National Football League

Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf has his sights set on the Olympics

May 7

Ask, and it shall be given. 

After receiving a cheeky message from USA Track & Field in October, Seattle Seahawks breakout receiver DK Metcalf is ready to take center stage. 

Metcalf is racing in the 100-meter sprint at the USATF Golden Games and Distance Open on Sunday in Walnut, California. He is one of 16 sprinters entered to run at Mt. San Antonio College, per NBC Sports.

The Pro Bowler will have to run 10.05 seconds or faster to automatically qualify for the Olympic Trials. To have a chance, he will need to break 10.2 seconds. 

He’s serious about doing so, going as far as to share a teaser video ahead of Sunday’s race.

USATF's Adam Schmenk told Yahoo Sports that this isn't a lark on Metcalf's part.

"DK’s agent told us that he really wants to try to make the Olympics and asked what steps he needs to take," Schmenk said. "We walked him through what the auto-qualifying time was that he would have to run in a sanctioned USATF event and told him that we would help him find a lane if and when he wanted to do this."

Metcalf was a hurdler in high school, well before his days at Ole Miss, but he hasn't participated in track and field since then. At the 2019 NFL Combine, Metcalf ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, the fastest ever recorded by a player weighing 225 pounds or more. Metcalf weighed in at 228 pounds, with a body fat percentage of 1.6 — no, that is not a typo. 

There’s no doubt that Metcalf is one of the fastest players in the NFL. In the Seahawks' game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 last season, he stunned football viewers when he chased down safety Budda Baker after Baker intercepted Russell Wilson

Metcalf clocked in at a top speed of 22.64 mph on that play, which translates to a time of 9.88 seconds over 100 meters.

The clip, which will live forever in highlight reels, has some speculating about whether Metcalf’s quest for the Olympics is a good one.

On Wednesday’s "Undisputed," Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless weighed in on whether Metcalf has what it takes to make it to Tokyo. 

"There’s level to speed, just like there’s level to anything," Sharpe said. "Football speed is one thing. Track speed is something entirely different. I’m gonna be surprised if he runs a 10.6 100-meter. I’d be shocked. … I’ve seen speed. … I’ve seen guys that can run. That’s fast for a football player. That ain’t fast for a track guy."

"You gotta admire his guts," Bayless said. "Even if he’s delusional."

Does Metcalf have an Olympic chance? It's difficult to say. He likely won't be able to hit his top speed quickly coming out of starting blocks on a track. Then again, he won't be wearing pads and a helmet, either.

One former world-record hurdler, Renaldo Nehemiah, told The Athletic that Metcalf has "no chance" of qualifying for the Olympic trials.

"It’s noble, it’s newsworthy obviously, but I just hope he doesn’t totally embarrass himself. It’s night and day," Nehemiah said. "The mass he’s put on to play the game of football is not the same mass that he would have as an elite sprinter."

Nehemiah said viewers will find out pretty quickly if Metcalf has a chance: "You'll see in the first 10 meters the difference compared to the other guys."

As former Olympic sprinter Ato Boldon said in October after Metcalf chased down Baker: "Speed is relative, folks. Stop it."

We'll have to watch and see if Metcalf can prove the doubters wrong.

The USATF Golden Games and Distance Open will air at 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC.

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