By Hale McGranahan.
Hough High School defensive backs coach Cha Chi Sullivan tried to convince Mark Fields that 4.5 in the 40 wasn’t a bad time.
Unhappy with the 4.5 he clocked at the Nike Football SPARQ Combine in February, Fields told Sullivan in July while he was at The Opening that the time would come down.
“He called me and said, ‘You make sure you watch this tonight, because I’m going to put on a show,'” Sullivan remembered.
Fields also told Sullivan that he had a sore groin when he put up the 4.5 in February.
“I really didn’t believe him,” Sullivan said, “Because I thought 4.50 was pretty fast.”
Not fast enough for Fields.
His time of 4.34 edged out the 4.38 put up by Miami running back commitment Jordan Scarlett in their 1-on-1 race for the title of Fastest Man at The Opening.
But Sullivan said the All-American cornerback is more than just a burner. He “tackles really well” and “handles the physical aspect, as far as getting off blocks, not sticking to blocks.”
“He’s got those God-given gifts, which allow him to blanket you, to cover you,” Sullivan said.
According to the 247 composite rankings, Fields is the No. 95 overall prospect in the class of 2015. The four-star prospect is also ranked as the No. 10 cornerback in the country.
Sullivan first saw Fields at an eighth-grade all-star game, several months before he arrived to Hough.
“You could tell he was a gifted kid then,” Sullivan said, “So that was my first impression, kind of a compact, do-it-all athlete who was fast. You could tell he was talented.”