The Fastest Players in College Football ’09

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 some fan site.

But I am basing this list upon hard data, meaning verifiable and relatively recent track times.  I have taken this data and combined it with my knowledge of track and field (I am an afficionado of the sport) as well as my own observations of how these players move on the gridiron, plus other factors such as injuries and weight gain.  This list recognizes that most of the 40-yard dash times reported out there are bogus, due not only to innaccurate and scurrilous timing methods (a strength coach’s thumb being the main arbiter most of the time), but also because they are run under widely disparate and unreported conditions that render them unreliable. 

The list is not about anecdotal evidence, but quantifiable data that we can verify.  Track marks are generated under mostly uniform conditions (across a narrow range of parameters) with reliable timing instruments.  While it is true that some players without a track time might indeed be very fast on the football field, it is difficult to accurately measure their speed compared to players who do have such times. So those are the players we stick with on this list.

Also, some of you will question the relevance of these marks when it comes to football, as in “Why does it matter if a football player can run a fast 200 meters when a football field is 100 yards?”  The answer is that each track event provides us clues as to the overall speed potential of an athlete.  A certain 100-meter time relates to a certain 40-yard dash mark.  There’s basically no need to time a 10.6 or better sprinter in the 40–you already know he’s fast!  A good 200-meter time indicates an athlete’s ability to maintain his speed (and hence, go ‘downtown’ on the football field).  When someone long jumps a certain distance, it is often because he possesses excellent footspeed.  And so on.  Track marks help give us a more accurate measurement of true speed. Oh, and most of these guys are pretty darn good football players, too.  Think track and football don’t mix?  Well, four of the top 11 collegiate 100m runners this year also compete on the gridiron.

So, without further ado (and please, any additions are welcome if we overlook them), here is the list:

1. Jeff Demps, So., Florida

1A. Trindon Holliday, Sr., LSU

This was truly the toughest pick, but the speedster from Florida gets the nod for the second year in a row (barely) over LSU’s Holliday due to his superior 200m time.  But this title could have gone either way and that’s why I call them No. 1 and 1A.  Demps and Holliday both have a best of 10.01 in the 100m, making them the two fastest college football players of all time based on the short sprint, but I give the title to Demps for a couple reasons.  First, he has topped out at 21.04 in the 200m (to 21.33 for Holliday, who is basically a 100m specialist), indicating to me that he has more ability to maintain his speed down the field (no doubt due to his 3-inch height advantage over the 5-5 Tiger).  Also, Demps probably has a little less wear and tear on the tires, given that this is his first year in college.  The fresher the legs, the faster the player.  While Holliday ran his 10.01 just two weeks ago, Demps was only able to put up a 10.30 this track season before being taken down by a sore hamstring.  However, I think that when both are healthy, it is Demps who has the most fire in his legs and who, if he took the shot, would have the best chance of running a sub-9.9 one day.  So this is a judgement call on my part.  You might say that Holliday is a touch quicker (he also has a 6.54 60m dash to his credit), but Demps is a bit faster.  Again, it’s almost like splitting hairs.  On top of it all, though, Demps is the better football player, too.  But one last note: Holliday has a chance to better his 10.01 at the upcoming NCAA Track and Field Championships, so he may yet get this title. Check out the videos to compare:

3.  Jacoby Ford, Jr., Clemson–Ford, a wide receiver, has a best of 10.04 in the 100m, 20.88 in the 200m and 6.51 in the 60m indoor dash.  He is quick, he’s fast, he can fly.  He’s a legitimate football player with 55 catches for 710 yards last season.  If he keeps it up, he’ll be a high draft pick pretty soon.

4.  C. J. Spiller, Sr., Clemson–Spiller might be the best football/track combo athlete in the country.  He has bests of 10.22 in the 100m, 20.91 in the 200m and 6.65 in the 60m dash.  Combine that with over 1,700 all-purpose yards and 11 TDs last year and you have quite an amazing athlete.  Now that James Davis is off to the NFL, he might have a breakout season in 2009.  Whatever the case, there are no faster teammates in the country than Ford and Spiller of Clemson.

5.  Randall Carroll, Fr., UCLA–Carroll recently ran the fastest high school 100m time in California in 17 years, going 10.30 to lead all prep runners nationally.  He’s the fastest recruit in the 2009 class and also has a 21.06 in the 200m.  He’s a 5-star wide receiver recruit for the Bruins, giving them some much-needed speed. 

6. Jahvid Best, Jr., Cal–We all know about Best’s exploits on the football field.  Mostly, he can thank his incredible speed for his success.  The only legit Heisman candidate on this list, he has bests of 10.36 in the 100m and 20.65 in the 200m.   Oh, he also rushed for over 1,500 yards and averaged over 8 yards per carry last year.

 

7.  Derrick Hopkins, Fr., South Florida–An overlooked lightning-quick RB/WR from the Sunshine State, years from now people will wonder why he wasn’t recruited by the big boys.  Has bests of 10.43 in the 100m (10.35 wind-aided) and 20.97 in the 200m.  Video here.

8.  T. J. Graham, So., NC State–The sophomore receiver has a wind-aided best of 10.21 in the 100 meters (10.44 legal) and a wind-legal 20.82 in the 200 meters.  He had 16 catches for 251 yards as a true frosh and also had over 1,000 yards on kick returns.

 9.  Jeshua Anderson, So., Washington State–Anderson won the NCAA 400m hurdles championship as a true freshman last season and is the favorite to repeat in 2009.  His best time is 48.68.  Now, to be able to run that fast in the hurdles, you have to have a certain level of footspeed along with an incredible level of athleticism and coordination.  His time probably equates to a sub-46-second 400m dash, which means he probably runs in the 10.4 range in the 100m and in the 20.8 range at 200m.   As a freshman receiver last year, he had 12 receptions for 372 yards (a 31 ypc avg!). 

10.  Robert Griffin, So., Baylor–It’s not often you see a quarterback on this kind of list.  Actually, you’ve probably never seen a quarterback like Griffin, who finished third (behind Jeshua Anderson) in last year’s NCAA 400m hurdles final.  His best mark in the event is 49.22 which, again, would equate to about a 10.5 100m.  If he concentrated on the event, I have no doubt he would run in the 48 second range, which means that he has a lot of untapped speed in those legs.  In football, he was even better, throwing for over 2,000 yards and rushing for over 800 as just a true frosh while accounting for 28 touchdowns.  Quite possible the greatest athlete ever to play the quarterback position (or can you name some other quarterback who can run track’s hardest race in 49 seconds?).

Honorable Mention:  Obviously, there are a ton of fast players who didn’t quite make this list.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t fast, just that others might be a tad faster.  Again, my apologies if I miss anyone.

Andre DeBose, WR, Florida

D.J. Monroe, CB, Texas

Luther Ambrose, RB, Louisiana-Monroe

Deonte Thompson, WR, Florida

Travon Patterson, WR, USC

Jamere Holland, WR, Oregon

Terrance Tolliver, WR, LSU

Lindsey Lamar, RB, South Florida

Hunter Furr, DB, North Carolina

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

Sam McGuffie, RB, Rice

Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia

Brandon Saine, RB, Ohio State

David Gettis, WR, Baylor

Joe McKnight, RB, USC

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Derrick Hall, RB, Texas A&M

 

About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

62 Responses to The Fastest Players in College Football ’09

  1. Craig June 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    What about David Gettis from Baylor? I remember his 400m in high school was absurdly fast and that the option of running track at Baylor was what drew him to the school initially.

  2. Heismanpundit June 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    Good catch on Gettis. I thought about him originally but forgot to put him in. He’s now added on there.

  3. Anonymous June 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    denard robinson, a freshman quarterback to be at michigan is another name who showed up big in florida hs track scene this year. not sure what kind of football player he will be, but he can run.

  4. Dave Weber June 1, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Actually, Derrick Hopkins’ entire state-record setting 4×100 relay team is coming to USF: http://blogs.tampabay.com/usf/2009/05/usfs-joyer-pace-relay-win-at-golden-south.html#comments. Kayvon Webster was wanted by Miami and Sterling Griffin had a bunch of BCS offers, so those guys weren’t under the radar at all. Hopkins could end being a clone of Jock Sanders (hopefully with a better brain though). Combined with Lindsey Lamar, USF probably brought in the most pure speed of any team in the nation. And Griffin, Lamar, and Webster aren’t track guys playing football- Webster especially can hit!

  5. Tucker June 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Isn’t that Shane Vareen RB from Cal also ridiculously fast? I was blown away by how fast their two running backs were. Clemson might have the top two fastest players, but how about fastest back field? Sort of like West Virginia last year…

  6. HP June 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    Great point on USF’s speed, Dave. That class is underrated, mostly because recruiting analysts don’t know a whole lot about speed. As for Vereen, he was a 10.6 or 10.7 guy. Very fast, but not as fast as most of the guys on this list.

  7. Powe June 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm #

    Travon Patterson has been ran down from behind multiple times by Taylor Mays and when questioned about it afterwards said “its T-Mays man”

    Taylor Mays IS the fastest player on the USC roster even if he doesnt run track.

  8. Heismanpundit June 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Sorry, Powe, but it’s just not quantifiable. First, Mays ran Patterson down once, not multiple times. Second, we are talking speed, not quickness. Third, you can say Mays is the fastest player all you want, but unless you have proof, then it’s not true. The fact is, his best reliable measured time was in the 10.75 range. Much slower than either Patterson or McKnight. BTW, when have you ever seen Mays show his great speed in a game?

  9. Sean June 1, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    How does Golden Tate from Notre Dame compare here. I recall reading about his Track and Field domination in Tennessee during his recruiting, coupled with his base stealing ability and range in centerfield for the Irish baseball team.

  10. bakeyd June 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I don’t really have a beef with the list, it’s well compiled, a couple of things though…

    I think xavier carter could possibly be the fastest college football player ever, even if he did quit football to focus on track (lifetime bests: 10.00, 19.65, 44.53).

    And there is no way the 400 is track’s toughest race. the long hurdles, steeplechase, and half mile are all tougher.

  11. HP June 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Track people I talk to say Carter is the most talented track athlete in the world, but doesn’t reach his potential because he is not serious in his training. Unfortunately, he never made a mark on the football field.

    And if you look at what I wrote, I DID say that the 400 hurdles was track’s toughest race. quote: can you name some other quarterback who can run track’s hardest race in 49 seconds?

    Running an open 400 in 49 seconds is no big deal. Running the long hurdles in that time IS.

  12. Tim June 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm #

    You said that Best was the only legitimate Heisman candidate, what about CJ Spiller, does he not have a pretty darn good chance as well?

  13. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Great list! I concur with most of it. However, Jamere Holland should displace Robert Griffin based on Holland’s credentials of 10.36 (100 m) and 20.9 (200 m) during his junior and senior years in high school. Moreover, Holland also ran a wind-aided 20.8 (200 m). That said, Robert Griffin placed in NCAA’s in the 400 m hurdles and and nearly broke the national 300 m hurdle record his junior year in high school. Thus, you may need to expand your list to 11 instead of 10. :)

  14. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    From anonymous again: How can you elevate the 400 hurdles above the 400? Those that run the 400 hurdles are too slow to run the open 400. Well that’s not completely true. Both Angelo Taylor and Kerron Clement run both equally well, but they don’t play football.

  15. Bill Floyd June 2, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Hmmm… think we have a player or two that should be on that list at VT. Everybody seems to always discount our speed. Good example (but not only one) was Deangelo Hall who didn’t make any speedster lists in college because people discounted our timing for some reason – - of course, he later PROVED he was not only a speedster but the fastest player in the NFL!!

  16. tigercpa June 2, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    HP,

    Ford won the NCAA East regionals last weekend in the 100M @ 10.04, personal best. 2nd fastest time in NCAA this year, as we head to the outdoor championships.

    He and Spiller also ran legs in the 4×100 relay team, which also placed first in the East regionals.

    Good stuff!

  17. jsein20 June 2, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Come on now? Where is James Rodgers from Oregon State? The guy has insane football speed and ran a 10.30 100 meter at the Texas State meet his senior year. See the youtube link below. The whole cal team is standing still as he returns a kick off for a TD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IXuQsPEIkM

  18. Julio Jones June 2, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    How the heck did I make this list?

  19. Heismanpundit June 2, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Thanks Tiger CPA, correction has been made.

    As for Holland, I do not put him in the top 10 due to the time it has been since he ran and also because of his various injuries (he was in the top 10 last year).

    To be able to run a 48 or 49 second 400 hurdles equates to a sub 45 second 400.

    James Rodgers never ran a 10.30. That is fiction.

    And Julio, you are on this list thanks to your 24-2 long jump in high school.

  20. aj June 2, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    How is jacoby Ford not number 1? he proves it on the track field, he is the fastest person in college.. he owns the 60m record this year, and is #1 in the 100m this year.. he beat trindon holliday in competition

  21. Chris Rainey June 2, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    Me. Chris Rainey

  22. Timmy Stowell June 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    I think you are missing two brothers from Oregon State, James and Quizz Rodgers? They both have amazing speed. Check the USC game if you need more proof

  23. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    What about Brandon Banks from Kansas State?

  24. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    Chris Rainey has beaten Noel Devine several times in races. He was timed electronically at about 4.25 just before Florida’s spring game.

  25. Anonymous June 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Where is Taylor Mays on this list? He should at least be ahead of all the SC players mentioned. Mays was a 3A state champion in the 100- and 200-meters in his sophomore and junior years at O’Dea High in Seattle and ran a 4.25 40 as a Freshman at SC. Taylor is the fastest player on the team!

  26. HP June 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Didn’t you people read what I wrote about 40 times? I don’t care what Taylor Mays or Chris Rainey ran in the 40, the time was probably bogus.

    Rainey is a 10.6 guy. Fast, but not fast enough for this list. Mays won his 100 and 200m in Washington as a sophomore about 40 pounds ago and ran 10.75 at that, again, not fast enough for this list.

    If anyone has a player who deserves to be on this list, by all means give me a verifiable track mark, not a bogus 40 time. thanks.

  27. HomerPimpson June 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    Branden Smith – 2009 UGA Signee

  28. jsein20 June 3, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    Fiction? Apparently reporters can lie now. He took 3rd at the Texas State meet his senior year with a 10.3. Check the link and many others that refer to it. You need to add him. Did you not watch the whole video I linked. Dan Fouts says two times “this kid was a track star in high school”.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=121804050500543200

  29. HP June 3, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    It’s not that reporters lie, it’s that they don’t check their facts. Neither Dystat.com nor Track and Field News–both respected arbiters of track marks–record James Rodgers as having run a 10.3.

    This is what you have to learn about track–bogus times are thrown out there all the time, or are misrepresented. I see that link you sent from Inside Texas Running. Most likely, those marks are hand timed, because not only Rogers’ but also Woolfolk’s mark (he’s the leader) do not show up anywhere else. Here is the link to Dye Stat’s 2007 100m marks:

    http://www.dyestat.com/index.php?pg=rankings_dyestat_elite_all&l_query=t&l_season_id=7&gender=b&l_event_id=1

    here is the link to Track and Field News:

    http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/lists/display_list.php?list_id=6&sex_id=M&year=2007

    Now, either both respected arbiters of track missed a bunch of times or they determined that the times weren’t electronically measured. In fact, if you look at the marks, there are question marks (?) next to many of the races. That probably means that the time is questionable or hand timed.

    Finally, yes, Rodgers was a track star. No one is denying that. And he is fast. But he is not as fast as the other guys on this list. At least not verifiably so.

  30. LRTROJAN June 3, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Denard Robinson is an incoming freshman QB at Michigan and ran 10.44 in the 100m this past spring. There was even a report of a 10.28 though some believe this to be inaccurate. Either way, he can flat out run with the best of them. Rich Rod might have finally found his QB. Watch out for the Maize and Blue sneaking under the radar this fall!

  31. Mark Branstad June 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    jsein 20,

    I’ll have to back up HP on the James Rodgers 100 situation. James did run 10.49 at the District 24-4A Meet in 2007. Difficult to determine if that was FAT, probably hand-held.

    Still if hand-held, James was roughly a 10.73 (converted). And he ran 10.90 (prelims) at the Region 3-4A Meet which was an electronic time. Nothing shabby with any of those numbers but James was not a 10.3 sprinter, that’s a very very rare occurance.

  32. jsein20 June 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm #

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on James Rodgers, because if you have watched James the last couple of years he has blown by any and all Pac-10 defenders over and over. I guess we’ll see in the combine in two years.

  33. puzzled June 4, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    GOLDEN TATE? his highlights make jeff demps look like hes walking.

  34. Erik June 4, 2009 at 12:52 am #

    I think Tyron Carrier of Houston should be at least honorably mentioned if not on the top ten list. He just ran a 10.48 100m dash at the C-USA Track and Field championships.

  35. Chris June 4, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Chris Rainey

  36. Glen June 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    HP,
    Jacoby Ford is the fastest college player:his 100m time is only .03sec slower than your picks and his 200m(your criteria) is .16 &.45(almost1/2second) faster!!
    You went to great lengths to define why the 200m was important and then went against your own logic??

  37. Heismanpundit June 4, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    The 200m speed was a tiebreaker in the case of two guys with the same 100m. Both Demps and Holliday have superior 100m times, which make them faster at that more football-oriented distance. Furthermore, when you add in actually watching them run, Demps and Holliday are faster on the field. Whatever the case, it’s a very fine line here between 1 and 3 and certainly we have not seen the end of this debate.

  38. Young Mula June 5, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    For those of you who don’t know James Rodgers well he did run a 10.33 his senior year in hs but it was not FAT.

    http://texastrack.com/Track%202007/07t_lcisd_relays.htm

    He ran a 10.49 in the district meet that was FAT. After running like 2 race before the 100 meters at the regional meet, one being right before the 100m he didnt perform as well as he did in the previous weeks!

    http://texastrack.com/Track%202007/07t_24-4A.htm

  39. Young Mula June 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    To add on to that James played football, basketball, and ran track. Most of the guys that he raced against did summer track and for him to go out there to compete with guys that ran summer track i thought that was good. Not to mention that he did not run summer track and still was able to beat some of the guys that did.

  40. Dash June 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Well, this is truly an impossible task, but, having said that, I must take you to task.

    The fastest player on the USC team, by far, is Taylor Mays and there is plenty of verifiable evidence to that effect.

    As for Patterson, he’s up there, but guys like Ronald Johnson and incoming frosh Patrick Hall are probably faster.

    McKnight has good speed, but there are another 5-6 Trojans that have faster 40′s according to information off of the official website.

    Again, an impossible task, but to not have the top guy of a particular school listed when you have two others who are much slower =lack of credibility.

    Still enjoy it.

  41. HP June 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    As I wrote in the blog entry, I do not go off of 40 times because they are unreliable, unverifiable and run under nonuniform conditions. Taylor Mays ran a 40 in an unknown condition (was it track? turf? grass? cleats? sneakers? with the wind? etc.) and he was timed by a strength coach’s thumb, which is inherently unreliable. Furthermore, Mays does have an actually track time in his past. He ran a 10.75 100m when he was a 190-lbs sophomomore, which illustrates that he is not in the same class as the rest of the people on this list.

  42. The Next Reggie June 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Devon Smith and the No.1 Spot (Holliday over Demps)

    I’ve been following your blog for a good while now about 3 years and I’m always impressed with the “fastest players” list you make and how accurate they usually are, but I couldn’t help but notice two things that really jumped out at me on this one. I’m sure by now you’re tired of having your opinion challenged hundreds of times, often with invalid arguments and biased claims fueled by fan associations, but I wouldn’t say something unless I really think you missed someone or something. More often than not I find myself in agreement with these lists but there are just two things I think you should re-consider that I can’t help but feel got overlooked this year.

    1. Devon Smith, 2009 Penn St recruit out of Maryland’s Westlake HS has a ridiculous nation leading PR of 6.63 in the 60m which he ran at the 2009 Nike Indoor Nationals in March, a time that would’ve placed him 5th at this year’s NCAA National Indoor Finals against the collegiate likes of Holliday, Ford, and company. Surely someone with your dedicated following of collegiate and HS track can appreciate just how extraordinary that time is coming from an 18 year old, almost as impressive IMO as Randall Carroll’s 10.30 PR last month. In addition he has run a PR of 6.21 in the 55m a time that was only .06 seconds off of the hs national record, a mark he probably would’ve broken had he not gone down with dehydration in his last 55m race of the season this year. Devon Smith coming out of high school has truly anomalous acceleration the likes of which I can only compare to that of Trindon Holliday who had similar, albeit slightly slower PRs of 6.28 and 6.64 respectively, at the 55/60m distance out of hs 3 years ago.

    Now I realize the obvious rebuttal to this argument is the examination of his outdoor times and the questioning of his top speed, a review of his PRs of 10.5 and 21.5 in the 100m/200m would have so some people write him off of such a list due to the multiple sub-10. 5/sub-21.4 guys in college football today. However, in response I again bring up the comparison to a one, Trindon Holliday, who in 2006 didn’t put up the immediately eye-catching sub-10.4/sub-21.0 outdoor PRs as the Randall Carrolls, Jeffery Demps, Jahvid Bests, or CJ Spillers did but instead excelled at the indoor level at the shorter distances, where his stature was less of a disadvantage. Consequently as he developed and as he strengthened his endurance, he slowly acquired success at the longer 100m distance. If there’s anything I’ve learned running track it’s that sprinting endurance is a lot easier to attain than stride length and acceleration. Likewise if there’s anything I’ve learned in football, in a sport where the field measures a mere 91.44 meters, pure acceleration is invaluable, even more so than top speed. To me the 60m makes the more appropriate transition to football at 65.6 yds it is just long enough for a sprinter to reach and maintain their top speed unlike the 40 and it is just short enough to not be an unrealistic length of distance in a football game. The 100m is a great gauge of speed but at 110yds it just doesn’t completely apply to football imo, but I digress.

    2. Holliday vs Demps, Demps vs Holliday I too have struggled with the comparison of these two brilliant young sprinters both of which show boundless potential, who’s faster? They both share a PR of 10.01 seconds in the 100m they both are remarkable athletes doubling as RBs in the gritty SEC. When Demps ran that 10.01 at the Olympic Trials last year I immediately considered him the fastest player ever, 10.01 as an 18 year old, no football player has ever gotten that close and it’s only been done by one other human being at that age. I like that fact that in your argument you brought up the 200m, I have to concede the fact that Demps definitely has the better endurance and possibly top speed, however I’m still not convinced that if they met up at this time 100% healthy in a 100m that he’d pull out the win. 2nd the “wear and tear” argument I think you have this backwards. Demps to me has much more wear and tear than Holliday. In one season at Florida Demps has already had surgery on his groin, February of this year and at last months SEC Championships Demps pulled both hamstrings in the 100m finals, where Holliday ran 10.01, he scampered in at an atypical 11.23 seconds. Obversely, Holliday in 3 years at LSU has had no major surgeries and as far as I know hasn’t missed a single collegiate competition due to injury. I think the immediate association is that Holliday because he’s been playing longer would more likely have the physical baggage but you have to remember Holliday isn’t a starter he hasn’t been for the majority of his football career and in college doesn’t get 7-12 carries a game where Demps might. Holliday had only 54 carries/receptions in 13 games last season Demps had almost double that number with 93. If there’s still any doubt about his “wear and tear” affecting his performances Holliday just broke his 100m PR a few weeks ago, if anything he’s getting faster and isn’t hampered by any lingering injuries. Demps on the other this track season failed to run a time within even 2 tenths of a second within his previous PR of 10.01.

    Finally the deciding factor for me is simple and when you factor in 200m times and assumed “wear and tear” the two become trivial, this factor is consistency. If you compare their times throughout their careers Holliday by far has been the more consistent sprinter. For the past 3 years he’s been able to run under 10.1 at least twice in different stadiums on different tracks. This is where the biggest question marks about Demps arises, can he be consist? The answer is unclear. Jeff Demps has broken 10.1 seconds only twice in his short career and the only two times came on what’s considered to be a very fast track at Hayward Field. That weekend at the Olympic Trials the American, NCAA Collegiate, US National, and Junior World record in the 100m all were broken on the same track within a couple days of each other. Demps unfortunately hasn’t been able to repeat these numbers since and his closest wind-legal time to the 10.01/10.12 set at the Trials was a 10.17 at the 2008 Florida Relays. Last point, Demps failed to win a single collegiate race this year his last 3 races he placed 8th due to injury, 2nd in the SEC Championship Prelims to D’Angelo Cherry, and he finished 6th at the War Eagle Invitation in April. Holliday has hasn’t lost a single collegiate race this spring and has the fastest two fastest collegiate times in the country 10.01 and 10.04. Demps to me has the potential to be faster than Holliday someday however right now I think Holliday is running better and more consistently. Anyways I hope you’ll take the time to consider this argument, I’d love to hear feedback of why/why not you agree/disagree.

    Lastly I see you have Andre Debose and Hunter Furr on your honorable mention list, here’s a short list of incoming freshman you may want to be aware of: Skye Dawson, Denard Robinson, Brendan Smith, Marquise Goodwin, Ryan Milus, Kenneth Gilstrap, Sheldon Price, Pierre Carr, and Ronnie Wingo; all 10.5 over lower guys and verifiably so on dyestat or milespilt.

  43. Anonymous June 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    Chris Rainy is the fastest street racer ever he has beaten Devine and Demps in Races and has great speed not putting him up on this list is embarrassing. Their is no one who can beat him a bare foot street race a shopping mall parking lot

  44. Anonymous September 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    I think it goes
    1. Trindon holliday
    2. Jacoby Ford
    3. Jeff Demps

    Trindon ran a10 flat this summer he’s the fastest guy in college period demps’s 100 was wind added he usually was clocked in 10.2’s even if he does have a faster 200 it doesn’t matter u only need to run 100 yards in football at most so go by hundreds. Jacoby ford runs under 10.1 sometimes and was tied with holiday in the outdoor finals till he cramped half way threw. Plus Jacoby beat him in the indoor 60 meters. Your top ten just looks like you took the first 10 players that you could find a decent 100 meter time for noel devine ran a 10.37 in high school and he’s not even in your top ten under some guys that run slower than that. Also just because you don’t have a 100 time doesn’t mean there not up there. . Yea a lot of people will say someone runs a 4.3 then they go to the combine and run a 4.6 your right about not believing the school sites on, nfldraftscout.com is a reliable source for 40 times it doesn’t over rate all of them like in school sites saying half a team runs 4.2s some might be a little off but pretty right on. I like your thoughts about looking at legitiment track times but don’t think you did enough research.

  45. Anonymous September 26, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    noel devine should be in th top ten so shuld chris rainey whos not even an honarable mention
    also michael ray garvin runs in 10.3-4′s
    brandon banks of kansas statea juco recruit ran a 10.4 his junior year of high school some other sites say of him running a 10.22

  46. Anonymous October 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Marquise Goodwin was not officially in the 09 recruiting class because he came to texas on track scholarship. That has now changed to football as thats what he is currently playing. He should definitely be on this list because he ran a 10.21 electronically timed 100m dash last year in high school, and i can’t remember the exact time but he would have won the big XII in long jump last year and will, if he wants to, participate in the 2012 olympics.

  47. Phil October 24, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Now that Taylor Mays has run down Jahvid Best from behind AND prevented a TD on the Notre Dame fake field goal play (where he was a good 30 yards away from the ballcarrier), is it too late to include him on this list?

  48. Anonymous December 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    ford beat holiday in the 60 finals so how is he faster

  49. Dee January 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Where is Dexter McCluster for Ole Miss? He Should be in the top ten.

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