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Australian Olympic sprinter looks to the NFL

Josh Ross, a sprinter who ran the 100-meter dash in the 2004 Olympics, is the latest Australian athlete to give the NFL a try. Ross told the Australian newspaper The Age that he has an NFL workout in Dallas scheduled.

“I realise there’s a long, long way to go yet, but I’m determined to show them what I can do,” Ross said. “It will be very competitive over there but it’s not at all daunting for me. I’m used to that kind of pressure.”

A YouTube video touting Ross as an NFL prospect includes the highly dubious claim that he can run a 4.10-second 40-yard dash. Ross is obviously fast, having run a personal best 10.22-second 100 meters in the 2004 Olympics, but there have been former NCAA sprinters with faster 100-meter dash times than that at the NFL scouting combine, and no one has ever broken 4.2 seconds, let alone 4.1.

But Ross sounds sincere about giving American football a try, and his coach suggested that he would consider Arena Football if that’s what he needs to do to get NFL teams to notice him.

Australia has already produced multiple NFL punters, and it might not be long before we see an Australian athlete make it as a position player as well. In addition to Ross, Australian rugby star Greg Inglis is drawing interest as a potential linebacker or special teams player.

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28 Responses to “Australian Olympic sprinter looks to the NFL”
  1. GaryClark says: May 31, 2010 11:11 AM

    I give him 4.1 seconds to get his playbook yanked and handed a one way coach ticket back to Aussie land. Godspeed.

  2. don't know says: May 31, 2010 11:28 AM

    Carl Lewis looked to the NFL, but it turned out to be onlya glimpse

  3. JagMania65 says: May 31, 2010 11:40 AM

    I don’t care if he runs the 40 in 3.1 seconds. If he can’t catch the ball, he’s worth nothing to a team…

  4. rojones82 says: May 31, 2010 11:41 AM

    I timed him at 4.2 for the second run so i can certainly see it being 4.16 with someone a little more used to timing people.

  5. Outlaw Jersey Whales says: May 31, 2010 11:48 AM

    This has “can’t miss” written all over it!
    A well-placed source with personal knowledge of this guy told me that Ross is the secret bastard love-child of Jimmie “Oops” Hines!

  6. Bech72 says: May 31, 2010 11:59 AM

    I caught it at 4.33 three straight times; 4.1? Not so much. Still fast though.

  7. boknowsvt says: May 31, 2010 12:00 PM

    I hope Al Davis isn’t reading this!

  8. Free Ben 7 says: May 31, 2010 12:03 PM

    Paging Al Davis…….

  9. Junior says: May 31, 2010 12:13 PM

    Cue those with nothing new or intelligent to add chiming in about the Raiders looking at him.

  10. NCRaiderDon says: May 31, 2010 12:17 PM

    Darius Hayward-Bey is fast too…nuff said

  11. FumbleNuts says: May 31, 2010 12:23 PM

    Maybe Pete Carroll will bring this guy in for a tryout during training camp.

  12. RJK says: May 31, 2010 12:36 PM

    whats he gonna play??? if he can’t catch then you can’t get the ball in his hands and being fast is useless…i can understand the rugby guy since he’s a physical specimen who clearly knows how to tackle and catch and handle the ball but a track star? we’ve seen track stars before and they rarely work out in the league

  13. Count Sacula says: May 31, 2010 12:43 PM

    I cant even drive a 4.1 40.

  14. csulb49er says: May 31, 2010 12:49 PM

    Those youtube videos of him had an “Uncle Rico” like quality to them…

  15. pramis123 says: May 31, 2010 12:51 PM

    If he can catch punts and kickoffs (and take hits), that is his best chance as a returner.

  16. CanadianVikingFan says: May 31, 2010 12:54 PM

    Is Chris Johnson going to take this as a threat like Bolt as well?

  17. charliewade says: May 31, 2010 1:00 PM

    Two words, one name: Renaldo Nehemiah.
    We’ve been down this road before. Don’t bother.

  18. charliewade says: May 31, 2010 1:08 PM

    Readers, also keep in your so-called ‘minds’ that the guy is already 29 years old. He’s at best a project, which means at least two seasons of him dropping passes and getting hurt.
    Probably not worth it.

  19. prophet of the light says: May 31, 2010 1:34 PM

    His problem won’t be his forward speed, but his lateral speed. If he can’t cut and has no lateral burst, he will be yet another track star who busted in the NFL.
    Catching the ball can be taught. Lateral speed can not. Route running can be taught. Getting in and out of breaks with burst can not. It is what distinguishes WRs from track stars.

  20. Fart Face Killa says: May 31, 2010 2:07 PM

    We all saw Ted Ginn Jr. with pads on at WR…

  21. kristjanhunter says: May 31, 2010 2:58 PM

    Being Australian and as big as he is, he probably has played some variety of Aussie Rules his whole life. I am a track guy, and hand-timed him right around 4.3 for the 40 in both of his sprints (and I would like to think that with all of the practice I have had, I would be pretty accurate). Given that I would say he is probably somewhere in the range of 4.3-4.4. Good, but not unbelievable. His ability to learn the football skills will ultimately decide whether or not he catches on. I could see him having a Jon Drummond-like role at first where he returns kicks. I could also see him being an absolute flop. Being a Cowboys fan, I can only assume that he is being given a try-out in hopes that he may be able to return a kick or two, considering our depth at wide-receiver.

  22. bigrig says: May 31, 2010 4:47 PM

    They don’t all fail.
    Bob Hayes won the gold medal in Tokyo in 1964.

  23. Outlaw Jersey Whales says: May 31, 2010 6:22 PM

    bigrig
    I thought the same thing…
    Then I had some fun as posted above!
    “Bullet” Bob was the man.

  24. bigwaz says: May 31, 2010 10:00 PM

    There was an Australian position player:
    http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=SCOTTCOL01
    Colin Scotts… Lineman for the StL Cards in the 80′s

  25. botchedextrapoint says: Jun 1, 2010 1:20 AM

    Josh Ross has always been a sprinter, no football skills of any sort. He may be one of the fastest men in Australia but as Florio points out that doesn’t compare with a lot of guys at NCAA level. Same problem for Greg Inglis, fast for a Rugby player but not for the NFL.

  26. texasPHINSfan says: Jun 1, 2010 2:01 PM

    I’m just ecstatic to hear players from other countries aspiring to join the NFL.
    In the bigger picture, it’s awesome that the NFL can draw people from other countries, being that it’s pretty much a USA-only fascination.

  27. Borelando says: Jun 2, 2010 6:06 AM

    For the doubters of this blog, I am the uncle of this superstar who is truly talented. As a kid he was approached by many rugby teams to join the big league in Australia as a 10 year old however his passion was athletics. His fast time run over 100m was 10.08 sec. I have attached some information, you make up your own mind;
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to:navigation, search
    Joshua (“Josh”) Ross (born February 9, 1981 in Sydney) is an Australian track and field sprinter. He spent his early childhood in south western Sydney and moved with his family to the Central Coast (New South Wales) at around age seven. He went to Woy Woy Public School and Henry Kendall High School.
    On the Central Coast, Ross attended Little Athletics and he won his first Australian title aged 10 – in the long jump. But apart from the occasional school competition, he did not return to athletics until he was nineteen. During that time he played representative rugby league on the Central Coast.
    Ross attracted immediate attention as a sprinter in 2003 when he comfortably won the Stawell Gift off a mark of seven metres. In 2005, he again won the Stawell Gift – this time from the honoured scratch mark time, becoming only the second athlete to achieve this feat (and the first Australian). He also became the third person ever to win the event twice.
    He reached the semi finals at the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2005 World Championships. He has won four consecutive Australian national 100 metre titles and became a vital and successful member of Australia’s 4 x 100m relay team which placed 6th at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Additionally, he holds the fastest 100m time by an Australian on native soil, his personal best, 10.08 seconds. This record was set in Brisbane on 10 March 2007.
    An Indigenous Australian, Ross was awarded the 2004 Deadlys Award for Male Sportsperson of the Year.
    Ross won his fifth Australian national 100m title in March 2009.
    Ross retired during the winter of 2009.
    Recently, Josh ran his own pro day in Australia in hopes of getting noticed by professional football scouts. During his pro day, he measured in a 6’1″ 194 lbs. He ran two 40 yard dashes, with various times between 4.1 and 4.2 seconds. He had one broad jump which resulted in a length of 10’4″. He had two vertical jump results which were approximately 38″ each time. Next, he ran his short shuttle and his 3 cone drill. Both were timed on a synthetic surface. He had a 3.87 short shuttle and a 6.59 3 cone time. However, all of these times are not official, but regardless have piqued the interest of professional football teams. He has a workout scheduled with pro football teams in Dallas, Texas.

  28. Akermanis says: Jun 15, 2010 6:20 AM

    Any results yet from Josh Ross combine test. Watched him train in Australia and he looked awesome. Has he qualified for Indianopolis combine test?

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