Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Worthy: fastest in Combine history as Texas takes on NFL draft

Lorianne Willett
Wide receiver Xavier Worthy runs across the endzone after scoring a touchdown during Texas’ game against Wyoming on September 17, 2023.

“Take your time, man, you’re chasing a record,” said Daniel Jeremiah, NFL media analyst. Jeremiah was on the main NFL Combine broadcast, locked in on former Texas Longhorn receiver Xavier Worthy’s second 40-yard dash. 

Worthy had just run a 4.25 second 40, by far the fastest of every player invited to the Combine. Every year, the NFL invites 300+ NFL draft hopefuls to Indianapolis, where they compete in various athletic tests and events in the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium. Among them is a 40-yard dash, where runners in each position compete against each other, trying to run 40 yards straight the fastest.

After his first run at this year’s Combine, which ran from Thursday, Feb. 29, to Sunday, March 3, Worthy was given the option to take a second chance at the event. In a huddle of fellow Texas competitors, a player told Worthy to hang up the cleats. And why wouldn’t he? He was already far and ahead the fastest player in the class, and the third-fastest all-time. What more did he have to prove after likely locking himself in as a first-round draft pick?

But Worthy had his eyes on history. The Longhorn loaded into his spot, drew a hand back and took off like a bullet. Worthy would have to run .04 seconds faster to break the record set by Washington’s John Ross in 2017, and he did just that. 

After crossing that 40-yard line, Worthy kept coasting. He looked up and saw the unofficial time: 4.22, tied for the record. The 2023 receiving leader kept on running, doing what he was best at, and was eventually greeted by other players competing. When official times were announced, Worthy had made up a second and was officially locked into the fastest 40-yard dash ever with a 4.21-second performance. 

Worthy would go on to destroy the rest of the Combine, ranking top five in both broad and vertical jump among his fellow receivers, and tying for first place in the 10-yard split, an agility test. 

Competing in the 40-yard dash before Worthy, Adonai Mitchell set the tone for the Texas wide receivers. Mitchell shot out of a cannon and reached the 40-yard line in just 4.34 seconds. His time would end up being the third fastest of the wide receivers. 

Worthy even joked during his player interview that Mitchell thought he was faster, and despite his impressive time, he was clearly wrong. 

After the Combine, Mitchell is the highest-rated Texas receiver with a prospect grade of 6.37, meaning he has the potential to be a starter, according to the NFL’s prospect page. 

Tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders also wowed teams with his performance, proving that there is not much of a gap between him and Georgia’s Brock Bowers, who is regarded as the best tight end in college football. Sanders received a prospect grade of 6.38, second to Bowers who was graded 6.75. 

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive back Ryan Watts and defensive linemen Byron Murphy II and T’Vondre Sweat all had solid performances. Murphy and Sweat are the two highest-graded defensive tackles with respective grades of 6.48 and 6.40. Watts had a strong athletic performance, showing off his size and speed with a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at 6 feet 3 inches tall. 

Running back Jonathan Brooks and receiver Jordan Whittington did not participate due to injury. Still, even after tearing his ACL, Brooks is the highest-graded running back prospect with a score of 6.38. 

Just two years after Texas only had two players invited to the Combine and none drafted, it was one of the schools with the most players in attendance and is sure to have at least one first-round pick. 

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About the Contributors
Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter
Evan is a junior journalism major and the sports editor for the Texan. He is originally from Washington DC and has covered UT sports for 4 semesters and counting. He has covered the Men's Tennis, Soccer, Baseball and Football teams and had the opportunity to write about the 2023 Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.