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Saban Talks About Alabama Pro Day

Jim Ryun was the premier track and field athlete of his day in the late 1960s at Kansas. He ran the mile in a little over 3:51, and had broken the four-minute barrier as a high school runner. The irrepressible Pepper Rogers was football coach of the Jayhawks, who were far from a national power. Pepper was asked if he had considered getting Ryun to come out for the football team.

Rogers explained that "third and a mile" was just an expression, that not even the Jayhawks ever needed a runner to go that far. No one runs a mile in football. So why did legendary Coach Paul Bryant have his Crimson Tide players run the mile as part of their August reporting day physical examination? One theory (mine) is that the players all knew they were going to have to run the mile and...