College Football’s Fastest Players of 2023 Include Xavier Worthy and Nate Wiggins

    Using advanced player-tracking software, take a look at the players who have dominated the highlight reels with their blazing speed en route to claiming College Football's Fastest Players each week.

    All season long, we’re tracking the top college football athletes by their top speed. Below are the results from our weekly tacking that indicate which players truly are College Football’s Fastest Players of the 2023 season.

    College Football’s Fastest Players of 2023

    Courtesy of our friends at Reel Analytics, the fastest ball carriers are tracked from every game across the country. To find out more about RA and how they track their data, find them here: RAnalytics on Twitter | Reel Analytics via NetCapital

    Find College Football’s Fastest Players every week this season
    Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13

    College Football’s Fastest Players of 2023: By the Numbers

    Before we get to the countdown, we did some tallying of the weekly results to see where the top speeds lie. Below are the breakdowns of each factor by how many times they appeared on the fastest players’ results.

    College Football’s Fastest Players: By Conference

    ACC: 30 times
    B1G: 40 times
    Big 12: 43 times
    Pac-12: 36 times
    SEC: 27 times
    American: 21 times
    Conference USA: 4 times
    MAC: 7 times
    Mountain West: 11 times
    Sun Belt: 13 times
    Independents: 6 times
    FCS: 24 times

    College Football’s Fastest Players: By School

    Ohio State: 8 times
    Florida State: 8 times
    Oregon: 7 times
    Kansas: 6 times
    Michigan: 6 times
    Kentucky: 6 times
    Texas: 6 times
    Iowa State: 5 times
    Colorado: 5 times
    USC: 5 times
    UCF: 5 times
    Iowa: 5 times
    Alabama: 5 times

    College Football’s Fastest Players: By Position

    RB: 125 times
    WR: 86 times
    DB: 28 times
    QB: 23 times
    TE: 1 time

    QB: Jason Bean, Kansas: 22.4 mph (Week 9)
    : Jaydon Blue, Texas: 22.3 mph (Week 13)
    : Xavier Worthy, Texas: 22.7 mph (Week 12)
    : Trent Pennix, NC State: 20.6 mph (Week 6)
    : Nate Wiggins, Clemson: 22.6 mph (Week 12)

    College Football’s Fastest Players: Most Appearances

    Bucky Irving, Oregon: 5 times
    Trey Benson, Florida State: 5 times
    TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State: 4 times
    Blake Corum, Michigan: 4 times
    Dylan Edwards, Colorado: 3 times
    Jawhar Jordan, Louisville: 3 times
    Jaydn Ott, Cal: 3 times
    Rasheen Ali, Marshall: 3 times
    Jalen Milroe, Alabama: 3 times
    RJ Harvey, UCF: 3 times
    Xavier Worthy, Texas: 3 times
    Lorenzo Lingard, Akron: 3 times

    College Football’s Fastest Players: Most Appearances at 21.0+ mph

    Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 3 times
    Dylan Edwards
    , RB, Colorado: 2 times
    Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 2 times
    Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon: 2 times
    Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas: 2 times

    No other player has hit 21.0 mph or higher more than once in 2023.

    Honorable Mention:

    • Tejhaun Palmer, WR, UAB: 21.0 mph (Week 13)
    • Jaylin Lucas, WR, Indiana: 21.0 mph (Week 13)
    • Leyton Smithson, WR, Washington State: 21.0 mph (Week 12)
    • Kobe Hudson, WR, UCF: 21.0 mph (Week 11)
    • Dominic Dutton, WR, Old Dominion: 21.0 mph (Week 9)
    • Chris Tyree, WR, Notre Dame: 21.0 mph (Week 9)
    • Mishael Powell, S, Washington: 21.0 mph (Week 8)
    • Ryan Cooper, CB, Oregon State: 21.0 mph (Week 7)
    • Peny Boone, RB, Toledo: 21.0 mph (Week 6)
    • Jamari Thrash, WR, Louisville: 21.0 mph (Week 3)
    • Hunter Smith, RB, UL-Monroe: 21.0 mph (Week 1)
    • Conner Harrell, QB, North Carolina: 21.1 mph (Week 10)
    • Jaydn Ott, RB, Cal: 21.1 mph (Week 9)
    • Haynes King, QB, Georgia Tech: 21.1 mph (Week 8)
    • Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 21.1 mph (Week 6)
    • Tahj Washington, WR, USC: 21.1 mph (Week 5)
    • Kenny Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh: 21.1 mph (Week 4)
    • AJ Green, RB, Arkansas: 21.1 mph (Week 3)
    • Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 21.1 mph (Week 3)
    • Benjamin JaShon, RB, Rutgers: 21.1 mph (Week 2)
    • Jeff Sims, QB, Nebraska: 21.1 mph (Week 2)
    • Abraham Williams, CB, Weber State: 21.1 mph (Week 1)
    • Blake Corum, RB, Michigan: 21.1 mph (Week 1)
    • Ricky White, WR, UNLV: 21.2 mph (Week 12)
    • Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas: 21.2 mph (Week 9)
    • Tyler Huff, QB, Furman: 21.2 mph (Week 8)
    • Abu Sama, RB, Iowa State: 21.2 mph (Week 6)
    • Jordan Watkins, WR, Ole Miss: 21.2 mph (Week 4)
    • Chrishon McCray, WR, Kent State: 21.2 mph (Week 1)
    • Kaiden Bennett, QB, Sacramento State: 21.3 mph (Week 13)
    • Jalen Mayden, QB, San Diego State: 21.3 mph (Week 13)
    • Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 21.3 mph (Week 10)
    • Malachi Hosley, RB, Penn: 21.3 mph (Week 10)
    • Blake Watson, RB, Memphis: 21.3 mph (Week 9)
    • Jourdan Townsend, WR, Delaware:  21.3 mph (Week 8)
    • Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy: 21.3 mph (Week 6)
    • Joe Milton, QB, Tennessee: 21.3 mph (Week 3)
    • Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon: 21.3 mph (Week 2)

    T41) Javin Wahtley, WR, Chattanooga: 21.4 mph

    Getting behind the defense, Javin Wahtley hauled in this second-quarter reception and torched the Furman defense by reaching 21.4 mph to go the distance. It was a spark for the Mocs, who found themselves just short when the day was over, but Wahtley impressed.

    T41) Dane Kinamon, WR, Air Force: 21.4 mph (Week 8)

    Air Force WR Dane Kinamon hauled in the program’s longest-ever play from scrimmage on a 94-yard touchdown reception against rival Navy. He hit 21.4 mph on the reception, the longest-ever play in Navy’s home stadium.

    T41) Jaquez Moore, RB, Duke: 21.4 mph (Week 8)

    Giving FSU a scare, Jaquez Moore sprinted past the Seminoles’ defense on the outside to a near-touchdown run early in the first quarter. Moore reached 21.4 mph after he turned the corner impressively.

    T41) Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU: 21.4 mph (Week 8)

    It was a flat-out demolition for the LSU Tigers in Week 8 and Brian Thomas Jr. made mincemeat of the Army defense. He reached 21.4 mph on a go route that saw him outrun even defenders with proper angles.

    T41) Demond Claiborne, RB, Wake Forest: 21.4 mph (Week 7)

    In what was one of Wake Forest’s lone highlights from a Week 7 loss, Demond Claiborne flashed his high-end speed on a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. Claiborne weaved through traffic in the middle before hitting the sidelines and reaching 21.4 mph to outrace every Virginia Tech defender.

    T41) Donavyn Lester, RB, UNLV: 21.4 mph (Week 7)

    There’s speed and then there’s speed. Donavyn Lester turned on the afterburners on a carry to the outside for UNLV, utilizing his vision and patience well, before sprinting past Nevada defenders. Lester reached 21.4 mph, seemingly easy along the sidelines.

    T38) Lorenzo Lingard, RB, Akron: 21.4 mph (Week 4)

    Seeing a career resurgence, Lorenzo Lingard has found a home at Akron. He’s no stranger to the big play and Lingard hit 21.4 mph on a long touchdown run against Indiana this week.

    T41) Max Hairston, CB, Kentucky: 21.4 mph (Week 4)

    Kentucky CB Max Hairston has impressed in 2023, picking off passes left and right. He uses his incredible instincts and elite athleticism to make highlight-reel plays look easy. Just like Hairston did on this pick-six against Vanderbilt when he hit 21.4 mph.

    T41) Tobias Merriweather, WR, Notre Dame: 21.4 mph (Week 3)

    You can’t guard a receiver with the size/speed combination that Tobias Merriweather has for long and Central Michigan found that out the hard way. Merriweather hit 21.4 mph on this touchdown reception at 6’4″, 204 pounds, mind you.

    T41) Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado: 21.4 mph (Week 1)

    What a debut performance it was for the Colorado Buffaloes and what a game it was for Dylan Edwards. On this reception out of the backfield, Edwards hit 21.4 mph and sped past the entire TCU defense.

    T34) Ashton Jeanty, RB, Boise State: 21.5 mph (Week 13)

    One of the toughest backs to take down in the open field, Ashton Jeanty deserves more national praise. He’ll get that if he keeps running for touchdowns like this one that saw him hit 21.5 mph.

    T34) Cartevious Norton, RB, Iowa State: 21.5 mph (Week 9)

    It took him a minute, but Cartevious Norton broke through the Baylor defense. After shaking an arm tackle, Norton outran the entire Bears defense and hit 21.5 mph in the process.

    T34) Sione Vaki, RB, Utah: 21.5 mph (Week 8)

    Quickly becoming a household name with his dual-threat ability, Sione Vaki impressed once again for Utah in Week 8. He reached 21.5 mph on a reception where he flat-out burned his defender.

    T34) Elic Ayomanor, WR, Stanford: 21.5 mph (Week 7)

    You don’t beat an entire defense for 97 yards from scrimmage without real speed and that’s just what Elic Ayomanor did. Ayomanor burned his defensive back off the line, nabbed a slant pattern that was intended just to get some breathing room for his offense, and ran past the entire Colorado defense for 97 yards, hitting 21.5 mph as his max speed along the way.

    T34) Sone Ntoh, RB, Monmouth: 21.5 mph (Week 5)

    Torching Lehigh, Sone Ntoh and Monmouth ran wild on Saturday. Ntoh topped the charts at 21.5 mph on this long touchdown run that saw him simply outrun everyone on the field.

    T34) Robert Lewis, WR, Georgia State: 21.5 mph (Week 3)

    Going 98 yards is not easy, but when you possess the speed that Robert Lewis has, it sure looks like it. Lewis topped the charts at 21.5 mph on this near-record touchdown.

    T34) Shilo Sanders, S, Colorado: 21.5 mph (Week 3)

    That’s one way to put your name on the map as Shilo Sanders took a pick-six the distance in the dramatic victory against Colorado State. Sanders hit 21.5 mph on the touchdown.

    T30) TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State: 21.6 mph (Week 12)

    Playing like a true RB1 type of runner we’ve all anticipated, TreVeyon Henderson continues to impress this season. This week, Henderson hit 21.6 mph when he ran past the Minnesota defense on his 75-yard touchdown run.

    Of note, look at how easy it is for Marvin Harrison Jr. to keep pace, if not run faster than Henderson in this clip.

    T30) Rayuan Lane III, DB, Navy: 21.6 mph (Week 11)

    Making waves with his near-100-yard interception return for a touchdown, Rayuan Lane III iced the game for Navy against UAB in Week 11. He picked off a pass and Lane then hit 21.6 mph on his return.

    T30) Anthony Gould, WR, Oregon State: 21.6 mph (Week 3)

    We all knew Anthony Gould was fast, but after this screen pass turned touchdown, he’s even faster than we anticipated. Gould hit 21.6 mph on the radar with his touchdown.

    T30) Jordan Waters, RB, Duke: 21.6 mph (Week 7)

    On a carry that he almost didn’t need to, Jordan Waters put forth a truly special moment when he reached 21.6 mph for Duke. Riding their defense against NC State, Waters finally broke the Wolfpack defense with a carry up the middle that saw him bounce slightly outside and completely torch the NC State defense with his blazing speed.

    T24) Brenden Rice, WR, USC: 21.7 mph (Week 12)

    With a massive burst to the football, USC WR Brenden Rice hit 21.7 mph on this long touchdown against UCLA. Rice reached his max speed sprinting toward the end zone and sparked the USC offense back into gear against their rival.

    T24) Javon Baker, WR, UCF: 21.7 mph (Week 12)

    Making yet another appearance on the list of fastest players, UCF WR Javon Baker hit 21.7 mph against Texas Tech. Baker was wide open on a blown coverage and had to beat the safety who had an angle, maxing out at his top speed in doing so.

    T24) Chandler Rogers, QB, North Texas: 21.7 mph (Week 6)

    Long-striding his way to the end zone, North Texas Mean Green QB Chandler Rogers gave Navy a taste of their own medicine in Week 6. Rogers skirted through the middle of the Midshipmen’s defense and blitzed through the second and third levels by reaching his max speed of 21.7 mph halfway through the 75-yard touchdown run.

    T24) Ray Davis, RB, Kentucky: 21.7 mph (Week 5)

    What a dominant showing it was for Ray Davis. In historic fashion, Davis ran all over the Florida Gators on Saturday, including this 75-yard touchdown run that saw Davis hit 21.7 mph in the process.

    T24) Eric Singleton, WR, Georgia Tech: 21.7 mph (Week 10)

    Eric Singelton and Georgia Tech ran by Virginia in Week 10, literally. On this long touchdown pass, Haynes King hit a streaking Singleton, who then hit 21.7 mph on the way to the end zone.

    T24) Squirrel White, WR, Tennessee: 21.7 mph (Week 10)

    It was quite the display of athleticism and speed for the entire Tennessee Volunteers team in Week 10. Squirrel White caught this seemingly simple crosser moving left to right and outran the entire UConn defense. White torched the Huskies by reaching 21.7 mph.

    T18) Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU: 21.8 mph (Week 11)

    It was a Heisman-worthy performance for Jayden Daniels against Florida. Like last season when a specific quarterback ran wild in this rivalry, Daniels hit 21.8 mph as he ran past the Gators’ defense.

    T18) Marcus Yarns, RB, Delaware: 21.8 mph (Week 9)

    There is little defense for the speed that Marcus Yarns put on display in Week 9. Delaware’s running back took a screen pass the distance by hurdling over an arm tackle and outrunning the entire Towson defense with 21.8 mph as his top speed.

    T18) Harrison Waylee, RB, Wyoming: 21.8 mph (Week 4)

    Harrison Waylee was coveted in the transfer portal during the 2022-23 offseason and his speed was certainly a reason why. He impressed for Wyoming with this long touchdown run in which he topped the charts at 21.8 mph.

    T18) Smoke Harris, WR, Louisiana Tech: 21.8 mph (Week 1)

    There’s no catching Smoke Harris in the open field. A simple slant route became a long touchdown when Harris hit 21.8 mph against FIU.

    T18) Barion Brown, WR, Kentucky: 21.8 mph (Week 1)

    Barion Brown is fast, we all knew this. But now, after his kickoff return touchdown that all but iced the game against Ball State, we know he’s 21.8 mph fast.

    T18) Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon: 21.8 mph (Week 1)

    Bucky Irving kicked off his 2023 campaign with a bang. He skirted through the Portland State defense and topped out at 21.8 mph on this 52-yard touchdown run.

    T12) Calen Bullock, S, USC: 21.9 mph (Week 8)

    USC’s star safety reached his top speed quickly, napping a pick-six off Bryson Barnes and reaching a max of 21.9 mph on the return.

    T12) Josiah Norwood, WR, UCLA: 21.9 mph (Week 2)

    In the blink of an eye, UCLA WR Josiah Norwood changed the game for the Bruins. He slipped past the defense and hit a blazing 21.9 mph on this touchdown reception.

    T12) Isaiah Sategna, WR, Arkansas: 21.9 mph (Week 3)

    Both of Arkansas’ first two touchdowns against BYU came with impressive displays of athleticism and speed. Isaiah Sategna topped out at 21.9 mph on his punt return for a touchdown early against the Cougars.

    T12) Dequan Finn, QB, Toledo: 21.9 mph (Week 6)

    A long mesh point and a perfect read-option keeper from Toledo QB Dequan Finn was ultimately the difference-maker in Week 6. Finn pulled the ball and sprinted past the entire UMass defense, hitting 21.9 mph and giving the Rockets the lead back in the third quarter.

    T12) Trey Benson, RB, Florida State: 22.0 mph (Week 6)

    Perhaps the most impressive top speed of the whole bunch is Benson’s 22.0 mph flat. At 6’1″ and 233 pounds, Benson reached even higher than his first mark on this list when he took a handoff from Jordan Travis and beat the defense to the outside on an 85-yard touchdown run. Benson single-handedly destroyed what looked to be a good angle by a Virginia Tech defender in the process.

    T12) Dylan Edwards, RB, Colorado: 22.0 mph (Week 2)

    For the second week in a row, Dylan Edwards checks in on our list of fastest ball carriers. Edwards outdid himself on this carry, reaching a whopping 22.0 mph against Nebraska.

    T10) Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee: 22.2 mph (Week 12)

    On the opening play of the game, Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright gave the Vols their lone spark against Georgia. Wright took a carry up the middle and hit 22.2 mph at his max speed, successfully beating the Bulldogs’ defense to the end zone.

    T10) Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: 22.2 mph (Week 2)

    Arguably the best player in college football, Marvin Harrison Jr. showcased that he may also be in consideration for the fastest ball carrier in the country. Harrison Jr. hit 22.2 mph against Youngstown State, easily cruising to the end zone in track-star style.

    T7) Jaydon Blue, RB, Texas: 22.3 mph (Week 13)

    Blink and you’d miss Jaydon Blue against Texas Tech in Week 13. Blue torched the Texas Tech defense on a long touchdown run from the very first play of the second quarter, hitting 22.3 mph.

    T7) Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon: 22.3 mph (Week 11)

    Troy Franklin wowed in Week 11 against USC. During a dominant first quarter, Franklin used his elite speed to put two different defenders in a proverbial blender. Franklin hit 22.3 mph as he sprinted to the end zone.

    T7) Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina: 22.3 mph (Week 4)

    At his size, Xavier Legette shouldn’t be able to move as fast as he does. And yet, Legette pulled away from the entire Mississippi State defense with what looked like the greatest of ease. Legette hit 22.3 mph on this long touchdown reception.

    T5) Jason Bean, QB, Kansas: 22.4 mph (Week 9)

    We’ll say this: Jason Bean was cookin’ on this touchdown run against Oklahoma. You could feel it, and even Bean himself knew he was up to something special when he crossed the goal line. Bean hit 22.4 mph on the touchdown run that sparked the Jayhawks over Oklahoma.

    T5) Kapena Gushiken, DB, Washington State: 22.4 mph (Week 6)

    He may not have even needed to reach his top speed, but Kapena Gushiken’s 22.4 mph on his interception return for a touchdown was certainly impressive. He tipped a Dante Moore pass to himself before nabbing the pick at the 12-yard line, sprinting past Moore and putting his Washington State Cougars team back on top, reaching max speed nearly right away.

    T2) Barion Brown, WR, Kentucky: 22.6 mph (Week 13)

    Narrowly missing out on the fastest speed we’ve seen this season, Barion Brown sparked the Kentucky offense, literally. His kick return saw him reach 22.6 mph and brought life back into the Wildcats. Life they would use to come back against Louisville for a much-needed victory.

    T2) Nate Wiggins, DB, Clemson: 22.6 mph (Week 12)

    Before Worthy his the new fastest speed in college football, Nate Wiggins made one of the most impressive plays of the season against UNC. Wiggins chased down UNC RB Omarion Hampton and reached a max speed of 22.6 mph as he forced a game-changing fumble before the ball carrier crossed the goal line.

    T2) Brandon Buckhaulter, WR, UAB: 22.6 mph (Week 6)

    Blink and you would’ve missed UAB Blazers WR Brandon Buckhaulter. Taking a jet sweep from right to left, Buckhaulter came right at the TV angle, blew by USF defenders, and had more than enough speed to celebrate his 75-yard touchdown run from the 20-yard line he’d left the defense behind so far.

    1) Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas: 22.7 mph (Week 12)

    The new fastest player in college football, Xavier Worthy reached a blazing 22.7 mph on his punt return touchdown that was sadly called back due to a penalty. Worthy maxed out while reaching the sidelines past the coverage unit and was a blur on the field with is speed.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles