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Fastest on the Field: Votes are in! Plus highlights!

Brown and Grant trade numbers in a landslide.

Louisville Cardinals v Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Brown left the competition in the dust.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If you like speed, it surely was an exciting, triple crown weekend for all who watched. I missed 2015 so this was the first time I ever saw one live (albeit on TV).

Last Thursday (due to all the other news) you voted on the fastest on field Scarlet Knight. Here are the results with some thoughts below.

Poll

In pads on a field of play, what Knight was fastest?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Janarion
    (55 votes)
  • 1%
    Carroo
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Khaseem
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    McCourty, Jason McCourty
    (1 vote)
  • 51%
    Tim Brown
    (87 votes)
  • 2%
    Willie "runs like Mays" Foster
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Nate Jones
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Colon
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    EY Sr.
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Austin baby!
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    J.J. Jennings
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Homer Hazel.
    (4 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now

For the results and our best explanation as to why the tally came in that way ...

Gold: Tim Brown. I did think the pint-sized #2 would be number one in this poll, but was surprised by him receiving 52% of the vote. Word is when Rutgers recruited him he was timed at 4.24 in the 40 yard dash. The offensive staff waited to unleash him until late in his freshman season and his breakout came in the Texas Bowl win over Kansas State.

His legacy is most defined though by one magical play in his senior campaign. Brown’s childhood friend Jasper Howard, a member of the Uconn Huskies, was murdered on campus in the week leading up to the Scarlet Knights matchup with the Huskies. After Uconn marched the length of the field to take a lead with 33 seconds remaining, Tom Savage hit Brown for an emotional 81 yard touchdown that you had to see to believe.

Silver: Janarion Grant wore #1 on his jersey but was second this week with 33% of the vote. It was interesting to see how Grant would perform in the poll considering he clearly lost a step after the injury that sidelined him for most of the 2016 season. It probably wasn’t the 40 yard dash that placed Grant in second place because at Pro Day, Brown only ran a 4.44 with a lingering ankle sprain (slower than Tiquan Underwood, Ray Rice, and barely ahead of Brian Leonard). Brown was just so much more productive as a receiver that it leaves you to wonder why (other than up and down quarterback play) Grant didn’t have more production as a receiver in his career.

Special teams is no question, as I have never seen someone at the college level who could return kicks with the speed, agility, and acceleration Grant could. The punt return against Washington State is still the most incredible individual effort I have ever seen live in any sport, at any level. Rather than limit it to that play, check out all the return TDs below:

Bronze: Willie Foster gets the bronze this week. I will give him the tiebreaker over Nate Jones because I actually voted for Jones, and who cares about my opinion! An overlooked part of Rutgers’s rise from the ranks of college football patsy to perennial bowl participant was the focus on special teams, particularly in how exciting Schiano teams made it. Other than when Terrell Willis was returning kicks on radio, I always used kickoffs and punts as a time to go grab a snack (remember games were way shorter then).

Foster changed all that as he was a threat to go the distance every time he touched it. The big one for me came in the game against Pittsburgh on national TV when he gave RU a 17-0 advantage in the first quarter (1:17 mark of the clip below) in a game that when it ended had field storming fans almost certain Rutgers was on their way to only the second bowl trip in school history. Watching that return was like watching pac-man escaping the ghosts as he made several 90 degree turns along the route.

The last few weeks the poll might have been different if there was a slight modification. This week not sure it needed any and no one complained! That’s progress, though we all know controversy sells newspapers. Good thing this is a blog.

Notable: Bill Austin was awesome, though as A. S. Cobb, Jr. pointed out, not particularly fast. Austin garnered only one vote so at least a blind nostalgia bias wasn’t rampant.

Missing in action: Nate Colon got zero votes. Sad face. Hopefully that’s only because fans blacked out from their memory many of the games he played in. If anyone has clips please post them below!

It was surprising no one mentioned a number of lightning-quick tailbacks in the Charles Snorweah mold. TrollsDestroyedNJcom did highlight Desmond Peoples who got some burn in the 2014 campaign before Josh Hicks and Robert Martin exploded. Mason Robinson unlike many in this category, including Dimitri Linton who I mentioned, ended up becoming a solid dime back at the end of his career while many others never really had an impact. Robinson shares the distinction with Miles Shuler, mentioned in the comments, and Melton as a 100 meter state champ. In Shuler’s case, having never been utilized fully in a crowded receiving corps before moving on to Northwestern, didn’t show me enough on the field to qualify for the poll.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Rutgers
Snorweah has played corner and running back, could he surprise?
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks for participating and look for another opportunity to vote this Wednesday. The category this week is the best offensive lines in team history! Let the debate begin!

And the hint for this week’s movie theme is Otis Day. For many that’s a dead giveaway.

For all those who continue to vote, comment, and shake off criticism ...