Nearly 900 athletes from all over the Southwest -- and as far away as South Korea -- packed the 10th Nike Combine of 2009 on Saturday at Coppell High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In the state where football is considered king, the athletes certainly did not disappoint; a whopping 16 players posted SPARQ Ratings better than 100.
Leading the way with the day's top rating of 122.61 was quarterback/athlete Curtis Carter (Stonewall, La./North Desoto). The 5-11, 156 pound rising senior, who will likely end up at cornerback in college, was superb in all four testing categories, posting a 4.44 40, a 4.12 shuttle, jumping 41.1 inches in the vertical and throwing the power ball 38 feet, 6 inches.
Right on Carter's heels for top honors was another out-of-stater, 6-0, 205 pound LB Nick Canavan of Norman (Okla.) North High. The Sooner State linebacker clocked a solid 4.64 time in the 40-yard dash, a 4.09 shuttle and jumped a very impressive 39 inches in the vertical on the way to an outstanding 121.74 rating. Another Oklahoman who turned heads was Edmond North cornerback Xavier Smith. The 5-11, 172-pounder ran a 4.49 40 and jumped 38.9 inches in the vertical for a SPARQ Rating of 116.22.
The top rated Texan on the day was South Grand Prairie wideout Michael Marshall, who went 40-40 on Saturday with a 40.6 inch vertical jump and a 40 foot, 6 inch power ball throw. Marshall, a 6-0, 183 pounder, finished with a 117.27 SPARQ Rating and will look to build upon his impressive outing with a big day at the TCU Nike Camp on Sunday.
A quick explanation of the events:
• The SPARQ rating is a scoring system designed to measure football-specific athleticism by combining results in the four combine tests: 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and power ball throw.
• The 40-yard dash at Nike combines are timed using SPARQ digital timing. Not all players choose to test, and some have their marks scratched in individual events.
• The shuttle run at the Nike combine is timed with stopwatches, and players must touch the lines with their hand. Not all players choose to test, and some have their marks scratched in individual events.
• The vertical jump at the Nike combine is measured on jump pads in inches. Not all players choose to test, and some have their marks scratched in individual events.
• The kneeling power-ball throw is a test of upper-body and core strength and is measured in feet to the nearest half-foot. Not all players choose to test, and some have their marks scratched in individual events.
ESPN RISE and Scouts, Inc. will have much more from the Philadelphia Nike Combine throughout the week, including top testing results from each event, more standout performances, the recruiting buzz from the combine, an all-combine team and complete results by the end of the week.