Nike’s The Opening: The Top Performers in the SPARQ Competition

The SPARQ Competition is one of the most intriguing features of Nike’s “The Opening” event.

SPARQ—which stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness—is a score that provides a unique look into the overall athletic makeup of a player. Many of the top prospects from the 2015 recruiting class had the the opportunity to test themselves in drills such as the 40-yard dash, the 20-yard shuttle, the kneeling power ball toss and the vertical leap in order to find out just how they stack up against their peers.

This year’s group of players put up some truly eye-popping numbers. There proved to be plenty of physical freaks in attendance in Beaverton.

4-star ATH Kirk Merritt was the star of this year’s show, taking home the SPARQ National Championship after edging out DE Josh Sweat in the championship round of the competition. However, it was Sweat who really had onlookers buzzing, following his sensational, Jadeveon Clowney-esque workout.

Here’s a look at the top overall performers from the SPARQ Competition, along with a look at the players who excelled in each specific drill.

*Note: Workout numbers are based on preliminary round of testing. Official results are courtesy of Student Sports.

 

The Top 25 SPARQ Ratings

1. WR Kirk Merritt (Destrehan HS, Louisiana) — 147.60

2. LB Malik Jefferson (Poteet HS, Texas) — 145.65

3. LB Chad Smith (Dominion HS, Virginia) — 140.97

4. DB Tyler Phillips (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 140.34

5. DL Josh Sweat (Oscar Smith HS, Virginia) — 140.01

6. WR C.J. Sanders (Notre Dame HS, California) — 139. 26

7. RB Taj Griffin (McEachern HS, Georgia) — 136.56

8. WR K.J. Hill (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 133.95

9. LB Porter Gustin (Salem Hills HS, Utah) — 130.44

10. DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (St. Peter’s Prep, New Jersey) — 130.41

11. RB Bryce Love (Wake Forest-Rolesville HS, North Carolina) — 129.75

12. WR Christian Kirk (Saguaro HS, Arizona) — 129.30

13. DB Justin Dunning (Whitehouse HS, Texas) — 129.00

14. RB Damien Harris (Madison Southern HS, Kentucky)— 126.93

15. LB Justin Hilliard (St. Xavier, Ohio) 126.57

16. DB Marvell Tell (Crespi HS, California) — 125.16

17. DB Shaun Crawford (St. Edward HS, Ohio) — 124.80

18. S Derwin James (Haines City HS, Florida) — 124.35

19. TE Alize Jones (Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada)— 123.75

20. QB Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter’s Prep, New Jersey) — 123.03

21. WR George Campbell (East Lake HS, Florida) — 122.70

22. RB Jordan Scarlett (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Florida) — 121.71

23. WR Ryan Newsome (Aledo HS, Texas) 120.63

24. DB Stephen Johnson (San Leandro HS, California) 119.94

25. DB Mark Fields II (Hough HS, North Carolina)—119.37


 

40-Yard Dash

The Top 10 Performers

1. RB Jordan Scarlett (St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Florida) — 4.30 seconds

2. RB Taj Griffin (McEachern HS, Georgia) — 4.31 seconds

3. WR C.J. Sanders (Notre Dame HS, California) —4.32 seconds

4. DB Mark Fields II (Hough HS, North Carolina)— 4.33 seconds

5. WR George Campbell (East Lake HS, Florida) — 4.36 seconds

6. DB Stephen Johnson (San Leandro HS, California) — 4.37 seconds

7. LB Malik Jefferson (Poteet HS, Texas) — 4.39 seconds

8. WR Derrick Dillon (Pike HS, Louisiana) — 4.41 seconds

9. WR Kirk Merritt (Destrehan HS, Louisiana) — 4.43 seconds

10. DL Josh Sweat (Oscar Smith HS, Virginia) — 4.46 seconds


 

20-Yard Shuttle

The Top 10 Performers

1. WR C.J. Sanders (Notre Dame HS, California) — 3.80 seconds

2. DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (St. Peter’s Prep, New Jersey) — 3.81 seconds

3. WR K.J. Hill (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 3.88 seconds

4. RB Bryce Love (Wake Forest-Rolesville HS, North Carolina) — 3.90 seconds

t5. WR Lawrence Cager (Calvert HS, Maryland) — 3.94 seconds

t5. DB Shaun Crawford (St. Edward HS, Ohio) — 3.94 seconds

t5. DB Tyler Phillips (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 3.94 seconds

t8. WR Van Jefferson (Ravenwood HS, Tennessee) — 3.97 seconds

t8. RB Taj Griffin (McEachern HS, Georgia) — 3.97 seconds

10. DB Deionte Thompson (West Orange-Stark HS, Texas) — 3.98 seconds


 

Power Ball Toss

The Top 10 Performers

1. DL Josh Sweat (Oscar Smith HS, Virginia) — 47’

t2. OL Andre James (Herriman HS, Utah) — 44’

t2. LB Porter Gustin (Salem Hills HS, Utah) — 44’

t2. QB Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter’s Prep, New Jersey) — 44’

t5. OL Lester Cotton (Central HS, Alabama) — 43.5’

t5. Fred Ulu-Perry Jr. (St. Louis HS, Hawaii) — 43.5’

t7. OL Mitch Hyatt (North Gwinnett HS, Georgia) — 43’

t7. TE Jordan Davis (Clear Lake HS, Texas) —43’

t9. DL Kahlil McKenzie (Clayton Valley HS, California) — 42.5’

t9. DL Neville Gallimore (Canada Prep, Ontario) — 42.5’

t9. DB Tyler Phillips (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 42.5’


 

Vertical Jump

The Top 10 Performers

1.  RB Taj Griffin (McEachern HS, Georgia) —45.8’’

2. WR Kirk Merritt (Destrehan HS, Louisiana) — 45.5”

3. DB Tyler Phillips (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 41.6”

t4. WR K.J. Hill (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 40.1”

t4. DB Justin Reid (Dutchtown HS, Louisiana) — 40.1”

t6. LB Malik Jefferson (Poteet HS, Texas) — 39.7”

t6. LB Chad Smith (Dominion HS, Virginia) — 39.7”

t6. DB P.J. Mbanasor (Hendrickson HS, Texas) — 39.7”

9. DB Marvell Tell (Crespi HS, California) — 39.3”

t10. DL Josh Sweat (Oscar Smith HS, Virginia) — 39.1”

t10. WR Lawrence Cager (Calvert HS, Maryland)  — 39.1”


Championship Round: Final SPARQ Totals

1. WR Kirk Merritt (Destrehan HS, Louisiana) — 148.83

2. DL Josh Sweat (Oscar Smith HS, Virginia) — 148.17

3. DB Tyler Phillips (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 143.67

4. LB Chad Smith (Dominion HS, Virginia) — 138.93

5. RB Taj Griffin (McEachern HS, Georgia) — 135.78

6. LB Malik Jefferson (Poteet HS, Texas) — 134.70

7. DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (St. Peter’s Prep, New Jersey) — 132.69

8. WR C.J. Sanders (Notre Dame HS, California) — 127.92

9. WR K.J. Hill (North Little Rock HS, Arkansas) — 126.03

10. LB Porter Gustin (Salem Hills HS, Utah) — 114.54

Tags: College Football Recruiting 2015 Nike The Opening 2014 SPARQ Competition

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