Nike combine tour heads to Chicago

LAKE BARRINGTON, Ill. -- The 2012 Nike Football SPARQ Combine makes its yearly stop near the Windy City and for the second consecutive year will set up shop at the Lake Barrington Field House. Over 1,000 players are expected to attend on Saturday to see how they rank versus their peers.

Western Kentucky commit LaBront Scott out of Mayfield (Ky.) is a standout talent expected to be in attendance. Scott is looking to improve on his 83.91 SPARQ rating from 2011. The recent All-State selection jumped on the offer from the Hilltoppers and committed immediately.

Other notable players to watch for include receiver Derrick Willies of Rock Island (Ill.). Willies transferred from Burlington (Iowa) to Rock Island (Ill.) for his senior season and holds an offer from Northern Illinois after an All-State junior campaign before switching schools, and states.

Headlining the list of registered athletes is Richwoods (Peoria, Ill.) running back Kendrick Foster, a three-year veteran of this very combine. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound back rushed for over 2,000 yards on his way to earning All-State honors for the second year in a row. A big performance is expected from Foster, who posted an 88.35 SPARQ rating at last year's combine, improving nearly twenty points from his sophomore year.

There are two standouts from the 2011 Chicago Nike combine expected to compete on Saturday, linebacker D.J. Spurling and running back Austin Guido. Spurling, out of Slinger (Wisc.), posted a strong 95.37 rating with a 4.74 40-yard dash and 4.21 20-yard shuttle. Guido rushed for 1,182 yards for Waubonsie Valley (Aurora, Ill.) as a junior and had an impressive 94.32 rating in 2011 on the strength of a blazing 3.96 shuttle time.

Athletes from not just the Land of Lincoln but also Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin have been eagerly waiting for the tour to stop in the Midwest. Over the past two years this combine has seen its share of under-the-radar players get their chance to shine on a national stage. This year should be no different as players from smaller schools throughout the Midwest get their opportunity to open eyes.

Check out ESPNHS.com and Nike Football SPARQ Combines on Saturday for reporting from the event as well as top results and photos.

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