For most people, winning a world championship and racing for an Olympic medal would be enough to satisfy them. Donavan Brazier wants to try for more, but not in running. He wants to take a shot at making it in the NFL.
The 22-year-old 800m world champ and American record-holder has his sights set on Olympic gold, and he is the obvious favourite to win in Tokyo. At the 2019 world championships in Doha, Brazier won in an American record time of 1:42.34, which was over a second ahead of silver.
In an interview with Reuters before his win at the Millrose Games this past weekend, Brazier expressed his interest in an NFL career.
“When I’m in practice and I’m going through a lot of pain and training, I start thinking about anything else I’m good at so that I don’t have to do track,” he said. “The first thing I think of is NFL wide receiver.” Apparently this is not just a dream—he might really act on it, saying that he will consider trying out for an NFL team in the next couple of years.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a track star has transitioned into another sport. In 2018, Usain Bolt joined the Central Coast Mariners, a professional soccer team in Australia. He played for the club for two months (he even scored two goals in a friendly match) but ultimately walked away from the sport in November 2018.
Like Bolt, multiple world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya also made the jump from the track to the soccer pitch. After World Athletics prevented Semenya from competing in the 2019 world championships, she signed with the Janine van Wyk Football Club of a South African women’s soccer league.
Happy to announce my signing with @jvwgirlsfootball for 2020 season. Looking forward to this journey. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/9Urd7aQ3NF
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) September 6, 2019
It will be interesting to see if Brazier follows through with these plans, and if he does, to see how far he can go. If he does make it in the NFL, it will be a tall order for him to match the success of his track career. On Saturday at the Millrose Games, he took the win in the 800m in 1:44.22, a new U.S. men’s indoor record.
Brazier told Reuters that he sometimes get “too ahead of myself” in competitions. Hopefully he doesn’t look too far ahead to his NFL goals until he reaches a few more of his dreams on the track first.