Here’s our annual list of the fastest players in college football. Now, some of you are going to disagree with parts of this, probably by quoting a hand-timed 40-yard dash that you read about somewhere on a fan site. But I am basing this list upon hard data, meaning verifiable and recent track times. I have taken this data and combined it with my knowledge of track and field as well as my own observations of how these players move on the gridiron. So, without further ado:
1. Jeff Demps, Fr., RB, Florida–The fastest teenager in American history, Demps has a best of 10.01 in the 100-meter dash. He is an incoming freshman running back for the Gators and, honestly, with this mark I don’t see how he can play football for very long. “Football is still at the top for right now,” said Demps. “There’s no pressure to run track full time. If it’s meant to be it will happen for me down the road.” Don’t hold your breath on that one. In the meantime, the fastest player in college football will be residing in Gainesville this season. Here’s a look at him:
2. Trindon Holliday, Jr., RB, LSU–Last year’s No. 1 slips to No. 2 this year, but just barely. He has a best of 10.02 in the 100 meters, which he ran as a freshman. He ran 10.05 this past track season.
3. Jacoby Ford, Jr., WR, Clemson–Ford was coming off a broken ankle, but that didn’t stop him from running a 10.21 in the 100 meters this past spring.
4. C.J. Spiller, Jr., RB, Clemson–The player with the best combination of production and speed, Spiller is a bonafide star for the Tigers. He has a best of 10.33 in the 100 meters, which he ran this past spring. That means he is even faster than he was in high school.
Here’s a look at Ford and Spiller in action:
5. Jamere Holland, So., WR, Oregon–A USC transfer who sat out last season, Holland has a best of 10.36 in the 100 meters. When healthy, he can flat-out fly.
6. Brandon Saine, So., RB, Ohio State–Saine should be a great replacement for Chris Wells in 2009. His 10.38 100-meter speed is amazing considering his rather solid size (6-0, 210).
7. Percy Harvin, Jr., WR, Florida–Harvin has a best of 10.43 in the 100 meters and he long jumped over 24 feet in high school, too (it takes great foot speed to jump that far). It’s little wonder that he is perhaps the most exciting player in college football. Here’s a little Percy for your viewing enjoyment:
8. T.J. Graham, Fr., WR, NC State–The incoming freshman has a wind-aided best of 10.21 in the 100 meters and a wind-legal 20.82 in the 200 meters.
9. Jahvid Best, So., RB, Cal–Best was higher up on this list last year, thanks to his 10.36 100 meters and 20.65 200 meters. However, he hurt his hip as a freshman and there is some question as to how much of his speed he has retained. I’m sure he is still pretty darn fast.
10. Darius Heyward-Bey–He ran a best of 6.82 in the 60-meter indoor dash as a senior in high school. He’s clearly one of the fastest players in the country.
Honorable Mention: Jeshua Anderson, Washington State; Michael Ray Garvin, FSU; Robert Griffen, Baylor; Rodney Glass, ASU; Travon Patterson, USC; Jeremy Maclin, Missouri; Terrance Toliver, LSU; Sam McGuffie, Michigan; Noel Devine, West Virginia.
Naturally, this list is not perfect, so if I overlooked anyone, feel free to make your case in the comments section.