BEAVERTON, Ore -- The winner wasn't the only story.
Landon Collins walked off with the SPARQ ratings national championship trophy on Wednesday night at The Opening at Nike World Headquarters. He certainly deserved it, especially after the 6-foot, 210-pound safety turned in a clutch 4.42-second 40-yard dash on the night's final test.
"That was the time I needed," the four-star standout from Geismar (La.) Dutchtown said.
During interviews after the event, Collins, who is No. 51 in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 4 safety in the nation, was proud and surprised.
"My performance was great," he said. "I did more than I thought I could do coming in."
Collins admittedly didn't think he could win the SPARQ finals amidst the 10-man competition, one of whom was a rising junior: running back Altee Tenpenny from North Little Rock (Ark.) High School.
Tenpenny, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas and Mississippi, was certainly the crowd favorite. Tenpenny took to the vertical jump, the shuttle run, the weighted ball throw and the 40-yard dash with a strong ovation every time.
"He's real likable," finals contestant Corey Coleman said of Tenpenny. "He's really funny, a really good guy. He's going to do really big things. ... He's really talented."
Tenpenny could certainly elevate his recruiting status with his strong showing this week. Yet he's not being impatient with perspective colleges.
"I'm just thankful for the two offers I have," he said. "I'm just sitting back chilling. I'll wait my turn."
Don't expect Tenpenny to just be chilling next year if he's invited to The Opening in 2012.
"It's a great experience," he said. "Hopefully I can come back next year and win that trophy."
Dave Hooker covers recruiting in the Southeast and Atlantic Coast for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.