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.

1Bo JacksonAuburn Tigers4.12 
2Michael BennettMinnesota Vikings4.13
3Alexander WrightDallas Cowboys4.13
4Darrell GreenWashington Redskins4.15
5Ahman GreenNebraska Cornhuskers4.17
6Joey GallowayOhio St. Buckeyes4.18
7Terrell SinkfieldNorthern Iowa4.19
8Henry NealBlinn JC4.2
9Onterio McCalebbAuburn Tigers4.21
10Deion SandersFlorida St. Seminoles4.21
11Kevin CurtisUtah St. Aggies4.21
12Don BeebeBuffalo Bills4.21
13John RossUniv. of Washington4.22*added 3/4/17
14Breshad PerrimanCentral Florida4.22
15Donte StallworthTennessee Volunteers4.22
16Willie ParkerNorth Carolina Tar Heels4.23
17Clayton HolmesDallas Cowboys4.23
18Rondel MelendezEastern Kentucky (1999)4.24
19Chris JohnsonEast Carolina Pirates4.24
20Taylor MaysUSC4.24
21Phillip DorsettUniversity of Miami4.25
22Marquis GoodwinTexas Longhorns4.25
23Tavon AustinWest Virginia4.25
24Steve WilliamsCalifornia4.25
25Ike TaylorPittsburgh Steelers4.25
26Randy MossMarshall University4.25
27Michael VickVirginia Tech Hokies4.25
28Jerome MathisHampton4.25
29Sam ShieldsUniversity of Miami (Packers)4.25
30Dri ArcherKent St.4.26
31Devin HesterUniversity of Miami4.26
32Darren McFaddenArkansas Razorbacks4.26
33James JettWest Virginia4.26
34Jacoby FordClemson Tigers4.26
35Trindon HollidayLSU4.26
36Jaylen MyrickMinnesota4.28added 3/8/17
37DeMarcus Van DykeUniversity of Miami4.28
38Kevin WilliamsUniversity of Miami4.28
39Champ BaileyGeorgia Bulldogs4.28
40CJ SpillerClemson Tigers4.28
41Raghib IsmailNotre Dame Fighting Irish4.28
42Walter SuttonSW Minnesota St.4.28
43Rod WoodsonPurdue Boilermakers4.28
4JJ NelsonUAB4.28
45Jonathan JosephAuburn4.28
46Standord RouttUniversity of Houston (2005)4.29
47Fabian WashingtonNebraska Cornhuskers4.29
48Laveranues ColesFlorida St. Seminoles4.29
49James WilliamsFresno St.4.29
50Gaston GreenUCLA4.29
51Johnny KnoxAbiliene Christian (Chi. Bears)4.29

Note Updated: 3/8/17: ¬†University of Minnesota DB Jaylen Myrick has been added to the list with an official NFL combine time of 4.28. ¬†Myric joins a small list of NFL combine participants who have run under 4.30. ¬†Myrick’s time would have been the talk of the combine had John Ross from Washington not broken Chris Johnson’s long standing record with his time of 4.22.

Note Updated 3/4/17: ¬†University of Washington’s John Ross broke the combine official 40 yard dash record with a 4.22 laser time. ¬†He will be placed on the list with this time. ¬†With that said, several scouts had him under 4.20 with their hand times. ¬†Lowest I heard was 4.16. ¬†This would put Ross amongst the fastest ever. Ross cramped up immediately after his run and only ran one. Looking at the tape, he may have cramped near the end of his run. Truly an amazing performance.

Note Updated 3/5/16: ¬†The NFL Combine provided two new additions to the list. ¬†I do accept hand times to the list. ¬†In fact, ¬†hand times make up the majority of this list for any of you who may have been curious. ¬†The NFL Network, ¬†which televises the NFL Combine, ¬†uses former NFL GM Charlie Casserly as their timer for 40 yard dashes run at the combine. ¬†Casserly’s hand time makes up the “unofficial times” that you see on NFL Network during the telecast of the NFL Combine. This year, ¬†Georgia RB Keith Marshall cranked out a 4.29 according to Casserly’s watch during his 40 yard dash and Auburn DB Jonathan Joseph was the fastest hand time at the 2016 combine with a 4.28. ¬†Both have been added to the list as it has now grown to 48 members.

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.

Author: Chad Wilson

Chad Wilson is a college football recruiting expert and creator of the GridironStudsApp which allows high school football players to gain exposure to college football coaches and fans. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (‚Äô90-‚Äô91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (‚Äô95). He is also a former youth and high school football coach for over 15 years. Wilson’s older son Quincy plays in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and his younger son plays cornerback for the University of Florida. Email:

241 thoughts on “The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

  1. I think you missed James Jett from West Virginia. Not sure of his 40 time, but he is an Olympic Gold Medal winner. I think it was around the 4.22 range.


  3. Kit:

    You’re right. I actually covered that guy in a game in 1992 while he was at WVU. He was swift !!

  4. your reaction time of .25 seconds is excessively high. elite sprinters typically have a reaction time of about .12 seconds.

  5. Chris:

    When a sprinter is at his peak during his training cycle, usually at the World Championships or Olympic Games, they may achieve a reaction time in the .12 to .16 range. However, on average, you are are looking at .20 to .25 in reaction time. Fastest reaction time ever was .10 by Jon Drummond in a race in Monaco and there was much debate as to whether or not he false started. In fact a recording of .10 or below is grounds for a false start in a track event. It’s not the norm to react at .12 to the starter’s gun. It can and has happened but it’s not the norm. Perhaps in the races I cited, reaction times fell more in that lower range (.16) but you have to have almost a whole season of races under your belt to hit those kind of times.

  6. Trindon Holliday’s time has to be pretty fast. I’m pretty sure Ted Ginn Jr. has run in the 4.2’s as well.

  7. Couldn’t get confirmation on Ginn’s 4.2. Trindon Holiday has put up some pretty good 60 meter indoor track times but I have nothing a forty time for him

  8. cedric,

    we know and that’s why he is on the list. We list him as East Carolina since he had not been drafted by a NFL team at the time he ran that time.

  9. lito sheppard had a 40 time of 4.28 or 4.29 on his recruiting features back a decade ago and was the fastest number on the whole board!

  10. Chris Rainey (4.24), Louis Murphy (4.25), Percy Harvin (4.28), and Deonte Thompson (4.28) at UF have all broken the 4.3 barrier. It’s a very big deal at Florida; and these guys compete and race against each other all the time. Rainey has outrun Demps in 40 yard dashes; although Demps would catch him and blow by him shortly thereafter. I’d also be willing to bet Noel Devine at WVU has run under 4.3, and Rainey has raced and beat him several times, too. Also, I’d think Trindon Holliday at LSU has run under 4.3 as well… he’s only a tick off Demps 100 meter time, with a 10.03. Here’s a picture of the UF S&C wall at UF (this is prior to Demps’ arrival and workout).

  11. G8R 8U2

    Great info and pic!! However, one thing you have noticed about the times on this list, they were all run at a combine, NFL scouts or NFL teams. There are a lot of sub 4.3’s out there credited to high school and college athletes as timed by their coaches. It’s tough to legitimize those times. Reason being, you aren’t sure where they were run (on a track, downhill, etc.) or who was timing them.

    When you get an NFL time, since millions of dollars are involved, you often get a more scrutinized time that upholds the test of skepticism. Case in point would be Harvin who has a time of 4.28 in the pic you posted but posted a 4.37 (unofficial) and 4.41 official.

    Anyone who has seen Rainey, Harvin, Thompson and Murphy run would say a sub 4.3 is possible but I need something concrete to put them on the list.

  12. Chad,

    One might also keep in mind that when Harvin ran his official at the combine, he was still recovering from an ankle fracture. Also, there have been countless reports from several media outlets saying the timing apparatus at the combine kept malfunctioning all day. So, I’d hardly say those times are any more “legitimate” than the times I showed. Additionally, you give credence to Bo’s 4.12 time by virtue of his running the 100 meter in 10.39. And, he’s not the only one… you legitimize several times by virtue of what they accomplished in 100 meter races. Well, if that’s the case, Demps ran a verified 10.01 in the 100 meter; but has been outrun by Rainey in the 40. If Rainey’s time is legit, and these guys run against each other all the time; it’s extremely difficult for me to imagine that all their times are significantly off the numbers I posted. I see a lot less concrete for guys currently on the list (especially for 2 of the fastest, Jackson and Green) than I do for the ones I listed and supported.

  13. If Bo had an official time of 10.39 in the 100 meters and Herschel ran a 10.22 wouldn’t that make Herschel faster? I may be wrong, especially since I got his time from Wikipedia.

  14. KIngMeyer

    I think that would make him faster in the 100 but this article was about the 40. Also, Hershel took track more seriously than Bo. Bo played baseball in the spring and ran track meets when they did not conflict with baseball. Hershel ran track and only track when the spring came.

  15. I witnessed Florida Gator freshman Chris Rainey run a laser-timed 4.24 last year at the Orange and Blue Spring Game. And just today at the 2009 Orange and Blue Spring Game, Rainey clocked a 4.29 in the Fastest Gator on Campus race.

    I definitely think you should add him to the list.

  16. I am not doubting that you saw Rainey run those times but I am not adding times unless they were run for a pro scout, nfl team or at the NFL combine. I know that pro scouts make a living off of what their clocks say. There clocks can’t afford to be wrong. If start adding times run on college and high school campuses, there will be a ridiculous amount of people on the list and it would lose it’s integrity. I have seen too many shenanigans with college and high school times. Having been timed by and watched NFL scouts time people, I am more apt to believe what their watches say.

    University of Miami’s Brandon McGee clocked a 4.19 and 4.26 today. I won’t be adding him to the list either.

    When Rainey is leaving college, if he can run under 4.3, he will certainly be on this list.

    If I don’t do this, soon we will see comments like my cousin Bo ran a 4.2 forty for Backwater High School in Arkansas.

  17. I know how Rainey was timed becasue 1) I was there, in person. 2) They had official motion lasers set up at the 10yd line where they started, the 20yd line, and the 50 yd line where the 40yd dash was completed. They laser clocks start as soon as the player moves and not when a whistle blows, therefore it is 100% accurate. 3) The University of Florida announced his “Official” 40yd dash time and showed it on the jumbotron.

    So any time calculated by lasers is a heck of a lot more accurate then a stopwatch from an assistant coach.

    Just my .02 cents.

  18. Chris Rainey did not run a fully electronic 4.29 forty…. sorry, I think you got it wrong. If anything, the clock was started by a human and recorded his time when he came through the finish. Going by what you said, Rainey would have run somewhere around 4.12 to 4.15 in the 40 if it was hand timed by a coach. There’s nothing Rainey has shown me in high school or college that would suggest that he can reach those times. He’s fast but not 4.15 fast.

    I will wait for him to go pro and we’ll see what he puts down. In the meantime, I will research his 4.29 dash and see what kind of info I can get. I need something independent of accounts from passionate Gator fans.

  19. yeah sly johnson- hes mad sick. hes actually my reciever’s coach for football at Douglas.

  20. MARK DUPER RAN A 4.28 IN 1982

  21. Can’t confirm either one of those times but with Duper, I can certainly believe it. Duper could flat out fly.

  22. Sam Shields has ran in 4.2 range every year he has been at the “U” watch at the combine this year he can fly. Darrel Green ran a 10.08 in the 100 m in college and beat Carl Lewis in his prime in a contest called the worlds fastest athlete. Also he had “game speed” pads did not slow him down unlike about half the people on your list. Clinton Portis has been clocked a 4.26 in training camp. and his pro day ran a 4.27

  23. Trindon Holliday’s (LSU) best 40 yard dash time is only 4.27, but he’s only run it twice that I’ve found (with times of 4.27 and 4.28)

    Since this guy has run many times right around 10.00 in the 100m in the last year or so, he could be the guy to break Bo Jackson’s fastest recorded time of 4.12. According to some research I’ve done, Bo Jackson would have been somewhere between 10.01-10.04 in the 100m.

  24. What about the 49ers’ Renaldo Nehiamaya (I know it’s spelled wrong), Raiders’ Cliff Branch, Bears’ Willie Gault, Jets’ Johnny ‘Lam’ Jones, and Colts’ Curtis Dickey? At least one of them should have a great 40 time.

  25. what about Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps… and Percy Harvin supposedly ran a 4.1 something at a workout with the Vikings

  26. Do you have any time on the fellas I mentioned on 7/20/2009? I am sure Renaldo (“Skeets”) Nehemiah would have run something for the 49ers. He ran 50 yards in 5.92 over hurdles!

  27. Renaldo Nehemiah was fast but there’s no verifiable 40 time on him. Nor do I have one for Branch, Lam Jones or Curtis Dickey. They were all blazers though.

  28. Great info. I would like to hear about Ron Brown from the LA Rams / Raiders. He got 4th at the ’84 Olympics in 100m & was on the gold medal 4×100 relay team. Also he beat Darrell Green on the old fastest man competition in the 1980’s. But my personal favorite was Phillip Epps from the GB Packers who always came in second place in those NFL fastest man races no matter who won, Gualt/Green/Brown.

  29. I don’t know if this helps, but check these 100 meter times out.

    Trindon Holliday 10.00 twice 6/10&12/2009
    Jeffrey Demps – 10.01 6/28/2008
    Bob Hayes – 10.06 10/15/64
    Ron Brown – 10.06 8/24/83
    Darrell Green – 10.08 4/13/83
    Sam Graddy – 10.09 5/12/84
    I did not see any others on the list. The list has every runner who has officially run 10.10 or faster.
    Source; International Association of Athletics Federations. website:

  30. This is some excellent, and most accurate info about 40 yard dash times have read.

    Someone Not on the list that probably should be is Dexter Jackson from Appalachian State his first attempt at the NFL combine was timed at a 4.27.

    Also. Yes the 40 yard dash time is how people measure speed now days, but some people actually continue to accelerate after they pass the 40 yard mark. Meaning they may not have the fastest 40 time, but they can outrun some people who have a faster 40 than them

  31. Tom:

    Can you show me documentation of Jackson’s 4.27 time. I remember him being fast when they played Michigan but I don’t remember his time at the combine. If it’s legit, I will add him to the list.

  32. Sydney:

    Thanks for the 100 meter times. I forgot about Sam Graddy. Didn’t he play for the Raiders? I don’t have verifiable 40 times for any of those guys though except Darrell Green.

  33. Chad,

    Take a look at CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford from Clemson. Ford ran a hand timed 4.116 40 yrd dash and is the 2009 NCAA 60m champ, beating both Demps and Trindon Holliday. He also ran a 10.02 100m this year. CJ Spiller ran a hand timed 4.35 in HS. Since then he has knocked .3 seconds off of his 100m time down to 10.20 at the NCAAs this past spring. Also Clemson’s Head Foootball coach, Dabo Swinney has a bet with the NFL scouts that he talks with that Jscoby Ford will post the fastest 40 time at the NFL combine.

  34. 100 meter update

    Trindon Holliday 10.00 twice 6/10&12/2009
    Jeffrey Demps – 10.01 6/28/2008
    Jacoby Ford – 10.01 6/10/2009
    Bob Hayes – 10.06 10/15/64
    Ron Brown – 10.06 8/24/83
    Darrell Green – 10.08 4/13/83
    Sam Graddy – 10.09 5/12/84
    Willie Gault – 10.10 6/5/1982

    I did some digging for the next 3
    Michael Bennett – 10.18 5/20/2000
    Cj Spiller – 10.29 5/30/2008
    Jerome Mathis – 10.40 5/14/2005

    Source; International Association of Athletics Federations. website:

  35. bill cannon ran a 9.4 100yds when world record was 9.3 and supposedly ran a sub 4 40 per wikipedia. also threw 16 lb shot 55′ when only a handful touched 60′

Leave a Reply