Former LSU defensive back Donte Jackson fell short of his goal, but he still posted the fastest 40-yard dash of the NFL combine. 

Having no problem admitting he wanted to break the NFL combine's 40-yard dash record, Jackson fell short Monday, running the 40 in 4.32 seconds. He said his calf cramped up near the end of the run. In his second run, he recorded a 4.37 mark. 


Shortly after Jackson's run, Parry  Nickerson of Tulane tied him by running a 4.32 of his own. Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward also ran a 4.32 on Monday.

The record stands at 4.22 set last spring by current Cincinnati Bengals and former University of Washington wide receiver John Ross.

Former LSU receiver DJ Chark staked his claim as fastest prospect of 2018 on Saturday by running in 4.34 seconds, meaning as of early Monday, three of the top four times were from Louisiana players.


A record-breaking time would've brought Jackson an incredible amount of attention, but there are tangible benefits to such a performance. Ross was projected to be a late first-round, early second-round pick at this time a season ago; he was picked No. 9 after his run broke Chris Johnson's famous record of 4.24 seconds.

Jackson, a former track standout who’s known as one of college football’s fastest players, departed LSU after a junior season in which he started 12 games, made an interception (dropped several more), finished with 10 pass-breakups and had a rousing sack against Arkansas.

Jackson, 5-11, 175 pounds, flashed his versatility in his final season. He played some safety, covered the slot receiver at the nickel position and spent time out wide. The final defensive play of his career was a rough one.

Notre Dame completed a 55-yard, game-winning touchdown against Jackson, a highlight reel catch from Irish receiver Miles Boykin in the 21-17 loss in the Citrus Bowl. Boykin caught the ball with one hand against Jackson, in man-to-man defense. He then broke a would-be tackle from safety John Battle.

Jackson’s most impressive highlight this past year came in the 27-23 comeback win over Auburn in Tiger Stadium, when he recorded three straight pass breakups on AU’s final drive. Early in the season, coaches shifted Jackson to the safety spot, even starting him there at Alabama – a move, in part, to get Jackson more action.