I’ve been talking a great deal around 40-yard dash times together of late. Heck, i have been talking a great deal about 40-yard dash times for my whole blogging existence. Speak to it a “pet-project,” but I have tendency to find the subject fascinating, and not native the normal perspective.

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I differ from the casual fans and also bloggers, who love come inflate, proliferate, and also generally litter 40-yard dash times around as if castle were addressed height and also weight statistics. I tend to take a more modest strategy when it pertains to the notorious measurement of football"s many prized commodity: speed.

As numerous of you space no doubt mindful by now, i’m typically really skeptical that 40-yard dash time that ns hear. I referenced this on nationwide Signing Day during Brian’s liveblog:

4:15 afternoon EST- The Austin American Statesman has actually a great article to save the “numbers” of national Signing day in perspective. Those who check out the blog top top a continuous basis recognize I am highly skeptical of reported 40 yard dash times, often due to the fact that they room self-reported and also quite frankly, highly inflated. It’s an excellent to see reporter Alan Trubow set the record straight when it pertains to this issue.

Mansfield Timberview running earlier Eric Stephens — the No. 36-rated recruit on the Fabulous 55 — is 5-11, 200 pounds and has 4.38 rate on texasfootball.com. Top top Rivals.com, the Texas Tech-bound Stephens is 5-8 (three customs shorter), 177 pounds (nearly 25 pounds lighter) and, follow to the site’s analysis, “doesn’t have home-run speed.”

Stephens, insists Timberview coach terry Cron, is 5-8, 200 pounds and also runs about a 4.56.

“I don’t know where few of these guys obtain their numbers from,” Cron said. “It seems like they heard it from a guy, that heard the from a guy, that heard the from a guy, and that’s good enough to report.”

I encourage girlfriend to read the remainder of the article, which encounters the “magic” variety of a sub 4.6—which countless prospects understand they must report to also be thought about for a FBS offer. Frankly, this totality obsession over 40-times together THE basis for examining and supplying players is acquiring out that hand (posted by Adam Nettina).


I referenced this short article to remind anyone that as soon as it comes to 40-yard dash times, you’re practically always hear something that’s marginally, and also often substantially, inflated.

This view is regular in all levels the competition, but seems especially prevalent and also most profound at the high college level, wherein there is regularly a lack of standardization of experimentation for the drill. In other words, even if girlfriend are gaining the “true” 40-yard dash time indigenous the player, there is often no way to verify that under regulated conditions.

We every know particular factors like weather, wind, surface, time method, and also even clothes can impact the rate of an individual over 40 yards . Those variables perform not even factor in the countless variety of 40-yard dashes a prospect deserve to run in trying to ideal his ahead times.


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In other words, there room seldom any kind of 4.3 guys. Heck, i’m not even sure over there are countless 4.4 or 4.5 guys. However are there a really select grasp who have run a 4.3? Sure, but an ext often than not it’s to be on a “fast track” indoor surface, through the advantage of a generous, if not altogether “home team” time methods.

This has been, i believe, why 40-yard dash time at the NFL incorporate have frequently been slower than one would certainly expect.

So regularly led to think that NFL skill, place players should run listed below the magical line of 4.5 seconds, your average NFL fan would be shocked (yes, shocked) to learn that the average NFL combine times for to run backs due to the fact that 2005 is in reality 4.56. The median time because that receivers is 4.57.


This an extremely relevant truth must be specifically disconcerting v each passing year. Previous high college stars of the Rivals.com and Scout.com generation space posting electronic times slower than the persons they asserted coming the end of high school.

All of this involves us not just on the eve of this year scouting combine, but likewise on the heals the the Kennedy/CES Combine held in Atlanta. The combine, hosted for plenty of of the southeast’s peak high institution juniors, is thought by part to signal the unofficial start of the 2009/2010 recruiting process.

As expected, numerous prospects was standing out. One of these young men, vast receiver Da’Rick Rogers, ran a blistering 4.34 40-yard dash—at a psychic boggling 6′2, 197-lbs. An additional prospect, defensive ago Ryan Ayers, ran an insane 4.31. And don’t forget about quarterback Qudral Forte, who posted an exceptional 4.38.

The only trouble is the he didn’t operation that fast. In fact none of castle did.

Rogers ran a 4.55, Ayers a 4.49, and Forte a 4.59. The discrepancy you ask? The previous times to be taken indigenous a hand-timer, the latter from an digital timer—just choose to one that is offered at the NFL combine.

All three of these young guys are very fast, yet suddenly they nothing look choose the all-world sprinters that fans and recruiting junkies so often associate castle with. Simply looking in ~ the number alone, it’s straightforward to see someone associating a 4.34 or 4.31 and saying that individual is a 4.3 player.

Heck, our tendency to combine 40-yard dash times with the traditional tenth the a 2nd could also lead countless to cite Forte as a player that runs in the 4.3s. Yet he’s not. He much more of a “4.6″ guy, simply as lot as Rogers is a mid-4.5 guy and also Forte is a 4.5 guy.


So those my point? am I simply trying to rip on 3 random high school juniors who simply so happened to test really well (but no that well) at a current high school combine? Of food not. Yet I think it’s vital to keep the numbers in perspective.

Knowingly or not, fans and media members have created a football society that’s conducive to the obsession and inflation of individual and team speed. In law so, we’ve in fact produced our own monster as soon as it involves not only evaluating talent, however in effect determining the educational and also financial situations of the thousands of young males who hope to knife college football scholarships.

In an effort to keep pace with numbers that are all to frequently misleading (like the hand-timed 40-yard dashes mentioned above) much more and an ext high school football football player inflate, mislead, or flat-out lie around their own 40-yard dash times. This is continue with raising regularity, proliferating a myth of what is truly fast and what is not.

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Yet when we evaluate the numbers across the board (and not simply in the 40-yard dash either) we uncover that the benchmarks such as size, speed, and also strength room not what we assumed they were.

Does that make the young guys who pat the game any less outstanding from an strong standpoint? Of course not. So why is it that some 42-year-old bum sit in his cubicle has the audacity come categorically identify whether a player is “fast enough” or “strong enough” to play department I football?