All Big 10
5 Year Member
I would say a lot depends on the offense/defense they are playing in as well. Stamer for example. He did not do well in our power game of the past. It may be a different story in HCSF offense. This offense uses speed to find creases in the defense and hitting people in stride. So he might fit better now then he would have then.It’s an interesting thing to look at. I always look at a guy like Dusty Stamer, who was an unbelievable track guy in high school, then went to play football at USD and I believe was freshman of the year in that conference (if he wasn’t he was still an outstanding performer there). He transfers to Nebraska and ends up getting even faster, but Solich told him his speed just wasn’t translating on the field. Goes out for the track team and is running 10.1s but just couldn’t make it work at Nebraska despite getting faster than what he was up at USD where he dominated college football.
You then look at guys like Erwin Swiney, Eric Crouch, I believe even Randy Stella (always love throwing him in conversations as he was a LB who also did kick returns for us, awesome). Those guys ran track and weren’t elite, but their speed was elite on game days. Crouch could get up to speed so quick, when he made a decision to cut up field, defenses had a tough time closing the angle. Swiney struggled at Nebraska but was so gifted he still found a spot with Green Bay.
You then have cases like Stamer or Jeff Demps who was in the Olympics and an NFL coach told him to just stick with track.
Bottom line for me is I’d rather have a guy that’s running some fast track times at skill positions. Having track speed is never going to be a detriment. I’d rather have a lineman that is throwing the shot or disc or playing basketball before getting to college, competing and being well-rounded isn’t going to hurt. But there’s no one answer unfortunately to if it will translate.