February 17, 2009
Ironically, news in the track and field world travels relatively slowly, so you (like me) probably missed it when Clemson's Jacoby Ford burned a 6.52-second 60-meter dash at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet on Feb. 6. In the wide world of track, that's just pretty good, although it was just one-hundredth of a second off an NCAA meet record and left more celebrated teammate C.J. Spiller in the dust. More importantly, it was a micron faster than Trindon Holliday's scorching 6.54 in the 60m at last March's NCAA Indoor Championships, plausibly stealing the title of "Fastest College Football Player" from LSU's mighty mite.
Of course, this is somewhat open to interpretation, and how far you're asking the kids to run. Ford may own the shorter sprint for the time being, but here's Holliday beating out Jacoby in the outdoor 100 meter finals last May, when both receivers finished behind track-only teammates Richard Thompson (LSU) and Travis Padgett (Clemson):
This is great rivalry for a pair of rising seniors to settle once and for all in this spring's meets -- unless, of course, they're all smoked by Florida freshman Jeff Demps, who not only looked like the fastest teenager in America for the Gators last fall but actually earned the title in the process of qualifying for the Olympic trials in July, when he ran a 10.01 in the 100 meters, a hundredth of a second better than Holliday's career best. (Just for fun, if you convert meters to yards, that pace equals roughly a 3.66-second 40-yard dash; Usain Bolt's world record put him on pace to run the 40 in 3.54 -- certainly a half-second faster than any human could actually achieve, thanks to a slightly lower "average speed" in the shorter race).
If they can't settle on the track, though, or the field, here is the ultimate question for Holliday and Demps: Can either one of them break Bolt's world record in the 200 meters by nearly half a second on X-Box? If the tiebreaker comes down to thumb speed, it's Ford's title to lose.