BEAVERTON, Ore. – The Opening has begun on the campus of Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. With 150 of the top prospects in the country convened in one place, the first opportunity that the prospects had to make an impression was at the SPARQ testing prelims.
Derrick Henry finished atop the standings in the SPARQ prelims.
There will be a full breakdown of the numbers when the official results are released but there were plenty numbers that stood out at first glance. We take a quick look at some of the eye-popping numbers from the morning.
4.32, Jeryl Brazil - There were players in attendance that have documented sub-11 second 100 meter times in track that were putting up mid-4.6 type numbers on the 40-yard dash. It was a slow surface and the times were of the laser variety. No one was happy with the times that were posted. But it sure didn’t slow down Brazil who blew away the field with a 4.32. That time was maybe the most eye-popping number of the entire day.
4.37, Levonte Whitfield – Like Brazil, we expected Whitfield to run fast and he delivered. Whitfield posted the only other sub 4.4 time and the laser doesn’t lie. Whitfield has no-doubt big-time speed.
4.42, Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott has some size and he’s a true complete back, with his 4.42 time – the third fastest of the day – a Elliott proved that he can add speed to that complete package. An Ohio State commit, Elliott recently added his fourth star.
4.44, Delano Hill – A safety with some size and physicality to him, no one expected Hill to be near the top of the list in the 40-yard dash. In fact, if we thought he had this kind of speed, his ranking would likely be a good bit higher. The Iowa commit looks to be poised for a rankings rise.
4.45, Mike Mitchell – Mitchell was one of the real storylines of the morning action. A big physical linebacker, Mitchell put up cornerback type numbers. At 6-4, 230 pounds, Mitchell had the No. 2 overall SPARQ score and may be the most athletic linebacker in the country from a testing perspective.
3.91, Colin Spencer – Spencer is not nearly as heralded as the majority of the other prospects in attendance. He has a lot to prove and early in the week he has done a good job of defending his presence. The Kansas commit had the No. 4 overall SPARQ score and his short shuttle time set the bar in the event.
3.93, Kevin King – With great length at cornerback King showed up in a big way in the morning showing great short quickness to add to his length. King’s mark was the second fastest shuttle time and he added a 38.6 inch vertical as well. King is still one of the biggest sleeper cornerbacks in the country despite a handful of offers.
3.98, Reggie Davis – Davis is one of the best return men at this event and his burst and quickness is a big reason why. He ran a low 4.5 and then blew away the short shuttle with the fourth fastest time of the day.
4.12, Derrick Henry – At 240 pounds, Derrick Henry is huge and he is maybe the biggest freak athlete in this class. He had the highest SPARQ score of the morning and he was near the top of every category. A 4.52 40 was accompanied by his 4.12 shuttle time. Wait till you read his vertical.
4.12, Hatari Byrd – A lot of people look at Hatari Byrd as a safety that could project to linebacker on the next level because of his size and physicality. If that’s the case, he’ll be an incredibly athletic linebacker. His 4.12 was an elite time and Byrd found himself in the Top ten overall for his combined SPARQ score.
48, O.J. Howard – Howard is one of the most impressive looking tight ends in the country but he has the look of a finesse body. With his power ball toss topping the list, he showed plenty of power on Friday morning and finished in the Top 10 of the SPARQ total scores.
47, Mike Mitchell – The second longest SPARQ throw of the day, Mitchell tossed it 47 feet and displayed some strength to add to his several shows of speed and athleticism.
44. Matt Rolin – On the hoof, Rolin really impresses with a legit 6-4 height and the frame to add good weight. On film he shows really good athleticism at the linebacker position. With his 44-foot powerball throw, he shows that he clearly has some good explosive strength as well.
43.5, Altee Tenpenny – Tenpenny is a very physically impressive running back with muscles everywhere so it’s no surprise that he was good in the powerball toss. In fact Tenpenny was good everywhere and he finished with the No. 3 overall score of the day and a spot in the finals for the second straight year.
41.5, Jeryl Brazil – It’s not often that you see the same prospect that has the fastest time of the day also find himself near the top of the leader board on the power toss but that was the case with Brazil. Despite his blistering speed, Brazil is not a small prospect and showed plenty of strength.
41.9, Derrick Henry – A 41.9 inch vertical at 6-3, 240 pounds is absurd. It doesn’t even seem reasonable to think that a player that big can get that high but it is no fluke. The big athlete has jumped in that range on several occasions.
40.3, Mike Mitchell – After some crazy numbers earlier in the testing, Mitchell put the icing on things with his vertical. That kind of vertical is a great indicator of explosiveness and the ability to explode through contact. It’s safe to say, Mitchell caught the attention of everyone in attendance.
39.8, Jalen Ramsey – Not only is Ramsey big as a 189-pound corner that is barely under 6-1 but he has extremely long arms. Add a vertical that just missed touching 40 inches and you’ve got a very tough defender to throw over. It translates to the field too as Ramsey gets his hands on a lot of balls thrown in the vertical game.
38.7, Kevin King – Similar to Ramsey, King is an extremely long cornerback with long arms that add to his 6-2 frame. The ability to elevate makes him extremely valuable and it also is a great indicator of his explosiveness. Though he’s only a mid-4.6 guy in the 40, King shows the burst to make him extremely valuable.
38.5, Demorea Stringfellow – Stringfellow is a big wide receiver that weighed in at 204 pounds. The fact that he can elevate nearly 39 inches really highlights his natural athleticism and his ability to be a red zone nightmare for defenses on the next level.
The SPARQ testing is not made for the offensive line but a few prospects stood out among the big uglies.
The top offensive line competitor that we tracked down was A’Shawn Robinson. Robinson scored a 103.02 overall score. At 305 pounds of good weight, the big lineman tested at 5.13 seconds in the 40 and had a 28.4 inch vertical, an exceptional number for a 300-plus pounder.
Another top performer was Northwestern commit Tyler Lancaster. At 270 pounds, Lancaster broke the 5.0 second mark in the 40-yard dash with a 4.98. He had a 29.5 inch vertical as well and his 102.84 score was second among offensive linemen.
Closley behind Lancaster was Scott Quessenberry’s score of 100.89. At 275 pounds, Quessenberry clocked a 5.10 40-yard dash, a 29-inch vertical and a 4.4 second short shuttle.