BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Concussions ended Jahvid Best’s professional football career early, but now his track career has taken off and he’s Rio-bound.

Best ran track in high school in Richmond, California before playing football for the University of California at Berkeley. At Cal, Best suffered severe concussions, including one the NFL described as “one of the nastiest-looking head injuries in recent memory” and “a frightening crash to the turf” that cut short his junior season. Best, a running back, lost consciousness during that blow at Cal.

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Best was the Detroit Lions’ 2010 first-round draft pick. But in October 2011, he suffered his second concussion in three months. The third documented concussion of his career, according to the NFL.

In 2013 the NFL stated, “Having failed to find a doctor willing to clear him for a return to football, Jahvid Best has acknowledged that he’s become the NFL’s poster boy for concussions.”

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After leaving the NFL, Best started running track competitively and has now qualified to run the 100 meters in the summer Olympics. He will be representing the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, where his father holds duel residency with the United States.

In 2014, Best sued the National Football League, the helmet maker Riddell and Easton-Bell Sports over concussions. The case was dismissed.

Since Best filed his 2014 lawsuit, other concussion-related lawsuits have been upheld, including a $1 billion settlement to be paid by the NFL to former football players.

In recent weeks, a host of class-action concussion-related lawsuits against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, regional conferences and colleges have been filed.

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By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.