BEAVERTON, Ore. – Geismar (La.) Dutchtown four-star safety Landon Collins is the best athlete at the absolutely loaded NIKE camp The Opening. Following a day of testing, Collins came out on top and claimed the title as SPARQ national champion. The Top100 prospect took home the crown with some astounding numbers: a 43 foot powerball toss, a 4.2 shuttle, a 4.42 40-yard dash and a freaky 43.7 inch vertical.
Landon Collins' 4.42 40 clinched him the SPARQ national championship.
Collins isn’t just a testing warrior though, he’s a thick, powerful safety that will likely be one of the standouts when the position work gets going during Thursday’s training session.
He came in on the verge of five-star status and if Collins continues to perform the rest of the week with the same level of play that his testing day represented, the five-star bump may be all but a formality.
Heading into the day, Collins was a well-known commodity – one of the favorites for combine king. 2013 running back Altee Tenpenny out of Little Rock (Ark.) North Little Rock on the other hand was a virtual unknown on the national landscape. Tenpenny has offers from Arkansas and Ole Miss and was one of only three 2013 prospects to take part in the elite Nike event so he was certainly on the radar but not many people expected the performance he put together.
The Arkansas native took second place in the SPARQ championship with a 4.44 40, a 40.5 foot powerball toss, a blazing 3.91 shuttle and a 37.6 inch vertical. Tenpenny is another player that gets it done on the field too and he’s likely to host a lot of college coaches in Little Rock over the next two football seasons.
However as good as Tenpenny was, another 2013 prospect may even be the more impressive athlete. Derrick Henry from Yulee (Fla.) High School is a running back at 6-3, 232 pounds. That in itself is impressive but when a back can run the 40 in 4.45 seconds and vertical over 38 inches at that size, that’s just not fair.
Henry came in third in the SPARQ national championship and even if he gets too big for running back, he is too good of an athlete not to be a star somewhere on the field. Up to now though, running back has worked out just fine. Henry has rushed for over 5,000 yards during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
TCU commit Daje Johnson made a name for himself on Wednesday. The cornerback has not been touted as one of the big name recruits in Texas but after he set the SPARQ all-time national record in the prelims, that will likely change. Not only did Johnson run the fastest time in the prelims for the 40 at 4.34 seconds, he also had the furthest powerball toss with a 45, ran a 4.01 shuttle and had a 40.8 inch vertical.
Junior, Altee Tenpenny was one of the big storylines of Wednesday.
Though Collins bested Johnson in the finals, his 146.52 score in the prelims remains the top score ever among the 300,000 plus high school athletes that have been tested at Nike SPARQ events. In the finals, Johnson also showed that his 4.34 was no fluke. He ran two consecutive 4.35s.
Johnson couldn’t catch a break though. Not only did he just miss out on the SPARQ championship in the finals but he didn’t even walk away with the fastest man title. That distinction went to Corey Coleman. The Baylor commit busted out a 4.32 40 in the finals. Coleman also had the fastest shuttle time with a 3.80.
- If Dillon Lee were a wide receiver, Wednesday’s testing numbers would be pretty solid. But he’s not a receiver. He’s a linebacker – a big one. Because of that distinction, Lee made it to the final 10 and posted some good numbers including a 4.05 shuttle and a 35.6 inch vertical.
- UCLA commit Raymond Ford (4.41), Trae Elston (4.41), USF commit Chris Bivins (4.42), Miami commit Duke Johnson (4.42), TCU commit Kolby Listenbee (4.44), Oklahoma commit De’Vante Harris (4.44) and Virginia Tech commit JC Coleman (4.45) joined finalists Coleman and Johnson in the top 10 of the 40 yard dash preliminary times. The second best prelim time came from Texas A&M commit Trey Williams who posted a 4.37.
- Kwon Alexander out of Oxford, Ala. was the fastest player outside of the true skill positions in the 40. The linebacker posted a 4.51 on the day.
- At 6-3, 223 pounds, LSU commit Torshiro Davis posted a 4.56 40, a 34 inch vertical and a 4.39 shuttle. It’s hard to make the top of the combine lists as linemen or linebackers but Davis’ numbers were impressive in their own right.
- Florida State commit Chris Casher was one of the best looking players from a physical standpoint in Oregon and his numbers backed up that look. He ran a 4.63 40, jumped 29 inches and had a 4.29 shuttle. All of that was at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds.
- Another prospect with loads of raw athleticism is Ifaedi Odenigbo, the top rated player in Ohio. The DE/OLB hybrid posted a 4.64 40, a 33 inch vertical and a 4.27 40.
- LSU commit Lamar Louis is competing as a linebacker but could also project at running back. With his numbers, it’s easy to see why. He ran a 4.55, jumped 33 inches in the vertical and had a 4.18 shuttle, all at 225 pounds.
During the SPARQ national championship, not only was all-time NFL great Jerry Rice serving as the master of ceremonies of sorts, there were also a number of NFL players observing and handing out tips to the athletes. Among those in attendance were Ndamukong Suh, Patrick Peterson, Russell Okung, Joe Haden, Aaron Curry, Dwayne Bowe and Ray Rice.