Renaldo (Skeets) Nehemiah, who holds the world record for the 110-meter hurdles, spent yesterday morning in a tryout for the Washington Redskins. "Looks like he's got some speed," deadpanned Redskin General Manager Bobby Beathard.
Nehemiah, a former University of Maryland hurdler, is considering giving up the 1984 Olympics to become a wide receiver in the National Football League. He is reported to be seeking tryouts with a number of NFL teams, including Dallas, Oakland, Kansas City and San Diego. He was not available for comment yesterday.
Beathard said Nehemiah ran some patterns and worked with quarterback Joe Theismann yesterday for about 30 minutes. Beathard and Coach Joe Gibbs watched the workout. "He caught the ball pretty well," Beathard said. "No, we didn't ask him to run the 40. I would've been embarassed to ask him."
Beathard said the idea of Nehemiah playing football was intriguing, "if that's what he wants to do. He hasn't played since high school, and he played quarterback then. When you do workout drills, he looks okay. But you don't know what happens with real action."
On Monday, Nehemiah tried out in Philadelphia, catching passes thrown by Eagle quarterback Ron Jaworski. Carl Peterson, the team's director of player personnel, said, "We were favorably impressed," but indicated that some work was needed before Nehemiah would be ready to play pro football.