The History of the 40-Yard Dash

John Cascella, Staff Writer

As you may have heard in the news recently the 40 yard dash record for the NFL Combine was broken by the Washington Huskies’ wide receiver and possible first round pick, John Ross. Ross broke the 8 year record of the 32 year old running back of the Arizona Cardinals, Chris Johnson and wide receiver Rondel Menendez, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons. The record was set in 1999 by Rondel Menendez and later it was tied by Chris Johnson at the time 4.24 seconds. But this year the record was snapped by the young wide receiver, John Ross, at the time of 4.22 seconds. To the dismay of Ross he missed out on the chance to own a private island: ADIDAS said if a player broke the previous record of 4.24 seconds and wore a pair of the company’s cleats, the record holder would receive a private island.  But for the 40 yard dash John Ross decided to wear a pair of Nike’s latest cleat, the lightweight vapor.  Although Ross is the owner of the record, the Heisman award winning running back, Bo Jackson has a faster time than John Ross. In 1989 Bo Jackson ran the 40 yard dash in an astonishing time of 4.12 seconds and a week later the running back backed up his time running a 4.18 second dash. The only problem is that the time was timed on a stopwatch not the electronic timing system which is currently used. Which makes John Ross the rightful owner of the 40 yard dash record. The 40 yard dash was originated by an old special team’s coach who calculated that the average punt distance was about 40 yards and the average hang time of the ball was about 4.5 seconds. From the stats of the combine here are some averages for the times for the 40 yard dash. The average time for a quarterback is 4.87 seconds, the average time for a wide receiver is 4.55 seconds, and the average time for a running back is 4.59 seconds.