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Anyone who has ever sat and watched Bo Jacksonplay and all those who live vicariously through it Amazing highlights, it’s no secret the pride of Bessemer, Alabama was a once-in-a-generation athlete. Aside from LeBron James in the NBA or Mike Trout in Major League Baseball, there aren’t many athletes capable of making everyone around them look like amateurs. Vincent Edward Jackson was miles ahead his peers when he came to Vincent Edward Jackson.

Jackson thrived on the field of baseball. Being a full-time MLB player with the Kansas City Royals was Jackson’s true passion, showcasing transcendent speed and power in a four-year stretchJackson hit 107 home runs, drove into 304 RBIs and stole 78 bases when he was in his prime. Jackson was the dominant player in a half-time position on the gridiron. Of every running back since the NFL’s merger with at least 500 carries, Jackson’s 5.40 yards per rush ranks first all-time.

It should not be surprising. SurpriseBefore Jackson entered the 1986 NFL Draft in 1986, the 1985 Heisman trophy winner and two-time Consensus All-American was the recipient of the Heisman Trophy. Auburn TigersIt was a lock to be No. The No. 1 overall pick. Had a crazy story about deception not changed everything, Jackson, who ended up as the top pick of that ’86 draft, would’ve played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson chose to play baseball, even though Tampa Bay had forfeited his draft rights. The Los Angeles Raiders selected him 183rd in the 1987 NFL Draft.

You know what will happen next.

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In today’s game, the Combine NFL ScoutingIndianapolis places a microscope on everything. From bizarre interview questions to Measure your hand sizeWith millions of dollars at stake, there is no limit to what can be done. The future of the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and ever other franchise ride on their respective scouts’ evaluations. ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay sort through the data to find hundreds of draft-eligible prospects. But some players just jump right off the page.

Bo Jackson was a natural talent.

Bo Jackson’s NFL Draft Report

An apparent scouting report about Jackson was found online this spring. It was written by a San Francisco 49ers scout named Tony Razzano and was dated December 1985, which was shortly before the end of Jackson’s record-setting last year of college football. In it are nuggets that foreshadowed just how great he’d be, aligning Jackson with some of the greatest running backs in NFL history:

“Has all the super characteristics to be the top player to ever come out of college including Hershel Walker and O.J. [Simpson] and all the other great backs (Jim Brown, etc.)”

“A super producer. I am in awe over his accomplishments as a football player and baseball player. Has the physical ability to do anything in sports and be a champion. A vary rare gift.”

Jackson met all the criteria. Jackson was awarded a nine-out of ten in almost all categories. “Playing Specifics,”Because he has a perfect score, the phrase is debunked “nobody’s perfect.”

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However, the 6-foot-1, 222-pound figure is most notable at? Below “Speed,” Jackson’s 40-yard dash time of 4.12 seconds is on par with the fastest humans on the planet.

Bo Jackson 40 Times

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Jackson once said During an ESPN interview that he actually ran a 4.13 40-yard dash in college, which sounds like another Bo Jackson myth you can’t help but believe is true.

“I was on my way to track practice, and they had the combine there — there had to be 20 or 30 guys there — and we were inside running. And the coach says, ‘Hey Bo, we got a bunch of scouts here from all over the country and we got a little combine here, and they’re timing guys for the 40. Why don’t you come in and run a 40 for them?’”

Bo, who was on his route to work with Harvey Glance, an Olympic sprinter, needed convincing before he finally decided to run.

“I ran my first 40, and about five yards from the finish line, I kind of let up and just cruised through, and I ran a 4.3. As I’m walking back, my coach is walking towards me. He said, ‘Hey, why don’t you run the damn 40 and give these people what they want.’ So I said, ‘Alright. But you gotta open the back door,’ because they only had about 10 to 15 yards of space for you to stop once you crossed the line… So I got down, and everything was done electronically, and I didn’t find out until after track practice what I’d run. And some of the guys that had stopwatches, they had me at a 3.9 or 4-flat with stopwatches, but the electronic timer got me at a 4.13.”

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For your reference, see the Fastest 40-yard dash at NFL Combine since 2006.John Ross, an NCAA wide receiver, ran a 4.22 in 2017 and holds a 40-yard dash record. After that, NFL players Chris Johnson (4.24), DriArcher (4.66) and MarquiseGoodwin (4.27).

During a Super Bowl party in 2019, Usain Bolt holds the record for the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt matched Ross’ 40 time despite not wearing spikes. Let’s repeat that another way: Bo Jackson was faster than the world’s fastest man.

Usain Bolt’s 40-Yard Dash

Bo Jackson’s urban legends never get old, but this one, it seems, is anything but myth. He may be the greatest ever athlete.

This post was originally published March 10, 2020.

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