Did John Ross Win An Island?

Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross officially broke Chris Johnson’s long-standing 40-yard-dash record Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with a speedy sprint that took all of 4.22 seconds. Johnson set the previous record in 2008 when he ran the combine’s premier event in a blazing 4.24 seconds, and that mark stood for nine years before Ross scorched the turf Saturday. NFL players across the country took to Twitter to marvel at the sight of the fastest time in NFL Combine history. Even Chris Johnson tweeted about the record setting run by John Ross. One of John Ross’s coaches at Washington was not surprised by the run, saying that Ross ran a 4.25 last spring. Several players came close to breaking Johnson’s record in recent years, with Dri Archer tops among them. We all knew the record would eventually be broken one day, and that day was today. “To be honest, I don’t want to see the record go,” Johnson said before the 2016 combine, “But if somebody does break it … I’ll be happy for them and give them a handshake and congratulate them”. A year ago, Adidas offered $1 million to any combine participant who broke Johnson’s record while wearing the company’s cleats. Adidas ran a similar promotion in 2015, when it paid out $100,000 to Trae Waynes, Phillip Dorsett and Kevin White for running the three fastest 40 times among athletes sponsored by the apparel company. This year, Adidas went all out and offered an island to the prospect who broke the record if he wore there Adizero 5-Star 40 cleats and agreed to an endorsement deal for the 2017–18 season. Ross was wearing Nike spikes during Saturday’s run. According to an official release, Ross wore Nike’s new Vapor 4.2 cleats after signing a deal with the company in advance of the combine. This means, that John Ross will not in fact get an island for breaking the 40 yard dash record on Saturday. While the 40-yard dash doesn’t have a track record of indicating future success in the NFL, a great showing can turn heads and boost players’ stock in advance of April’s draft. For now, Ross should use his status as the NFL’s new 40-yard-dash king to continue his climb up draft boards across the league as he seeks to snag first-round status. He is now projected to be taken #15 by most analysts’ draft boards. The 40 yard dash did give him the big boost he was looking for leading up to the NFL draft. In his final season at Washington, John Ross had 81 catches for 1,150 yards, and 17 touchdowns.

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