Sinkfield's 4.19 dash turns NFL scouts' heads

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 15, 2013 - 9:00 AM

One sprint put former Hopkins and Northern Iowa player Terrell Sinkfield on the NFL draft radar.

There is video now where none previously existed. And because of that video there is also buzz, a bit of chatter and heightened curiosity.

Feel free to do the YouTube search for Terrell Sinkfield. That 20-second clip midway down the page was posted by Sinkfield himself. That’s the one with more than 367,000 page views.

Directly below that is another clip, offering the same footage from a better angle. That one is attributed to GopherSports.com.

Both videos show a kid with a dream leaving scorch marks on the turf of the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex. This is Sinkfield’s 40-yard dash from the University of Minnesota’s March 4 pro day.

One stopwatch reportedly clocked it at 4.19 seconds. Yep, 4.19.

And that time — never mind that it wasn’t official — registered as mind-boggling. So much so that Twitter had an immediate eruption and then major websites such as Yahoo! Sports and ESPN and NFL.com began writing about it and then Sinkfield’s cellphone began blowing up.

“Pretty quickly, it was all eyes on me,” he said. “That initial buzz spread like crazy.”

So who is this Terrell Sinkfield anyway? Well, that’s exactly the question he was hoping people would ask. NFL people, to be specific.

The answer: he’s a Football Championship Subdivision receiver from the University of Northern Iowa. He’s a Hopkins High School alum, an enthusiastic 22-year-old with a smile, a shrug and a dream to hear his name called in the later rounds of next week’s NFL draft.

Chances of that happening are still slim. Sinkfield isn’t blind to that.

Senior season totals of 43 catches and 499 yards while playing in the Missouri Valley Conference don’t exactly forecast NFL success.

But with one sprint, Sinkfield at least blipped onto the radar.

To be clear, the official recorded times for Sinkfield’s 40s that day came in at 4.33, 4.36 and 4.38 seconds. Still, 4.19 is the number people haven’t stopped asking about.

“Will I claim 4.19? Sure,” Sinkfield said. “Why not? If somebody wants to put my name on that, I’ll take it. But I was shooting for fast. And I think whatever the exact number was, I proved that.

“I am fast.”

The desired ripple effect of proving that? That at least a few NFL scouts and front office people were intrigued enough to circle back, throw in tape of Sinkfield at Northern Iowa and see what they might have missed.

Sinkfield hopes they zero in and see, in his words, “that I’m not strictly a speed guy, that I can actually play some football.”

He hopes teams see he has decent size (6-1, 192 pounds) and is versatile enough to work in the slot or outside. He hopes they see a receiver who’s always playing hard and continues improving his route-running. Perhaps they’ll identify a guy with potential — on offense and special teams.

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