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Australian Olympic sprinter looks to the NFL

Josh Ross, a sprinter who ran the 100-meter dash in the 2004 Olympics, is the latest Australian athlete to give the NFL a try. Ross told the Australian newspaper The Age that he has an NFL workout in Dallas scheduled.

“I realise there’s a long, long way to go yet, but I’m determined to show them what I can do,” Ross said. “It will be very competitive over there but it’s not at all daunting for me. I’m used to that kind of pressure.”

A YouTube video touting Ross as an NFL prospect includes the highly dubious claim that he can run a 4.10-second 40-yard dash. Ross is obviously fast, having run a personal best 10.22-second 100 meters in the 2004 Olympics, but there have been former NCAA sprinters with faster 100-meter dash times than that at the NFL scouting combine, and no one has ever broken 4.2 seconds, let alone 4.1.

But Ross sounds sincere about giving American football a try, and his coach suggested that he would consider Arena Football if that’s what he needs to do to get NFL teams to notice him.

Australia has already produced multiple NFL punters, and it might not be long before we see an Australian athlete make it as a position player as well. In addition to Ross, Australian rugby star Greg Inglis is drawing interest as a potential linebacker or special teams player.