It took nearly 44 years before a Nebraska high schooler could say, "I jumped farther than Gale Sayers."
Now that Robert Rands has caught the coaching bug, the wait might not be as long for someone to replace him as Nebraska's best high school long jumper ever.
In 2005, Rands flew past the cherished state record of 24-10 1/2 set by the NFL Hall of Famer Sayers at the 1961 state high school meet.
Competing for Bellevue East, Rands went 25- 1/4 in a meet at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D., before winning the state title with a leap of 24-11 1/4. He'd done even better, 25-1 3/4, while competing with the Bellevue Breeze Track Club at the 2004 USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.
After a redshirt season with the Nebraska football team in 2005, Rands joined the NU track team and earned top-five finishes both as a freshman and sophomore in Big 12 championship meets before his dreams of going 26 feet and beyond abruptly ended in 2008.