Former Olympic gold medalist says he’s up for race against Tyreek Hill: ‘I can give you that smoke’

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Retired American sprinter and Olympian Justin Gatlin said he’s up for a race against Miami Dolphins star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

“I think he’s a remarkable athlete,” Gatlin said of Hill. “He has a big background in track and field. He grew up running track and field. He still use track and field workouts to make sure that his speed on the football field is superior. … When it comes to me racing Tyreek, holla at me in about eight weeks. I’ll be ready for you, man. If you want that, I can give you that smoke.”

Hill, 29, was selected with the No. 165 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft after a successful one-season stint at Oklahoma State University and has played for two teams — the Kansas City Chiefs and Dolphins — across his seven seasons in the NFL.

He spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Chiefs and won a Super Bowl with the franchise in 2020 before he was traded to Miami in the spring of 2022.

The 5-foot-10 wide receiver is fresh off arguably the best season of his pro career in 2022. In 17 games played with the Dolphins during the 2022 regular season, he finished with 1,710 receiving yards on 119 receptions, which equates to 14.4 yards per reception.

Also, Hill averaged a whopping 100.6 receiving yards per game, the highest average of his NFL career by a wide margin.

Those numbers were good enough for Hill to earn a Pro Bowl selection — the seventh of his pro career — as well as finish fourth in the 2022 NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year voting. Only Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson ended up with more votes.

Hill underperformed in the Dolphins’ Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills, however. He caught just seven of his 15 pass targets and finished with 69 receiving yards, a far cry from his regular-season average of 100.6 receiving yards per game. The Dolphins went on to lose to the Bills by a final score of 34-31.

It’s unclear who would win a race between Hill and Gatlin. But what’s already abundantly clear is that a race between the two athletes would make for must-see television. After all, they are both elite sprinters. Here’s to hoping that Dolphins fans will get to witness a race between the two sooner rather than later.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.