John Ross won’t even be at the Scouting Combine, and the Bengals receiver has a target on his back. LSU cornerback Donte Jackson and Alabama cornerback Tony Brown are among the prospects seeking to break Ross’ combine 40-yard dash record this week.
“At the end of the day, it really doesn’t mean that much to me,” Ross said, via Geoff Hobson of the team website. “I’d rather be playing than recognized for running.
“I try not to dwell on it. I feel like football is more important to me. I try not to think about it. My name is surfacing again because of the combine. I haven’t really thought about it too much until now.”
Ross ran a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash a year ago, breaking Chris Johnson’s long-standing combine record of 4.24.
“My team all had bets the night before,” Ross said of his coaches and advisers. “It was exciting. We said if I broke the record, we’d go on a trip. A lot of them didn’t think it would happen. Even I didn’t think I would do it. I knew I could get close.
“That’s hard to believe when you’ve got guys like Chris Johnson, who blew the record out of the water and had the record for so long. It was tough to believe, and then it happens.”
Gary Cablayan, a former hurdler, worked with Ross last year at EVO Sports Training. Cablayan told Hobson that both Jackson and Brown “can do it” because both of the SEC players have track backgrounds.
Jackson has done his pre-combine training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center, working with the four-time Olympic gold medalist, and has said he wants to run below a 4.27.
“At this point, it doesn’t matter to me,” Ross said. “It’s not like I’m getting any royalties from it. Records are meant to be broken. If it happens it happens. There’s nothing I can do about it.”