Speed is merely one of many important traits in college football, but few attributes land as much attention.
The reason is straightforward, too. While you might notice overwhelming strength or recognize a player's football IQ, speed can be easily quantified. Whether it's a 40-yard dash or max speed reached, the output is both measured and tracked.
Using various sources, we've collected some impressive times to feature 10 of the sport's fastest talents. The list is ordered alphabetically based on a player's last name.
Let's get moving.
Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
Not only is Devon Achane a key player on the football field, but he's also a standout for Texas A&M's track team.
During the NCAA West Regionals in May 2021, he posted a 10.04-second 100-meter run. It was the fourth-fastest all-condition time in Texas A&M history, per 247Sports.
Last season, Achane amassed 1,472 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns—including a vital kick-return score (seen above) in the Aggies' upset of top-ranked Alabama. He totaled 461 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman in 2020, too.
Achane is expected to replace NFL-bound Isaiah Spiller as Texas A&M's lead running back in 2022.
Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Kayshon Boutte burst onto the college football scene in 2020, pacing LSU's offense with 735 yards as a freshman. He followed that up with 508 yards and nine touchdowns last season despite an ankle injury limiting him to just six games.
That explosiveness is no surprise.
In high school, Boutte both clocked a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and contributed to a record-breaking relay team. He also posted a blazing 21.29-second 200-meter run.
The 2022 campaign, barring another injury, will probably be Boutte's final season at LSU before he heads to the NFL draft.
Jaylen Hall, WR, Western Kentucky
Next season, Jaylen Hall's uniform will change. The pressure his speed puts on opposing secondaries, however, will not.
In four years at Western Michigan, he grabbed 85 passes for 1,532 yards—a stellar 18.0-yard average—and 14 touchdowns. After scoring an absurd seven times on 12 catches in 2020, Hall set career-best marks with 46 receptions and 752 yards in 2021.
Hall is taking his 4.32-second speed, per David Goricki of the Detroit News, to Western Kentucky. He should be a key target for the Hilltoppers alongside fellow MAC transfer Michael Mathison, who left Akron for the Conference USA program.
Cornelius Johnson, WR, Michigan
Cornelius Johnson ended the 2021 season as Michigan's leading receiver. Along the way, one specific play showcased his elite speed.
In a rout of Northern Illinois, the wideout raced down the right sideline for an 87-yard touchdown. According to Recruiting Analytics, he reached a max speed of 22.4 miles per hour. Johnson finished the contest with a season-best 117 yards.