Once upon a time, rookie Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Kareem Huggins ran a 40-yard dash so fast you had to see it to believe.
And many have. A YouTube video of Huggins recording a 4.28-second sprint in his quest to make the NFL out of Hofstra has had more than 19,000 views.
But his online popularity won't determine whether he sticks in the NFL. It will be performances like the one the second-year player turned in Saturday night against the Dolphins in the Bucs' preseason opener.
Though he played mostly against Miami's reserves in a 10-7 loss, Huggins was one of the game's stars, finishing with 55 yards on eight carries, including a game-high 35-yard run in the third quarter that was a highlight.
What intrigues the Bucs about Huggins, who is vying to be the third running back behind Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward, is that he is different from the top two.
Williams and Ward are more physical, between-the-tackles runners. Huggins, who is listed as 5 feet 9, 198 pounds, adds a dimension with his ability to change direction and turn the corner with his speed.
How far can it take him?
"I don't want to get too far ahead, but he showed great promise," coach Raheem Morris said. "It's what we've been seeing on the practice squad and what we've been seeing throughout this training camp."