The Collegiate Multi-Sport Star
Most Bo Jackson retrospectives just look at his professional career and simply mention that he won a Heisman trophy in football as well as playing baseball at Auburn. That leaves a whole lot out of his story, because Bo Jackson was already a sports legend before ever stepping onto a professional sports field.
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The video clip above gives a hint just how much of a natural athlete he was. Then Auburn baseball coach Hal Baird remarked that Bo Jackson could get his baseball eye back at the plate in two to three days after finishing his football season. For everyone else, it was two to three week process to tune up for the season.
Auburn track athlete Harvey Glance won an Olympic Gold medal in 1976 as a member of the men’s 4 x 100 relay team. He had equaled the then world record in the 100m by running 9.9 twice in 1976. Glance said in the above interview that he had defeated Bo Jackson three times in a footrace during his prime at Auburn University (Glance was a world class track star through the late 80’s), but that Bo had pushed him to the wire every time.
Looking at Glance, he was a typical sprinter: slender, but strong at 5’8″ 160 lbs. Bo Jackson looked like a tank by comparision at 6’1″ 220 lbs. The only other player at the time that had combined that kind of size with similar speed was Georgia running back Hershel Walker, who had won the 1982 Heisman trophy for Gerorgia’s national championship football team.
Running backs who combined the speed of a tailback with the power of a fullback were a new breed in the ’80’s. But there’s never been one with the pure speed of Bo Jackson. According to videotape estimates, he ran a 4.12 at the 1986 NFL combine: which would be a record if not for the lack of electronic timing.
Bo Jackson, Football Stats At Auburn University
Bo Jackson, Baseball Stats At Auburn University
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