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Should Henry Ruggs consider trying out for the olympics someday?

Henry Ruggs III runs the ball for an 81-yard touchdown for Alabama versus South Carolina in 2019
Photo of former Alabama WR Henry Ruggs running for a touchdown vs. South Carolina in 2019 comes from Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

DK Metcalf, who enters his third NFL season at wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks in the fall, accomplished an incredible feat on Mother’s Day weekend.

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He tried out for the USA Track and Field Olympic team by running the 100-meter dash. In two heats, he was clocked at 10.36 seconds. He finished last out of nine participants, but the time was impressive at 6’3″ and 230 pounds. Metcalf was the biggest competitor in the event, and his time is spent in football. He held his own against some of the fastest guys in the world.

As a physical specimen from Oxford, Miss., Metcalf was timed at 4.33 seconds at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine for the 40-yard dash.

His performance was respectable; however, should Henry Ruggs III consider trying out for the olympics? A native of Montgomery, Ala., the former Crimson Tide receiver is smaller than Metcalf (5-11/188) but is in the same class — speed-wise — as Usain Bolt. Before starting his collegiate career at the University of Alabama, Ruggs dominated the high school scene in track.

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As a senior at Robert E. Lee High School, Ruggs broke the Alabama High School Athletics Association’s state record for the fastest time in the 100-meter dash for Class 7A. He won the event in 2017 with a time of 10.58 seconds.

Ruggs’ premiere speed became legendary for the Tide on many accounts. Not only did he challenge teammates in friendly competitions, but Ruggs was the fastest player on the field at games via Alabama’s catapult system. During a matchup versus South Carolina in 2019, Ruggs took a pass from Tua Tagovailoa and accelerated 81 yards for a touchdown. He was clocked at 24.3 miles per hour on the catapult system, which placed him in the same range as Bolt (27.8 mph). A week before the matchup, Ruggs recorded a time of 23 mph on a 75-yard touchdown versus New Mexico State. In 2018, he ran 23.27 mph on an 84-yard touchdown against Missouri at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The play was negated because of a penalty, but he broke Kenyan Drake’s mark of 22.05 mph from his 95-yard kickoff return touchdown versus Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game (2015 season).

He was impressed by Metcalf’s efforts, but Ruggs has the capability to win an Olympic tryout.

After his success at Alabama, Ruggs posted the fastest 40-time at the 2020 NFL Combine.

His output of 4.27 seconds was tied for the fourth-fastest time in Combine history since electronic timing started in 1999. Ruggs was chosen in the first round (No. 12 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders.

He enters his second pro season in the fall, but the Olympics is something for him to consider.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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