Football Stars Find Success on the Track

SPRINGDALE (KFSM)--On a windy Thursday in may, a bevy of high school football players trade in the gridiron for the race track.

"You use one to push yourself in another, so they basically go hand in hand."

That's the hope for Jadon Jackson and a slew of other high school football players as they try their hand at something different. The 7A state track and field championships were nearly overrun, with football players placing in 12 of 14 events, winning six. Why do so many football players take up a second sport?

"The coach kind of convinced me to do it, he said you might be good at it so why not," says Fayetteville senior and Arkansas signee Ty Clary, who finished fourth in the shot put.

And that seems to be a theme, with Mizzou commit Akial Byers adding "Coach said I was pretty good, so he wanted me to come and try to throw." He would finish second in the shot put.

Jadon Jackson, a Bentonville West sophomore who already has an Arkansas offer, has a different inspiration.

"Usain Bolt, watching on TV, really fast guy. Wanted to live my dreams of being like him."

As much as the players can help out on the track, their football careers benefit as well

"It made me a lot faster, I can definitely tell you that," says Jackson, who finished second in the 100 meter dash.

"Speed, obviously mentally that's what track is about. I feel like it gives me a bit of an edge over the others that don't run track," adds Oklahoma commit Tre Norwood, who finished right behind Jackson, in third place.

And Clary thinks that the "adversity of learning a new sport is kind of similar to learning new things in the other sport so it can only help."

And track can come to the rescue when those off months between football seasons start to drag on.

"Once football was over I kind of didn't know what to do after school so I signed up for track," says Clary.

Norwood knows that "if I wasn't running track I'd just be lifting, and I feel like I'd get lower or out of shape."

Most of the seniors I spoke to who are going on to play college football said this is the last time they'll participate in a track and field meet. Still, with all their success on and off the track, they are sure to inspire a new crop of multi sport stars.