Jahvid Best. It’s a name you know, though you might not be able to place it. You know he played football, but as the 2016 NFL season approaches, he’s one of those guys who elicits a “whatever happened to that guy?” type of question from dudes scanning the remaining players in the last round of their fantasy football draft.
Best, the former stud running back from Cal who was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions in 2010, played just three seasons at the pro level before multiple concussions forced him to retire. Best’s rookie year was his peak. He rushed for 555 yards and four touchdowns as a change-of-pace back who could also catch passes out of the backfield. He appeared in just six games the following season, and none in 2012 before calling it quits.
With football out of the picture, Best has sprung back into the arms of his first love: track & field. At Salesian High School in Richmond, California, Best displayed blinding speed. The same speed that made him so elusive on the football field, made him perfect for events like the 100m sprint, the event he won at the California State Meet in 2007 as a senior.
RELATED: Jahvid Best Hopes to Run the 100m in the Olympics
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Almost a decade later, Best can still fly. At a meet in April, he posted a personal best 10.16 seconds in the 100m, the time he needed to be considered for the Olympics. Though it put him behind another American sprinter in terms of speed, it made him the fastest man in the event from St. Lucia, the Caribbean island where his father lives and part of Best’s dual citizenship. He will run in Rio as part of Team St. Lucia.
“This is a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time this is just the beginning,” Best told NBC Sports. “I have only been in this sport for two years professionally, and plan on being around for a long time.”
Back in February, Best said that even coming close to making the Olympics would be a “miracle,” so he has to be absolutely thrilled that he’s found a second career in track & field.
“If I sneak my way in there it’ll be a great story,” he told Flotrack over the winter. It sure is, Jahvid.