2015 Texas five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson turned in an outrageous performance at The Opening's SPARQ Testing (the closest thing college football recruiting has to the NFL Combine).
Officially, a 4.39.
That score of 145.65 would've ranked him second among last year's participants behind Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Speedy Noil, whose name is "Speedy." The record's held by 2012 winner Mike Mitchell, now a linebacker at Texas Tech.
Someone the size of Malik Jefferson shouldn't be able to run a sub-4.4 40. It's just not fair.— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) July 8, 2014
One factor in Jefferson's high score: he outweighs most other athletes capable of turning in similar performance numbers. Weight is the only factor besides the four athletic drills (which also include a powerball throw).
At 6'2 and 225 pounds, he outweighs the high school version of Noil by 45 pounds. His 40-yard dash is comparable to that put up last year by 196-pound Alabama cornerback Tony Brown, his shuttle approximates 186-pound UCLA corner Adarius Pickett, and his vertical leap matches 190-pound LSU safety Edward Paris.
Jefferson's 40 time, which he shares with the smaller Mitchell, would be the fastest by a front-seven defender at the NFL Combine since at least 2006 -- Stanford 220-pounder Jon Alston holds that record, with a 4.4. It's faster than all but seven players at any position from the 2014 Combine.
Malik Jefferson called his dad, then hugged his mom after that performance. pic.twitter.com/qHF5OYDeQ5— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 8, 2014
All that, and he has elite linebacker skills. He's currently being courted by Alabama, Baylor, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M (his leader, at one point), and everybody else. So, yeah, something to celebrate.
We'll have the full SPARQ results in this stream later.