Who is the fastest player on the team? This is a question that gets raised in every bar and Twittersphere across the country about every college football team. For the last three years, the answer has been simple for the Michigan Wolverines — cornerback DJ Turner.
Turner confirmed the sentiment at the 2023 NFL Combine by running an absurd 4.26 40-yard dash, which was the fastest among all participating players. But now that Turner is gone, who takes the crown as the fastest player on the team? But is that answer too obvious? Instead, let’s rank the five fastest players on the team.
Unfortunately, there will never be a team track meet to determine the true hierarchy, so we are forced to speculate based on interviews, reports and insider information. Let’s begin with the consensus favorite, wide receiver Roman Wilson.
Going back to a 2020 interview with Mike Sainristil, the converted nickel corner listed his five fastest receivers (his position at the time) on the team. “The top five for sure are me, Roman (Wilson), A.J. (Henning), Giles (Jackson) and I’d put Ronnie (Bell) in there as well.
Sainristil continued, “I think Roman will come out with (the title of fastest receiver). That guy flies.”
Before the 2021 season, Bell named the three fastest wide receivers on the team and he started with Wilson, before also naming Cornelius Johnson and himself.
Bell is off to the NFL, and Henning and Jackson are no longer Wolverines to consider. Let’s add CJ and Sainristil to the short list of speedy contenders right behind Wilson.
When speaking to the media last year, Wilson was asked about the fastest player on the team, and without missing a beat, even with Turner on the team, Wilson replied, “It’s me all day.” He followed up his quick, confident answer, by listing Turner, Eamonn Dennis, Amorion Walker, Henning, and “a couple freshmen” as secondary speedsters.
Like before, a few names are no longer with the program, so we’ll only add Dennis and Walker to the shortlist. But who are the freshmen Wilson was referring to?
Wide receiver Tyler Morris and safety Zeke Berry were both track and field standouts in high school, and fellow 2022 freshman Darrius Clemons has reportedly run under 4.40, but there is nothing concrete to substantiate Wilson’s allusion. Sorry, boys.
In a ride around with Sam Webb a few weekends ago, running back Donovan Edwards gave his top three on the current team: Kechaun Harris, Amorion Walker and Roman Wilson. This is the first mention of Harris, a graduate student defensive back, so add him to the growing list of names behind Wilson.
During a different interview with Webb, Clemons shook up the consensus when asked about the fastest player.
“Eamonn Dennis. Hands down, it’s not close — I think Eamonn is one and it’s not up for debate.”
Hold the phone. It’s not close? Clemons’ conviction gives me pause, but the complete omission from Edwards is enough to cast doubt. No one has forgotten to mention Wilson since he arrived on campus.
So placing Wilson at the top spot, what is the order of all of the other names mentioned — Eamonn Dennis, Kechaun Harris, Amorion Walker, Cornelius Johnson and Mikey Sainristil? Less we forget, running back Blake Corum is confirmed to have reached 21 miles per hour on a run against Washington in 2021.
However, Corum's speed appears to have slightly regressed with the weight he added to his frame before the 2022 season. Sorry king.
Another player we can strike off the list is Sainristil. Although Frozone is a personal favorite, he is the only player to name himself.
This leaves Dennis, Harris, Walker and Johnson. With Wilson being the captain of celerity and highest authority on all things speed, his endorsement of Dennis’ and Clemons’ resolute statements lock him into the second position.
Walker was mentioned by both Edwards and Wilson, so he takes the bronze.
Harris was a three-time all-state hurdler at Waverly and ran a blistering 13.98 in the 110-meter-high hurdles at the 2019 Michigan State track meet. That confirmed time, coupled with Edwards’ description as, “Fast, fast, and physical,” is enough for me to place him fourth. CJ solidly rounds out the top-five.
OFFICIAL FIVE FASTEST WOLVERINES
- Roman Wilson
- Eamonn Dennis
- Amorion Walker
- Kechaun Harris
- Cornelius Johnson