I was reading all the "FAKE" 40 times listed by the faithful readers on the 40 time post. It got me thinkin back to an article in SI about how much bullshit the 40 times are. Some of you who played college ball can attest to the jump in athleticism from the average schmo. So everyone who ia an average Joe and thinks they are a smidge slow and put in 4.7 to be modest is kidding themselves. Sub 5.0 is not bad at all for an average guy if properly timed.
Whereas the NFL builds a dossier on a prospect that is as thick and orderly as a government report, the information that comes to colleges about prospective players is more like stuff you read on the Internet. It might be true, but it probably isn't. "It's all bull——," says Bill Meyers, an offensive line coach for the Seahawks and a former college coach. "I never heard a high school coach who didn't lie to me about a 40."
The NCAA doesn't allow its members to test high school prospects, so there are only two ways to get an accurate time: if the player runs track or if, prior to his senior year, he attends a college coach's camp. Otherwise, there is no such thing as a slow college prospect. According to The Forrest Davis Recruiting Annual—which bills itself as "the most accurate and complete football recruiting guide anywhere!"—there are 24 high school senior football players across 10 Southern states who have run the 40 in under 4.4. In the last 10 NFL scouting combines only 18 players have run a sub-4.4 40. Bill Buchalter, a reporter for The Orlando Sentinel, has been covering Florida high schools since, oh, shortly after Ponce de Leon arrived in the 16th century. "Just remember one tiling," he says. "In 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, Ben Johnson ran 100 meters in 9.79 [a time that was disallowed after he tested positive for steroids]. Over the first 40 meters he ran 4.69. Someone told me that 40 meters is about 44 yards, so Johnson ran a 4.26 for 40 yards." In other words those 24 high school players were purported to be nearly as fast as the chemically enhanced fastest man in the world.
High school coaches aren't the only ones fudging the numbers. Florida State announced in March that wide receiver Laveranues Coles had run a 4.16. "If so," Buchalter asks, "why was he the fourth-best sprinter on the 4x100 relay team?"