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Minnesota Football Recruiting: Carter Coughlin posts strong 40 time at The Opening

Carter Coughlin's performance at Nike's elite recruiting event showcased his impressive athleticism and solidifies that Carter is one of the best recruits to commit to Minnesota in the modern era.

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The top recruit of Minnesota's 2016 recruiting class showed off some great measurables at The Opening, the premier summer showcase event for recruits nationally. How good a day did Carter have?

To give you a point of comparison, Carter's 4.53 40 yard dash time would have tied him for first among linebackers at the 2015 NFL Draft. It's also strong enough to tie him for the 14th best 40 yard dash time of any linebacker from the 2007-2015 NFL Drafts. Crazy right? On the number alone, it's excellent. But there are some small but important details to call out.

Nike runs The Opening and it's designed around the Nike SPARQ recruiting test score. Here's a quick explanation of the SPARQ scoring:

The four exercises included in the current SPARQ test are (with descriptions taken from Nike's Opening website):

  • 40-yard dash: A measure of off-the-mark quickness and transition to top speed.
  • Vertical jump: Your vertical jump height and body weight are factored together to assess your peak power.
  • 5-10-5 shuttle (also known as the 20-yard shuttle run): A drill demanding split second changes of posture, direction and speed.
  • Kneeling powerball toss: A test designed to measure the ability to develop and deliver coordinated power.

A player's results in those four exercises, when normalized by weight, gives a number that measures the player's power, agility, speed, explosiveness and overall athleticism.

"Normalized by weight" is the key above. Carter definitely ran a 4.53 because Nike electronically times for SPARQ ratings. There is no "Likely Fraudulent Measurables" joke to be made here. But Carter ran the time while weighing in at 211 lbs. For comparison, linebackers at the NFL Draft Combine usually weigh in at 240-245. Does that mean he didn't do well? Not even close. Carter scored a 128.55. SPARQ scores of 130 and above are regarded as elite scores. In fact, Carter's total score puts him just outside the Top 10 of all players at The Opening.

When you're posting numbers like that when competing against 166 of the best college football recruits in the country, well, you're pretty darn good. When the full results are released, I'd expect Carter to finish in the Top 25 or possibly even the Top 15. That's right, Minnesota has a linebacker committed who is potentially one of the Top 25 most athletic players in the country under the SPARQ metric.

This is what Brick by Brick looks like, and it's great news for Minnesota Football!