The speed limit on 15th Avenue Southeast, directly outside the Gophers football practice complex, is 25 mph.
The speed limit inside the complex, for now, is 23.4 mph.
The difference: Outside is for cars. Inside is for Gophers players on foot, led by the absurdly fast Jalen Myrick.
At a preseason news conference, coach Jerry Kill mentioned that one of his players could run that fast at peak speed. A reporter did some quick math in his head, dismissed the idea as absurd and assumed Kill must have misspoke.
Kill was correct. Myrick, a junior defensive back and kick returner for the Gophers, achieved that speed this past summer. By Myrick’s count, he was one of eight Gophers players to top 22 mph — after only two of them bested that mark the previous year.
We know this because of what Myrick describes as “a little GPS that we wear.” They are made by Catapult, an Australian company that specializes in athlete analytics.
The Gophers have 80 of the devices and are entering their third season using them. Minnesota was an early adopter — only a handful of other college and NFL teams were using them when the Gophers started, though now they are far more widespread — and coaches spent much of the first year figuring out how to quantify the data provided. Now the Gophers use the devices to track several things, including how hard players are working in practice.
Checking top speeds has a practical application, but it’s also just a fun thing to know. During a 100-yard kickoff return last season against Northwestern, Myrick topped out at more than 21 mph — in full pads, wearing a helmet, carrying the ball.
If he could keep that up for a full mile — he cannot because nobody can — he would finish that distance in fewer than three minutes.
Someone who revels in 7-minute miles and top speeds half as fast as Myrick’s can only marvel at his speed.
Is it weird to be able to run that fast?
“No,” Myrick said after practice Wednesday, matter-of-factly. “It used to be, but when I figured out I could run this fast, I was like, ‘I can go faster.’
‘‘Now every time I run, I think I have another level. When I need to kick it on, I kick it on. I tell myself: go faster.”
Not all of us can do that, but Myrick can. So, too, can sophomore running back Berkley Edwards — Myrick’s roommate and another member of the 22-plus club.
“I don’t take it as a competition,” Myrick said. “It never really was.”
True. If Myrick really wants to get competitive, he can just go out and race against the cars on 15th Avenue.