The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

What Research Found Out On This Very Important Topic

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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

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.

Note Updated: 3/5/23:  It would’ve been hard to top what we saw at he combine in 2022 as three guys entered the list (an all time high) This year’s combine didn’t disappoint though as players continue to get faster and faster.  This year,  DJ Turner from Michigan entered the list with a blistering 4.26 forty (see video below). Though the video shows 4.27,  his official time ended up being 1 hundreth of a second faster at 4.26.  Turner trained at XPE in Ft. Lauderdale who,  by the way,  was responsible for all three of last year’s entries onto the list.  It appears that XPE headed by Tony Vilani and Matt Gates is onto something.

Note Updated: 3/7/22:  We may have just experienced the fastest NFL combine in history.  It stands to reason as training has developed at a rapid pace over the last decade for the 40 yard dash.  Three new entries are on the list now after the combine which is a record for the list since it was created.  We thought we had a new all time combine record when the receivers went several nights ago.  The unofficial time for Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor was 4.21.  Somehow the official time ended up being .7 slower so he enters with a 4.28.  This is still majorly impressive for a taller athlete at 6’2″  Everyone wondered how the defensive backs would look when it was their turn and at first it did not see as though they would match the wide receiver output.  However,  in the exact opposite of what happened with the wide receiver group,  the defensive back official times all ended up being quite a bit faster than the unofficial times posted on the screen during the NFL Network broadcast.  With that,  we ended up with two more additions to the list with Tyriq Woolen from UT San Antonio putting down a 4.26 official time and Baylor’s Kalen Barnes putting up a 4.23 official time just missing a chance to tie the best combine time ever by .01.  My list has now swelled to 59 members.

Below is a look at Barnes nearly record run.  It was shown as a 4.29 on the NFL Network broadcast but was later amended to a 4.23

Note Updated: 4/19/21:  Two new additions to the all time list.  Anthony Schwartz wide receiver from Auburn (4.25) and Eric Stokes defensive  back from Georgia (4.29). Of course,  you all know that there was no combine this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.  This means that the only thing we had were pro day times.  Much has been said and speculated about the pro day results.  I will make this careful observation based on what I know,  I’ve seen and I’ve heard.

With no combine,  players had more time to prepare.  That alone will yield better results.  In addition,  the combine is a rigorous process that does not lend itself to tip top athletic results by all.  Some manage that process better than others for a number of reasons.

The biggest discrepancy with the times seems to have come from agents and schools trying to promote their players vigorously in an attempt to boost their draft stock.  As such,  I did my research and found the sources that I could trust on the times and went with those.  At the end of the day,  these two athletes seem to have been the ones whose sub 4.3 times are able to stick.  Both Schwartz and Stokes were high school sprint stars running 10.05 and 10.39 respectively.  While that does not guarantee them sub 4.3 yard dash times,  it does give their run more credibility.

Note Updated: 2/28/20:  Alabama’s Henry Ruggs has been added to the list.  Ruggs turned in a time of 4.27 at the NFL Combine on 2/27/20.  Many had speculated that he would break the combine record of 4.22 recorded by John Ross in 2017,  Ruggs came up short.  Nevertheless,  4.27 is an outstanding time that puts him at #37 on our list.

Note Updated 3/05/19: Added Zedrick Woods of Ole Miss to the list.  There were many fast times at the 2019 NFL combine but only one guy was able to go sub 4.3 and get on the list.

Note Updated 2/03/19:  We’ve all wondered what Usain Bolt would do in a 40.  Well,  wonder no more,  kind of.  At the NFL Experience during Super Bowl LIII,  Bolt, ran the 40 yard dash in sweatpants and sneakers.  He casually came through the line in an unofficial 4.22.  Mind you,  I doubt he went through a full warm-up and the set up was such that he could not run through the line at full speed.  There’s little doubt that under the type of conditions that the NFL players run the 40 at the combine,  Bolt,  who is retired at age 32, would surpass anything any of us have ever seen in the 40 yard dash.

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.

245 thoughts on “The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

  1. John Riggins was not faster than Barry Sanders. That is the dumbest thing I ever heard. It is true Barry was not a 100 meter sprint champion, but he has the second most 50+ runs from scrimmage..only Jim Brown had more. That is a recorded NFL stat, not my opinion. Barry constantly ran a 4.3 40. Thought he was caught several times, it was always by some 100 meter sprint champ.

  2. fiscusd,

    I don’t know if a young Riggins was faster than Barry. But Riggins, I think, was a track man before his NFL career. Where is the 4.3 40’s that Barry ran documented?

  3. There is a sophmore RB at NC State named James Washington who has run an officially timed 4.31 and has been feverishly working to go below 4.3. He will be running next week in Spring drills and could break the 4.3 barrier. Stay tuned

  4. Chad,

    I got to call you out man!!!!

    I’m a huge CJ Spiller fan…. I went to Clemson. With that said, if CJ ran a hand timed 4.28 then Jacoby Ford would run a 4.19 hand timed since he was .99 faster on the laser at the combine. Stay with me now…. I’ve watched both of them run more times than any scout at the combine ever will. I give you exhibit A: As anyonel that watched this video can plainly see, Ford (#6 escorting Spiller into the endzone) is much faster, always has been. It’s never been close on the track or the football field! So all I’m asking you to do is please post a legit hand timed 40 for Ford.

    I have it on good authority that Jacoby Ford ran a hand timed 4.12 ( the slowest recorded time of 3 college coaches scouting him at Hargrave Military Acadamy). Keep in mind Jacoby’s 100m time is over .2 faster then Bo Jackson so it’s safe to assume his 40 time is just as fast or damn close!!!

    Thanks man!!! I had to get that off of my chest!!! I hope that you will do Jacoby Ford justice and keep up the good work!


  5. Both C.J. and Jacoby’s time were taken from the NFL combine results from Sunday. Watch the replays of the event, both players ran unofficial 4.28s. I also think Jacoby’s faster but I have to go with what the times were.

  6. BULLET!!!!!!!!! BOB HAYES!!!!!…..Florida A&M Rattlers in the building!.

  7. I am pretty sure that Deangelo Hall out of VT ran faster than half of this board. At the combine.

  8. Regarding Taylor Mays 40 yd. dash controversy at NFL combine: I will say it again boys. There is simply no reason to debate times in the 40 until their is standardized, fully automatic timing in place. Every time is subjective, every time is flawed even if it is accurate because it cannot be PROVEN as accurate. Standardized 40 timing is certainly coming to pro and college football and then all of these hand-timed results will be forgotten (and good riddance as well) just like every supposedly great hand-timed track event from the distant past. What is going on in this thread is like calling someone a thief before they’ve been convicted at trial. Until that time, they’re simply an ALLEGED thief. These times will only ever be alleged times because they have not, cannot and never will be proven. But again, it is certainly fun to speculate on who is faster. even with these non-scientific times.

  9. Wasn’t Chris Johnson’s time the fastest laser time ever. Seems like that should have got mentioned too.

  10. #35 – Darrell Green never lost to Ron Brown. Green won all 4 Fastest Man competitions and beat guys like Gault and Brown (both were Olympic track stars). Only guy I’ve ever seen to run down two of the fastest RB’s in the NFL at the time (Dickerson and Dorsett) FROM BEHIND!!

  11. #10. Amen. I don’t remember Darrell Green ever losing the NFL fastest man competition and the way he ran down Dorsett and Dickerson was RYE-DICK-ULUSS.

  12. Lorenzo June , Highland Home HS. Al. 4.22 1981

  13. henry carr NEVER caught bob hayes from behind! you are wrong and as far as him beating hayes, bob gave up his spot in the 200m so carr could run it in the olympics as hayes beat carr in the 200m at the olypic for people like green who has a beat of 10.08 he ran that on modern synthetic surfaces, hayes ran 10.05 on freakin cinder,come on let me see even any of todays players even jeff demps run a 10.05 on loose gravel-it will never happen.and look at by how much hayes beat the silver medalist from cuba who finished in 10.2-gives you an idea of how badly he would have smoked someone like deion who had a best of 10.24 in the 100m

  14. Jerry and Chad, Check out this web site
    I can’t speak for its legitimacy, but it’s worth a look at. Wikipedia says Green won 4 competitions, but this site has the list of winners and Green is only on there 3 times. I do remember Brown winning it once. Was Green not in it that year? Dickerson and Dorsett were no doubt fast, but neither were blazing fast. Chad, any word on Jay Hinton, (RB), Morgan State 4.29 1999? Also, on the above web site there are some names with some nice tidbits.
    use2slam2, you’ll get no argument on that note. The surface make a BIG difference. Just look at the game we are speaking on. I have played on both surfaces in college and synthetic turf is definitely faster than natural grass. I’ve also run on gravel, cinders, the first synthetic track surface, and the newer rubber surfaces. They got better/faster in that order. I just love this thread my 2 favorite sports in one! Keep it going guys!

  15. Having been a big fan of the NFL fastest man competition and watched them all back then, there was one year when Darrell Green did not participate. There were a couple of other years when Brown did not participate. I think they only went head to head once and Green beat Brown by a hair to win it all. I remember Brown making the comment in an interview during the competition that the 2nd half of the 100 meters was his strength to which Ahmad Rashad said “that won’t help you much today” since they were running 60 yards.

    Sydney no word on Hinton. Will continue to look.

  16. You have Don Beebe running 4.21 during that time period he was tracked down on a kickoff return by Deion Sanders.It was in 1989.Deion came from way back passing teamates along the way.

  17. I remember it well and I think Deion high stepped while next to him before tackling him. Deion also came from 5 yards behind Rocket Ismail on a post pattern and ran past him to catch the ball. Just a tribute to how fast Deion Sanders was. I truly believe that he may have been the fastest man to play this game. He just seemed to be able to run as fast as he needed to in any situation.

  18. If this is all true, then you people that are old enough to remember the Superstars Competition, HERSCHEL SMOKED darryly green in the 100 yard dash. Herschel ran a 9.44 100yd. dash and greeen wasn’t even in the the picture!

    HUNKER DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Nobody gave
    Herschel Walker the credit he deserves for taking the beating that he did, the greatest of all time…NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!!!!!!!
    He is the GREATE$ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Tom Elbow from flurda couldn’t carry HERSCHEL’S JOCK!!!!!!!!!!


  21. Please check out Ron Brown of the Raiders, and willie Gault of the 85 Bears. These two men were “supposedly” world class sprinters. I know for a fact that they set a record in the 400 meter relay with Carl Lewis. (I saw that with my own two eyes 38.7 (King, Gault, Green and Lewis)

  22. I remember that quartet. Strangely enough I can get verifiable 40 yard dash times on Brown or Gault.

  23. James, funny enough I played against Norco when I was in High School. I played for Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley.

  24. How about a guy that’s not only fast, but 245 pounds. According to,
    DE Dontay Moch of Nevada ran a 4.28 at Nevada’s
    recent Pro Day (laser timed). They couldn’t believe it so he ran again and ran 4.27. Moch
    was a 200 meter champ in Arizona in high school.
    He will be a senior this year, and was named the
    WAC defensive player of the year as a junior.

  25. Maurice Greene’s 60m world record time is 6.39, not 6.33. Also check out Michael Ray Garvin. At florida state’s pro day he ran a 4.24, and a 4.28, but thats after the scouts added .6 seconds to the times they had on their watch in order to (according to them) make up for the hand time. So really he ran a 4.18 and a 4.22. (Unofficial) Also he ran somewhere between a 10.2 and a 10.3 100m. I cant remember the exact time.

  26. At 60 meters and below Stanley Floyd was the fastest man that ever lived ! People seem to forget this one time Houston track star actually raced a horse and BEAT it at 40 yards, on that show “That’s Incredible” back in the 80’s, he ran an Un-official 3.8 seconds!!! Nobody did it like Bullet Bob at 100 meters, if Bob were running in this era, he’d be running 9.5’s and 9.6’s like what???? Darrell Green was a fast lil mug too, I would have loved to see him go head up with Stanley Floyd at 40 yards, I think Floyd would have got him, but man old man!!!

  27. I think it’s safe to say Deion Sanders was faster on the field than he probably would be in a 40 yard dash race. I personally, with my own 2 eyes see Deion Sanders give a guy a 10 yard head start, and beat him running backwards!!!! I can’t say what the time was, but I know I’ve never seen anything like that in my life, this cat was FLYING running backwards!!! I still shake my head at the though…

  28. saw Renaldo Nehemiah’s name come up and didn’t see if anyone answered. well he ran the 110m hurdle in 12.93 on the old running surfaces of the early 80’s, possily the greatest athletic feat by any human. though he claimed he had the ability to run a 4.1+ forty, he was timed at 4.36 in three rivers by the steelers. it should be noted that Nehemiah openly said that these tests were jokes and that he wasn’t taking them seriously. a 4.36 on field conditions like three rivers when he wasn’t trying, amazing. in a different setting he would most likely be on this list

  29. An NCAA 60 meter sprint champ named Lee Mcrea ran a3.98 40 yard dash while returning kicks at Pitt.This was documented by the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette sometime in the early 90’s.Mcrae was 5’6″and built like a tank. His burst was incredible.

  30. El, What does that have to do with verified 40yds dash times?

  31. I think Curtis Dickey of Texas A&M/Colts ran a 4.23 40 and should be on your list.

  32. When I was in college in the late ’70s, Raymond James from Bugalusa, Louisiana ran a hand-held time of 4.28 as a freshman at UCONN.

  33. Tacoi Sumler, recent commit to the Oregon Ducks, ran a 4.24 at the Nike SPARQ Ratings Championships

  34. Would have thought Hershel Walker would have been in that was reported to have ran 4.24 40 at Ga i thought

  35. Taylor Mays didnt run a 4.24. He didnt even run as fast as Ford. NFLN superimposed him and Ford running simultaneously and Ford was clearly faster but not by .16. I think Mays was around a 4.3…maybe low 4.3s.

    Also, get ready for Jeff Demps in a year or two. That guy can run a 100 meters in 10 flat or better.

    But like the what was said in the piece, you cant really go by the NFLs times that they release. Theres too much of a gap and the superimposed image of Ford and Mays running at the same time pretty much proves that some of these times are bogus.

  36. “You have Don Beebe running 4.21 during that time period he was tracked down on a kickoff return by Deion Sanders.It was in 1989.Deion came from way back passing teamates along the way.”

    I remember this. It was pretty incredible.

  37. Alex L.

    Yes, I remember Deion running down Beebe well. Still doesn’t mean Beebe never ran a 4.21 forty. Plus Deion seemed to always run as fast as he needed to.

  38. Fiscusd: Riggins won the class B state title in the 100 yard dash and he also had a sucessful track career in College. Look anybody that said Barry Sanders ran a 4.3 40 is not telling the truth. Riggins was a track man and much faster than Barry. Barry wasn’t fast. And that b.s about Billy Canon running a 3.9 40 is a damn lie. They didn’t time players in 1958, 1959 in the 40 yard dash. Silverstein show me your proof. Give me the month, and day and year that Canon ran that 3.9 40 yard dash.
    Sidney, Darrell Green could have ran backward and caught Tony Dorsett from behind. D. Green is the fastest man to ever play football on any level and Mr. Demps is right behind him.

  39. Mr Saunders,
    There is a difference in someone being fast and someone being quick. It’s all about acceleration. A’s top speed is higher than B’s, but B’s acceleration is greater. A most likely will win in a 100 or 200m, but B most likely would win in 40y or 60m. Barry Sanders was much much quicker than Riggins. Riggins won that title 30-50 pounds ago. He was nowhere near as fast In the NFL as he was when he won that title in high school. I’m not completely sure even a young Riggins could beat Sanders in a 40.
    If you read my comment correctly:
    #42 written by Sydney Russel February 1st, 2010 at 17:44

    Mr. Perkins,
    I like the way you think. But even on Dorsett’s best day, I think green still would have caught him. You are right about this being fun!

    I agreed that Green would have caught Dorsett. Dorsett was not blazingly fast. That is what this forum is about; Who’s the fastest in the 40. We all have our opinions, but the proof is in the VARIFIED TIMES. And right now it’s Bo Jackson.

  40. carr NEVER caught hayes from behind and hayes beat carr in the olympic qualifying meet in the 200 and gave uo his spot to carr. hayes outran carr when the cowboys played the giants. people the guy ran 5.9 for 60 yrds and come on 10.05
    on a soft cinder(dirt) track 46 yrs ago. the guy was the fastest-period !!!

  41. youtube “ron brown rams”, and see darrell not be able to catch him even with a slight angle. youtube “chris miller to micheal haynes” and watch haynes shift it into another gear and again darrell could not catch him either.

  42. I have a friend from Miami that I met in LA that taught me a lot about the 100 meters and how to run it efficiently by the name of Gerald Tinker. He still holds the record for the 60 yard dash indoors at 6.00 seconds. The record can never be erased because he was the last one to hold it before America went to the metric system. He played in the NFL for 1 yr with Atlanta and 1 yr with Green Bay. He also won a Gold Medal in 1972 Munich & established a world record for that time in the 4×100. He ran the 3rd leg (you can view it on, ran a 4.1something 40 yd dash and ran a 10.10 in the 100 meters.

  43. BreuckelensFinest,

    I cannot verify Mr. Tinker’s 10.10 in the 100m. As I did not find any printed times for him. He is not listed on the IAAF official web site. I did find him on SI vault story 3/6/72 in a race with Herb Washington (who in this story is the WR holder at 5.8). But he was obviously very fast and he was on the 1972 olympic 4x100mr team that equalled the world record.

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