Posted by Bryan Fischer
Ask anybody who has played football (or coached or even watched it for that matter) how many times they have run 40 yards at full speed and they can probably give you the number with one hand. Testing for players has revolved around the 40 yard dash for some time however and at this past week's NFL Combine, no drill received more attention from the public than how fast Robert Griffin III or Dre Kirkpatrick flew down the sideline at Lucas Oil Stadium. While it's probably not something we'll see in a game, it definitely does give us some idea of who's fast and who's, um, average.
With that in mind, the blog crunched the numbers of all of the players who ran in Indianapolis and sorted them in various ways. The Eye on College Football will have a breakdown as to how each conference did in the drill but we're going to focus on where the players come from. Using the hometown listed in each player's bio on their school website, we were able to figure out which state was the fastest in the 40 yard dash at the combine and what area produced the fastest players. It's no surprise to see some of the states near the top of the list but it was to see others in the middle of the pack. Keep in mind this isn't data that is conclusive but let's just say that Nick Saban was not lacking for speed on Saturday's with his skill position group at Alabama.
Below is the list by state. Obviously numbers can be skewed based on the number of linemen invited and other factors such as that. The list above has only states with more than two players who ran the 40 by the way. Skill position data did not include quarterbacks, offensive and defensive linemen. The top official 40 time of each player was obtained directly from the NFL Combine website. CBSSports.com has imported all of this data and made it easily sortable if you want to check out the numbers directly.
|40 Average (All players)|
|40 Average (Skill positions only)|
South Carolina and Arkansas are obviously helped by the number of skill position players at the combine and lack of linemen in their group that would up the average. On the other end of the spectrum, you can see that Washington and Wisconsin were linemen heavy, including the Evergreen state having one of the five heaviest players ever at the event. Still, if you're on the look out for some fast wide outs or cornerbacks, I'd check out Alabama, Arkansas or Florida first. No surprise when you look at recruiting to see those areas fueling the SEC and others with plenty of speed to burn.
Now, let's dive further into the data. Need a defensive back? Check out Texas and Florida first, as both had an average time of 4.57 among the 19 guys that ran from the two states. Of the five states with more than two players in the DB group, California had the slowest time with an average of 4.62. Fastest linebackers? From Florida (4.74). Here's every position:
Defensive back average: 4.61. By state: Florida (11 players, 4.57 average), Texas (eight players, 4.57 average), Louisiana (four, 4.58), Georgia (six, 4.60), California (six, 4.62).
Linebacker average: 4.75. By state: Florida (five, 4.74), Texas (four, 4.77), California (four, 4.78)
Running back average: 4.58. By state: Florida (three, 4.51), Texas (three, 4.54), California (seven, 4.63).
Tight end average: 4.74. Offensive line average: 5.35.
Wide receiver average: 4.53. By state: Florida (four, 4.41), California (four, 4.46), Arkansas (three, 4.51), North Carolina (three, 4.57), Texas (four, 4.58), Ohio (four, 4.60).
Defensive line average: 4.98. By state: Georgia (three, 4.84), Ohio (three, 4.92), Florida (three, 4.93), North Carolina (five, 5.05), Texas (seven, 5.08), California (six, 5.14).
Let's look at each region now.
Based on the numbers, Dallas is faster than Houston. There were 11 players from each metro area that ran the 40.
Though the Bay Area is a touch quicker than the Los Angeles basin, you can dive down into the numbers and see that's largely because there were fewer players from up there (just two). Still, overall, NorCal (4.83 average, 4.64 median) was faster than SoCal (4.87 average, 4.87 median). Among the counties in California it went: Bay Area (two players, 4.69 average), Orange Country (five, 4.72), San Bernardino (four, 4.80), Sacramento area (four, 4.88), Riverside (four, 4.90), Los Angeles (six, 4.92).
|Palm Beach/Broward/Dade Counties|
|Palm Beach Average||4.69|
The state as a whole had 31 players run, good for third behind California and Texas (36 each). The average statewide was 4.68 and the median was 4.67. South Florida (4.66 average, 4.65 median) was faster than North Florida (4.72 average, 4.67 median).
What does it all mean? If you're looking to recruit some fast players, Florida is the place to be.