A current college football player, Oregon wide receiver Devon Allen, has qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As it turns out, Allen’s not the only college football connection to the games.
Former Cal running back Jahvid Best will represent the island country of Saint Lucia in the Rio Olympics in the 100-meter dash. Best, whose father was born in that country, was forced to give up football five years ago because of a head injury and subsequently poured his athletic efforts into track.
“This is a huge accomplishment for me, but at the same time this is just the beginning,” Best said according to the Olympic arm of NBCSports.com over the weekend. “I have only been in this sport for two years professionally, and plan on being around for a long time.”
— Sonny Dykes (@CALCoachDykes) July 17, 2016
It’s believed that Best is the first former NFL player to compete in the Summer Games — Herschel Walker competed in the 1992 Winter Games. “About 40 NFL players have competed in the Olympics, but almost all of them have done so before playing their first regular-season game,” one of our sister sites wrote. Or, in one case, in between playing regular-season games.
Former Ohio State walk-on Nate Ebner was named to the USA Men’s Seven Rugby team Monday and will compete in this Olympiad. As he’s a special teams standout with the New England Patriots, he’s the only current NFL player to qualify for the Olympics.
Ebner has a chance to become just the third man in history to win both a Super Bowl championship and an Olympic medal, joining Bob Hayes (Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, two-time gold medalist in sprints at the 1964 Games) and Michael Carter (San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle on three title teams, silver medalist in the shot put at the 1984 games). He would also become the first individual to medal in the Olympics, win a Super Bowl and win a Rose Bowl.
— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) July 18, 2016