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UNI's Sinkfield hopes speed gets him to NFL

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Northern Iowa receiver Terrell Sinkfield went back to the lucky cleats that helped produce a blistering time in the 40-yard dash earlier this month and put him on the radar of NFL scouts.

The shoes couldn't produce another 40 yard-dash time of 4.19 seconds like he reportedly clocked at Minnesota's pro day on March 5. But Sinkfield showed Wednesday that he's arguably as fast as any other wide receiver coming out of college.

Sinkfield ran the 40 again for a smattering of scouts, reporters and curious onlookers inside the UNI-Dome at Northern Iowa's pro day. Sinkfield said he had no idea what he ran because Northern Iowa doesn't officially keep pro day numbers.

But a preliminary video review from Cedar Rapids Gazette had Sinkfield timed at 4.32 and 4.30 on his final two attempts.

``It wasn't my best day. I mean, did all right,'' Sinkfield said. ``I talked to the scouts and I asked them and they said. `You ran pretty fast. We know you run pretty fast.'''

That speed has turned Sinkfield from an anonymous FCS receiver into an intriguing pro prospect.

The 6-foot-1 Sinkfield wasn't invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis after wrapping up his college career with just 499 yards receiving and four TDs as a senior. But Sinkfield, who grew up in Minnetonka., Minn., went to the Gophers pro day and turned heads with a 40 time that, had it been run at the NFL combine and been declared official, would have been the best in the event's history.

The 4.19 was such a stunning number for two reasons. It was impossible to independently verify, and it came from a player whose production hardly matched such blazing speed.

But Sinkfield said the scheme the Panthers ran last season wasn't designed to consistently get him free in space, and he thinks his production could increase if he gets in the right scheme.

``We ran a zone-read, option offense. I wasn't really in the offense to highlight my best attributes and skills,'' Sinkfield said. ``I think I'll surprise, open a lot of eyes when I get on a stage and get to a team that can know my skills and work to get me in the right position.''

It's a possibility that appears much more likely than it did when his college career ended last fall.

Sinkfield said the Dolphins have told him they plan to fly him down to Miami to meet with team officials. He has also heard from the Colts, Seahawks, 49ers and Packers about possible individual workouts and team interviews.

Sinkfield said he was thrilled that his 4.19 performance in Minneapolis got him noticed, even if many aren't sure how legitimate it was.

But Sinkfield didn't run again on Wednesday to erase any doubts. He thinks the 4.19 will stand - and he just wanted to see if he could beat it.

``People were asking me if I should run again or not. But I'm a competitive person, so I just wanted to beat my time. I knew I could run fast again,'' Sinkfield said. ``I'm satisfied with what I did, whatever the times come out to be.''


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The Associated Press News Service

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