July 6, 2006

Track speed, football skill

No one would blame Jahvid Best if he counted football as a hobby. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound running back from Richmond, Calif., has already competed in the Junior Olympics as a sprinter and registered as a prospect for collegiate track programs for almost a year because of his talents in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

But when Best averaged better than 10 yards per carry last fall for Salesian High School and rushed for 1,495 yards and 20 touchdowns, college football programs started to take notice too. And when Best posted a 10.39 in the 100-meter dash at the Arcadia Invitational track meet in early April, those same football programs broke down the door of Salesian head coach Chad Nightingale.

"My phone was blowing up the next week," Nightingale said. "We put together a highlight film, Charlie Weis saw it. Pete Carroll came to the school and was just like 'wow.'"

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