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Sprinter Usain Bolt as an NFL wide receiver?

By Mike Duprez


Somewhere, somehow an NFL scout must be drooling at the thought of Usain Bolt catching long touchdown passes.

There's nothing wrong with dreaming. Bolt is the fastest human being in history, he's a freak of nature at 6-foot-5 and if he could just be taught how to catch the football, who could possibly cover him? ESPN's Chris Berman would call him Usain "Lightning" Bolt.

Bolt may never play in the NFL, but the idea of a world-class sprinter doing such a thing is not unprecedented.

The best known sprinter who played in the NFL was Bob Hayes, a double gold medal winner in the 1964 Olympics (100 meter dash and 4x100 relay). Of course, Hayes wasn't strictly a sprinter. He did also play football at Florida A&M, but track was clearly his best sport in college.

Winning two gold medals put Hayes at the top of the track world and perhaps he could have won more gold in 1968. But the Dallas Cowboys had other ideas, drafting Hayes in the seventh round of the 1964 NFL draft.

By anyone's account, Hayes had a great career with the Cowboys, even if he didn't catch 80-100 passes a season. Using his great speed as a weapon, Hayes averaged 20 yards a catch on an average of 37 catches a season for 10 years. Hayes caught 71 touchdown passes and made the Pro Bowl three times. He was also inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor.

One sprinter who wasn't quite as successful was Renaldo Nehemiah of the San Francisco 49ers, though it's unfair to categorize his NFL stint as a failure as some have. There's a big difference between Hayes and Nehemiah, who was never a football player. But the 49ers thought enough of him as an athlete to give it a try.



Comments (4)


Posted by Toni | August 22, 2008 12:22 PM

Usain them a try sweet u up with money and promises but remember this THE UNITED STERIODS OF AMERICA BUILD U UP AND THEN TEAR U DOWN.... Stick to u little jamdown and tell them to go shove them ball where the sun no shine!

Posted by madald | August 22, 2008 9:57 PM

Who tear down them own more than Jamaicans? lol.

Posted by camille | August 23, 2008 8:56 AM

toni ur so right about the americans. but madald has a point as well but as a jamaican myself i have to believe that we love our ppl more. we love harder and show more appreciation and that is one of the main reasons our athletes did so well.

big up to china for making sure the true athletes had their chance to shine and i hope london does the same in 2012.

can you imagine what london is going to be like. jamaicans r going to be out in full force. it will be too much to handle

Posted by Jesse | January 6, 2009 7:12 PM

Some of you people have atrocious grammar, then using the txtspk form of language just compounds it and makes it worse. Anyways, the US players don't use steroids, they work hard, like usain. Some do, but it doesn't take too long to find them. Being such a huge country, they also have a lot of people from different places. Some people are just larger than others. If he wants to play football, he could. If he doesn't have any experience, or it seems like something he doesn't want to do, then he shouldn't do it. I wouldn't really say he is a freak of nature, I know 10-15 6'5 guys, that's nothing special. Working hard is the way to become fast, not being born tall.

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