NORMAN — Roy Finch ran a 4.44 — the fastest of all participants — in the 40-yard dash Wednesday during Oklahoma’s Pro Day inside the Everest Training Center.
The former OU running back also recorded the best time in the three-cone drill and said he’s satisfied with what he’s shown NFL scouts from a physical standpoint.
“I’m just ready to interview well and just show them me,” Finch said. “Not be fake about anything, just show them that I’m a real person and I’m ready to be the best player I can be.”
Frustrated, confused OU fans might like a little more concrete evidence that the 5-foot-6 dynamo is a real person, too, after spending four years witnessing occasional jaw-dropping, flashy plays, then watching Finch slip back onto the sideline and into obscurity.
Finch arrived at OU a four-star prospect from Niceville, Fla., but an ankle injury prevented him from playing until the sixth game of his freshman season. He reinjured the ankle just before OU’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Connecticut that season, but he finished the year with 398 yards and two touchdowns in limited action.
He entered his sophomore campaign with high hopes, and even landed on the preseason All-Big 12 squad before being overshadowed by walk-on junior Dominique Whaley. After Whaley’s season-ending injury in OU’s eighth game, though, Finch became the starter and finished the season with 605 yards and three touchdowns.
Finch’s junior campaign, though, was a rough one all around. He worked as a slot receiver in the preseason, but quickly fell down the depth chart both there and at running back. He remained as the team’s primary kick returner, but recorded just seven carries and two receptions all year.
Coach Bob Stoops and his assistants would never explicitly say why Finch wasn’t seeing any playing time on offense, but the implications were clear: They didn’t believe he was practicing or handling his off-the-field business well enough to warrant playing time.
Finch saw an increase in action as a senior, appearing in all 13 games with two starts and recording 59 carries for 347 yards, but he was still the team’s clear third — or, sometimes, fourth — option in the backfield.
Despite his limited action throughout his college career, though, Finch earned an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in the Los Angeles area and carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards. He also returned a punt 51 yards after juking out of two tackles.
“It was a great experience, just playing with some guys all across the country that played in great programs,” Finch said. “They all were guys just like me, who just wanted to have fun, wanted to compete and get better.”
Finch said he’s been working out in Florida, and at Pro Day, he went through receiver drills in addition to the running back drills to show his versatility and pass-catching skills.
“I just wanted to get myself mentally prepared to have a big day,” Finch said of preparing for Pro Day. “If you think about it and dream about it, everything that you do on and off the field, if you’re doing it for this main purpose, it’s gonna show when it’s time to perform.
“You can kinda tell the people who prepared and were ready to seize the moment.”