John Ross Runs 4.22 40-Yard Dash at NFL Combine, Breaks Chris Johnson's Record

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2017

Mar 3, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington wide receiver John Ross speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross officially broke Chris Johnson's long-standing 40-yard-dash record Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with a speedy sprint that took all of 4.22 seconds, per NFL.com's College Football 24/7 on Twitter

The NFL's official Twitter account relayed video of the record-shattering moment: 


OH. MY. GOODNESS. JOHN ROSS!!!! 🔥 @UW_Football WR @WatchJRoss runs 4.22u 40-yard dash. (cc: @chrisjohnson28) https://t.co/kkeUVDIMeQ

Johnson set the previous record in 2008 when he ran the combine's premier event in a blazing 4.24 seconds, and that mark stood for nine years before Ross scorched the turf Saturday:

Once Ross' run was over, Johnson tweeted out a few emojis that spoke volumes: 

Chris Johnson @ChrisJohnson28


Meanwhile, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was simply in awe of Ross' achievement: 

Patrick Peterson /P2 @P2

WAIT. @WatchJRoss RAN WHAT?????!! 😳😳😳😳😳😳🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #NFLCombine

But based on Ross' blazing traits, it wasn't particularly surprising that he was the one who took over as the 40-yard-dash king, per Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman: 

Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB

Asked a Washington coach if he's surprised John Ross just ran a 4.22.. "Not at all! 4.25 last spring."

Several players came close to breaking Johnson's record in recent years, with Dri Archer tops among them, as NFL Research noted on Twitter:

NFL Research @NFLResearch

As we await the official 40-yard dash time from John Ross, just a reminder... @UW_Football @WatchJRoss https://t.co/c47BWthi1S

"To be honest, I don't want to see the record go," Johnson said before the 2016 combine, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (via ESPN.com news services). "But if somebody does break it ... I'll be happy for them and give them a handshake and congratulate them."

With Johnson long occupying the mantle of premier speedster, monetary incentives started to crop up for the nation's fastest prospects. 

A year ago, Adidas offered $1 million to any combine participant who broke Johnson's record while wearing the company's cleats.

Adidas ran a similar promotion in 2015, when it shelled out $100,000 to Trae Waynes, Phillip Dorsett and Kevin White for running the three fastest 40 times among athletes sponsored by the apparel company. 

This year, Adidas upped the ante and offered an island to the prospect who broke the record if he rocked Adizero 5-Star 40 cleats and agreed to an endorsement deal for the 2017-18 season, per ESPN.com's Darren Rovell

However, as Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted on Twitter, Ross was wearing Nike spikes during Saturday's run. According to an official release, Ross donned Nike's new Vapor 4.2 cleats after inking a deal with the company in advance of the combine. 

While the 40-yard dash doesn't have a track record of indicating future success in the NFL, a stellar showing can turn heads and boost prospects' stock in advance of April's draft. 

For now, Ross should use his status as the NFL's new 40-yard-dash king to capitalize on a positive momentum surge and continue his climb up draft boards across the league as he seeks to snag first-round status. 

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