According to a recent Bleacher Report article, Florida State’s Kermit Whitfield is the second-fastest player in all of college football. Getting the nod ahead of Whitfield is Oregon running back Thomas Tyner. I tweeted about this, expressing doubt after watching the way Whitfield found an extra gear all season, despite seeing limited snaps, and particularly given the burst he showed in Pasadena on his fourth quarter kickoff return touchdown in the play below. It simply didn’t matter what angles Auburn players were taking. This kind of speed negates geometry.
Anyway, Whitfield responded to me, staking his claim in the tweet at the bottom of this post. And his tweet brings up a good point: how are we measuring “fastest”? The game is about competing, and I’ll take the winner in the head-to-head showdown every day. Tyner’s 100-meter dash time is listed at 10.38 seconds. And don’t get me wrong– that’s flying. But it’s in shorts. With no defense. Whitfield’s National Championship return went 100 yards in 11 seconds (a yard is about 9/10 the length of a meter). But he did this in full pads. With guys chasing him. And he wasn’t running in a straight line.
I guess my point is that, while both these guys can absolutely blaze, you can have the numbers on the stopwatch– I’ll take the ball in the end zone on the biggest stage. Either way, ‘Nole fans can expect an expanded role for Whitfield in the fall. And more speed just keeps rolling into town: incoming running back Dalvin Cook is number 23 on the list.
— ForeverHarlem (@CoolAhhKermit) January 29, 2014