Found August 16, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MANKATO, Minn. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt electrified the world last week when he became the first Olympian to win both the 100- and 200-meter dashes in consecutive Olympics. Now some are wondering whether Bolt could electrify NFL fans. At least one NFL special teams coach isn't going to doubt the fastest man in the world. Minnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was asked this week about Bolt playing in the NFL, possibly as a return specialist. Priefer noted the failed crossover attempts in the past, but he wouldn't put anything beyond the electric Bolt. "I'm not going to say he can't because he's big, he's strong and he can run," Priefer said when asked if Bolt, 25, could make it as a kickoff returner in the NFL. "But those of you who remember Renaldo Nehemiah, I think we've already had this experiment and it didn't work out so well then. But I don't want to say that he can't do it because he's a heck of a lot faster than anybody else in the world." Nehemiah was a world-record holder in the 110-meter hurdles before leaving track and field and signing with the San Francisco 49ers in 1982. He was a wide receiver for San Francisco, but his NFL career lasted just three seasons in which he had 43 total catches. He later returned to track and field. But Nehemiah was a hurdler, not a world-class sprinter. Bob Hayes won two gold medals at the 1964 Olympics, winning the individual 100 just like Bolt and then adding another win in the 4 x 100 relay. Hayes, who had played football at Florida A&M, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964. Hayes went on to be a three-time Pro Bowl selection, twice as a receiver and once as a punt returner. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 after a career in which he had 371 catches for 7,414 yards and 71 receiving touchdowns. He averaged 11.1 yards on his 104 career punt returns and added three more touchdowns. Jim Thorpe is also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a career in which he played several sports professionally. He won two Olympic gold medals. Wide receivers James Jett, Ron Brown and Willie Gault, too, had dual NFL and Olympic careers. Bolt doesn't have the football pedigree of Hayes or Thorpe, but his speed makes the crossover potential very interesting. And if he wanted to try, Bolt wouldn't be the only Olympian attempting to make the move. Former University of Florida running back Jeff Demps has applied to join the NFL and is being considered by several teams after competing in the Olympics this month. Demps won a silver medal as part of the U.S. 400-meter relay team that finished second to Jamaica. Demps had said he was giving up football to concentrate on track and field and eventually went undrafted this year. Now that the Olympics are over, Demps is hoping to get a chance with an NFL team. While at Florida, he had 2,470 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He was also an accomplished returner, averaging 28.8 yards per kickoff return. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
ROLL TIDE

Bama fan has huge Crimson Tide tattoo

How big of an Alabama fan is Zack Smartt? He was willing to endure 10.5 hours of a tattoo needle creating what could be considered one of the greatest Alabama Crimson Tide tats in Roll Tide history. This isn’t your normal fan. “Roll Tide isn’t a slogan, motto, or war cry… it’s a way of life! ROLL TIDE FOR LIFE!!,” Zack tell us. The tattoo, inked by Mike McMahon with...

Minnesota Vikings' Safety Harrison Smith Making a Name for Himself at Training Camp

Rookie safety Harrison Smith was one of two first round selections made by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2012 NFL draft.  He was a four year starter at Notre Dame and is looking to make an immediate impact in a very weak Vikings' secondary. Smith is a big safety as he is six foot two inches and 213 lbs.  However, he is a smart and athletic safety as well and will be vying...

Vikings rookie pulls off wild repeat feats

MINNEAPOLIS On Friday night, Audie Cole sprinted 50 yards.Audie Cole never sprints 50 yards. Never in one game. Never that fast. Audie Cole is a linebacker. That is not his job.Cole's job is to stop. It's to reverse. It's to push and to hold. In the span of a game, Cole makes hundreds of tiny movements that barely register in the fluid progression of each play. He makes...

Allen comfortable with the man he's become

MANKATO, Minn. Look around training camp in Mankato or a Sunday home game at the Metrodome and there are still reminders of the hard-charging, fun-loving attitude Jared Allen brought to the Minnesota Vikings in 2008. Allen's fans wear shirts with the four-time Pro Bowl selection's No. 69 printed on them. But unlike with other players' apparel, Allen's nameplate...

Usain Bolt Credits Bayern Munich Doctor Hans Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt for Olympic Success

The ties that bind Usain Bolt and the game of soccer continue to show themselves. The sprint king credited, Hans Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt -- doctor for both Bayern Munich and Germany's national team -- for his success at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, according to Bundesliga.com. "He's the best doctor in the world," Bolt said. "The doctor is a great, great...

Vikings lower TV blackout target to 90 percent

The Minnesota Vikings have decided to take advantage of a new NFL policy that makes it easier to keep home games on local television. The Vikings announced Thursday they'll reduce their target number by about 6,000 seats to 90 percent of Mall of America Field's capacity. The stadium fits in roughly 64,000 fans, and the same number of tickets will still be available for sale...

Impatient Ponder believes Vikings can 'win now'

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer Christian Ponder is impatient. He only has 10 starts at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, and he's in charge this year of a young, rebuilding squad in a difficult division. Ponder says he wants to win now. He insists the Vikings don't have wait their turn, that they lost enough close...

Video: Vikings fans do the wave, collectively lose their minds

Those who inhabit the Metrodome in the fall, packing the stadium in support of their hometown Vikings, have always been known as a passionate and rowdy bunch. After Friday night, that seems like an understatement. During the Vikings' preseason game against the Bills, several beat writers -- using everyone's favorite medium, Twitter -- led us on a first-hand account...

VIDEO: Madden 13 Pro-Am Trailer

EA Sports released a video via their You Tube channel today promoting their Madden NFL 13 Pigskin Pro-Am powered by GameStop of course. The event will be televised on NBC on Sunday, August 26th at 7pm EST. It takes place at Grant Park in Chicago with the two captains being Donovan McNabb and Brett Favre. McNabb will be leading the Gamers while Favre leads the Famers.

The Olympics and Longhorn Nation – A Recap

Longhorn Nation had a great Olympics. With 13 total medals including 6 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze they finished ahead of several notable countries.  For all the greatness that is Usain Bolt, the Longhorns beat Jamaica by one medal.  Same for Belarus and Iran. Kenya and their great runners?  Beat em by two medals. The Nation of [...]

Rather than fantasizing about legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Denard Robinson should strictly concentrate on the Alabama Crimson Tide

Prodded by dreamy backup signal-caller Devin Gardner, dynamic University of Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson claimed Sunday that he could trump legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in a 40-yard dash. The 6-foot, 197 pound Robinson, who established the single-season Division … Continue reading →

Game Thread: Bills vs. Vikings Preseason Pillow Fight

You guys, it's another football game already! Can you believe it?Tonight, the Buffalo Bills travel south to warmer climates, and visit your Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Vikings will play their first home game of the season, kind of technically, at the Metrodome. How will the crowd behave for the first home game of the year? Will there be hot dogs thrown...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.