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Even in these great internet times we live in, wherein everything’s the best thing ever until it’s forgotten an hour later, Bo Jackson is still an enduring legend. Those old enough to remember his feats still get starry-eyed recounting them to the youths of today. One of his many legends? His 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine back in 1986.
The times weren’t obsessed over back then like they are now, nor were they recorded officially, so Chris Johnson still holds the official record for fastest 40 at the Combine with a 4.24-second finish.. Unofficially, no one’s ever seen a faster 40 than the rumored 4.12 Bo threw down, but he appeared on ESPN’s His and Hers to set the record straight: The 4.12 didn’t happen, it was an exaggeration, a fake, a tall tale from a time when that was still such a thing. The real number, says Bo, was a much more realistic 4.13.
Of course, that’s still an insane, nearly incomprehensible number more worthy of an Olympic sprinter than an NFL prospect. But that’s just what Bo was back in the day — he says he was on his way to practice with Harvey Glance, an Auburn alum and coach who won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics for the 4×100 meter relay. Apparently, his football coach stopped him and told him to run with no preparation, on the spur of the moment, for all the scouts in attendance. And that’s the time he laid down. Unbelievable, still to this day.