Who Is Terrell Sinkfield and What Does His Reported 4.19 40-Yard Dash Mean?

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IMarch 5, 2013

September 3, 2011; Ames, IA, USA; Northern Iowa Panthers wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield (2) makes a catch against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Once spurned by his hometown Golden Gophers out of high school, Terrell Sinkfield headed to the University of Minnesota's official Pro Day Monday with a plan to enact some athletic revenge. 

Consider that goal accomplished for the Northern Iowa receiver. 

Sinkfield, a native of Hopkins, Minnesota who dreamed of playing for his state's top school, blazed through the 40-yard dash in a hand-timed 4.19 seconds, according to Tyler Mason of Fox Sports. He also ran times of 4.27 and 4.41, although the final attempt included a late stumble.

The hard-to-believe performance has now put Sinkfield's name into the brief spotlight of the NFL draft. 

Speed remains one of the most valuable (but also overrated) assets in the modern NFL game, and a 40 time of 4.19 seconds—regardless of how legitimate it may or may not seem—will likely force a few teams to go back and determine if they missed anything on the 6'1" receiver. 

According to Mason, 13 NFL teams had representatives in attendance at Minnesota's Pro Day. 

However, Sinkfield entered Monday with little-to-no name recognition among draft analysts. 

CBS Sports does not list Sinkfield in their massive draft prospect library, despite featuring 105 total receivers. The Sports XChange recently created a draft page for Sinkfield, but he doesn't even rank among their top 398 receivers. 

The unknown man clearly made a name for himself Monday.

Sinkfield, who was turned down for a football scholarship by former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, told reporters afterwards that he has been waiting for this moment since high school. 

Via Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press

It was kind of like a dream to play for the Gophers. I pretty much came here with a chip on my shoulder. It was pretty much a plan since high school that I was going to come here (for Pro Day) and steal the show.

And steal the show he did. While not official, Sinkfield's time of 4.19 was five-hundredths better than the top official time ever at the NFL combine (4.24, Chris Johnson).

However, Vikings director of college scouting Scott Studwell told Sansevere that Sinkfield only ran in the "4.3s," bringing in to question how legitimate the dash time really was. 

Regardless, teams will need to figure out if Sinkfield has any real potential of finding a home in the NFL. 

Despite his straight-line speed, Sinkfield caught 43 passes for just 499 yards (11.6 average) and four touchdowns during his senior season at Northern Iowa. The numbers were more explosive during Sinkfield's junior year, when he caught 28 passes for 464 yards (16.6) and six scores.

Overall, Sinkfield caught just 76 passes for 1,097 yards (14.4) and 10 touchdowns during his collegiate career at the FCS school. 

Sinkfield had an explanation. 

"I still don't think I played to my full potential at UNI because my first few years we had a running quarterback, and my last year we had a freshman," Sinkfield told Sanasvere. 

Although confident that he has the talent to be drafted by an NFL team, Sinkfield remains sure that he'll make his presence known once he's with a club this summer. 

"I know my ability is good enough to be drafted," Sinkfield said. "Once I get on that field, I know my ability will take over. Drafted or not, I know once I make a team and get in camp, I'm going to shine."

Teams will do their homework on a guy who can run, and at least one offering Sinkfield a contract and a chance following the draft isn't difficult to envision.

But to truly stick at the next level, Sinkfield will need to prove he's more than just a straight-line sprinter. Speed is only valuable for NFL teams when it's combined with the other important traits of playing the receiver position. 

By running an eye-catching 40 time, Sinkfield has at least given himself a chance to prove he finally belongs.