your head down will keep your body down. IMPORTANT: your head down does not mean straight down to where you are looking at your feet. You should have your head down but you are looking about 2 to 3 yards out in front of you.

The nose of a bullet does not go straight up when it exits the barrel of a gun. It goes straight ahead and cuts through the air. Likewise, you must come out low to overcome gravity and cut through the aero-dynamic forces acting against you.

#3. First Three Strides Should Be Long

Many people equate foot turnover with speed. In other words, they think the quicker their stride the faster they run. This may be true but when your answer to achieve quicker strides mean taking shorter ones, you are killing yourself in a sprint. Your stride rate (i.e. turnover) has a lot to do with your genetics. However, your stride length is something you have better control over. You need efficient stride length in the 40 yard dash. To achieve that, you need to focus on a healthy stride length for those first three strides. This sets the pace and length of your strides for the rest of the run. Take strides that are too short in the beginning and you are stuck with that for the rest of the race and your time will be a disappointment. BE CAREFUL not to over-stride. I want you to reach out there and get a good stride but don’t take a stride that is so long that you lose power. You lose power in a sprint when your foot lands too far out in front of your body. Avoid doing this. When you really get into your run, your foot should be planting under your hips to maintain maximum force against the ground.

Run Your Fastest 40 ever. Click on the pic

Run Your Fastest 40 ever. Click on the pic

#4. Maintain a Lean Through the Entire 40 Yard Sprint.

At no point in the 40 should you be running straight up and down. It’s not the 100 or 200 meters. In a 40 yard sprint, you have not generated enough speed in terms of miles per hour to make it necessary to raise all the way up. After driving out with your head down for first 20 to 30 yards, you should maintain a slight lean through the final 10 yards of the sprint. You should resemble an air plane taking off. Airplanes start off with all wheels on the ground, as the plane picks up speed the nose begins to rise gradually before the plane takes off. However, in the 40 yard sprint, you will never rise all the way up because the 40 yard sprint is not long enough for that to happen.

#5. Relax at about 20 to 25 yards

This is something that may need some practice for some of you. By relax, I don’t mean slow down or stop running. What I mean is through the first 20 to 25 yards you have exerted a great deal of energy and power. Your aim was to reach your top speed as quickly as possible. This will typically occur at 20 to 25 yards. Now that you have reached your top speed, there’s nothing left to do but relax and let the speed come out. Continuing to strain to try and reach speed above the max speed you already reached only means that you will begin to slow down at a more rapid pace over the final 15 to 20 yards of the sprint. When you strain beyond your max speed, your muscles tighten, your stride decreases and your rate of speed takes a steep decline. The human body can only run at max speed for a short period of time. It’s like throwing a tennis ball in the air. The rate of speed of the ball out of your hand increases as it goes up until it reaches max speed then the ball immediately begins it’s decent back to the ground. Straining to try and get more speed after you have reached your max would be the equivalent of the tennis ball turning into a bowling ball on it’s way back down. Those who hold their speed the longest do so by realizing when they have reached top speed and then relaxing to slow their rate of decline in that speed.

Relax through the line and run through the finish. You should run like the finish line is at 50 yards not 40.

That’s it. With little time to prepare, following the steps outlined above is your best bet in trying to run a time under your best. If you master those tips during your sprint it’s possible for you to shave up to .15 tenths of a second off of your 40 time.

If you have the ability to, it’s always a good idea to film yourself running your 4o yard dash. Watch the video and analyze your progress in executing the techniques mentioned in this article.

For more tips and training techniques on increasing your speed, visit the guys at completespeedtraining.com. They have helped hundreds of guys like yourself reaching their sprinting potential.

YOU can comment on this article by clicking here.


General ,

Lower Your 40 Yard Dash Time

March 19th, 2009

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Visit Completespeedtraining.com for More Information on Increasing your Speed and Lowering your 40 Yard Dash Time.

Much has been written in this blog about 40 yard dash times. We have seen the times run by guys across the country, 4.4, 4.3, 4.2. How do guys run that fast? The guys at completespeedtraining.com can show you how. Many people get all caught up in the workouts that you need to do to run faster but few people spend time examining the technical aspects of running fast. This is where more time should be spent. Many athletes think they know how to run and figure all they need to do is lift more weights and run more sprints and they will magically run a 4.3 forty. This is not the case.

There’s a technical aspect to running fast. How the arms should move, where the foot should land. The angles you need to come out at in your sprints, etc. The guys at completespeedtraining.com can help you with that. They have plenty of manuals with great information that will make you a faster athlete. Before you invest $100′s and $1,000′s in equipment and training, check them out and make an investment into their information. It may be all you need. Visit them today and get a copy of their speed manual. As it says, it’s all you need to know about speed and running a faster 40 yard dash.

Training Videos ,

Robey Clocks Fastest Nike Combine 40 Time this Year

March 17th, 2009

Junior cornerback Anthony Robey clocked the fastest 40 time of the year at a NIKE Camp when he came through the line at 4.33 seconds. The 5’9″ 163 lb. Norristown High School product was one of only two participants to go under 4.5 seconds at the event.  He was an all Suburban One League selection as a WR last season but has drawn little interest from schools to this point.  Perhaps his accomplishments at this combine can shine a light on him his senior year.

Here are the top 40 time results from the Philadelphia NIKE combine, courtesty of ESPN.com)

Name Pos. School Class Height Weight 40 Time
Anthony Robey CB Norristown (Pa.) 2010 5-9 163 4.33
Tyrell Martin RB Frankford (Pa.) 2010 5-7 169 4.49
Josh Graham RB Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) 2010 5-6 145 4.5
Alex Amidon RB Hotchkiss 2010 6-0 172 4.53
Miles Shuler RB Long Branch (N.J.) 2011 5-10 163 4.54
Damiere Bird WR Timber Creek (N.J.) 2011 5-8½ 168 4.55
Stacy Burnett RB Liberty (Pa.) 2010 5-9½ 168 4.56
Deandre Reaves LB Dominion (Va.) 2012 5-9½ 162 4.57
Charles Davis CB Neptune (N.J.) 2011 5-10½ 173 4.57
Terrant Morrison RB Smyrna (Del.) 2010 5-6½ 167 4.57
Ibraheim Campbell DB Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 2010 5-11½ 187 4.58
David Williams LB Northeast Catholic (Pa.) 2010 5-10 188 4.58
PJ James RB Glassboro (N.J.) 2011 6-0 177 4.61
Vaughn Scott RB West Deptford (N.J.) 2011 5-9 157 4.61
Clayton Minott RB Concord (Del.) 2011 5-9 157 4.62
Huschai Severe WR Washington (Pa.) 2012 5-9½ 149 4.63
Stephon Singleton DB North Catholic (Pa.) 2010 5-6 138 4.64
Brent West RB Germantown (Pa.) 2010 5-7 145 4.64
Bradeem Black RB Camden (N.J.) 2011 5-4 145 4.65
Raheem Richardson WR Union (N.J.) 2010 5-7 151 4.65

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Emerson and Jeter blaze at the Nike Combine (Pittsburgh)

March 17th, 2009

A pair of underclassment were the fastest football players in the Pittsburgh area last weekend at the Nike Combine.  Altoona Area’s sophomore running back James Emerson clocked a 4.42 in the 40,  while Sto-Rox’s freshman safety Marzett Geter cranked out a 4.48 to open some eyes.  Junior corner back Caleb Mancini also went under 4.5 with a 4.49 as did Justin Tress, a WR from Blackhawk.  Here are the top 40 times results for the Nike Combine in Pittsburgh last weekend.

Nike Combine Pittsburgh 40 Time Results

Name Pos. School Class Height Weight 40 Time
James Emerson RB Altoona Area/PA 2011 5-6½ 155 4.42
Marzett Geter S Sto-Rox/PA 2012 5-9½ 161 4.48
Caleb Mancini CB Blackhawk/PA 2010 5-9 160 4.49
Justin Tress WR Blackhawk/PA 2011 5-7 159 4.49
Aaron Maslowski CB Highland – Medina/OH 2010 5-9½ 176 4.51
Brendon Felder WR Gateway Senior/PA 2010 5-11½ 163 4.52
Matthew Green RB Belle Vernon/PA 2011 5-10½ 173 4.55
Seth Cunningham CB Saint Edward/OH 2010 5-11½ 172 4.55
Dashaun Lewis RB Cambridge/OH 2012 6-0½ 200 4.56
Lamonte Gaddis S Cleveland Central Catholic/OH 2010 5-10½ 202 4.57
Donte Asher RB Ben Davis Senior/IN 2010 5-8 174 4.58
David Green WR Woodland Hills/PA 2010 6-0½ 184 4.59
Dominic Troutman DB West/OH 2010 5-7½ 149 4.59
Orne Bey DB Gateway Senior/PA 2010 5-8 166 4.59
Jordan Joyce RB Baldwin/PA 2010 5-8½ 169 4.60
Cody Cook RB Big Beaver Falls/PA 2010 5-7½ 164 4.60
Ryan Harr RB Derry Area/PA 2010 5-8 165 4.61
Nico Johnson DB Governor Thomas Johnson/MD 2012 5-5½ 139 4.62
Doran Grant CB Saint Vincent Saint Mary/OH 2011 5-9½ 169 4.62
Zach Snyder RB Riverside/PA 2010 5-10 167 4.63
Michael Jamar-Brown DB Pickerington/OH 2011 5-9 164 4.63

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Orlando Under Armour Combine Results

March 2nd, 2009


Under Armour makes it’s tour around the country putting on combines and when they come to Florida the getting is always good. Leading the way in the all important 40 yard dash at the combine was Demar Dorsey who ran a blistering 4.25. Angelo Cabrera also impressed with a 4.30 forty yard dash to go with standout times in the shuttle and 3 cone drill. Also running incredible sub 4.4 forties were Nickell Robey, O.J. Ross, Shon Carson, Merrill Noel, Sheldon Robinson and Mack Brown.

Orlando Under Amour Combine Results
NAME 40 shuttle Vertical Broad J 3 Cone
Demar Dorsey 4.25 4.19 39.5 10’1” 7.44
Angelo Cabrera 4.30 4.00 27.5 9’7” 7.13
Nickell Robey 4.34 4.16 36.5 10’4” 7.46
O.J. Ross 4.35 4.19 29 9’0″ 7.95
Shon Carson 4.37 4.28 31 10’7” 7.40
Merrill Noel 4.37 4.37 30.5 9’0” 7.34
Sheldon Robinson 4.38 4.40 37 10’8” 7.18
Mack Brown 4.39 3.91 33.5 8’5” 7.25
De’Joshua Johnson 4.41 - 30 9’11” -
Raphael Thompson 4.41 4.22 28.5 9’11” 7.59
Joseph Byrd 4.41 4.63 28.5 8’12” 7.66
Chris Dunkley 4.43 - 33 8’4” -
Jaylen Watkins 4.44 4.06 29 9’2” 7.31
Terrance Brooks 4.44 4.19 31 8’1” -
Alex Hamilton 4.45 4.28 32 9’2” 7.44
James Boone 4.45 4.10 32.5 9’3” 7.70
Tyre Brooks 4.46 4.16 31 9’4” 7.34
Terrell Johnson 4.47 4.17 29 9’10” 7.22
Toby Durham 4.47 4.22 - 10’7” 7.59
Schon Thomas 4.48 4.22 31 9’1” 7.37
Jimmy Lera 4.48 4.28 32.5 - 7.25
Ricardo Allen 4.48 4.35 35 10’11” 7.13
Akeem Daniels 4.48 4.09 34 9’4” 7.38
Antoine Story 4.49 4.35 27 9’7” 7.18
Jordan Ozerities 4.50 4.15 32 9’9” 7.15
Anthony Miller 4.50 4.19 35 9’5” 7.22
Dionte Ponder 4.50 4.49 31 9’3” 7.94
Marvin Ford 4.50 4.38 29 9’9” -
Brice Hunter 4.50 4.25 32 9’2” 7.66
E.J. Johnson 4.50 4.53 28.5 9’1” 7.53

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