Most often times, the top SPARQ Rating at a NIKE Camp is a decisive winner, but in Baton Rouge on Sunday, Plano (Texas) East WR Chris Slater was probably left wondering "what if" after he fell short to Canton (Miss.) Velma Jackson WR E.J. Smith by .001 in the race for the top SPARQ Rating.
The difference for Smith, a 6-0, 186 pounder, was the equivalent of just .01 in the 40-yard dash, or .1 of an inch on his vertical jump, as he topped Slater 86.516 to 86.515.
Smith posted his camp-best rating on the strength of a 4.39 40, a 35.8-inch vertical jump, 20 reps on the bench and a 4.50 shuttle.
Slater nearly kept pace with a 35.0-inch vertical, a 4.50 40, 18 reps on the bench, and a 4.12 shuttle.
Both players also held their own in drills at a camp that was absolutely stacked a the wide receiver position with top talent.
Smith is still looking for his first offer, and currently likes Southern Miss, LSU and Michigan.
Slater, who was a second team all-district 8-5A pick a year ago, has his first offer in from New Mexico State and lists Vanderbilt, Baylor, Texas A&M, Duke, Stanford, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame as his top colleges.
If there was a SPARQ Rating for academics, Slater would have definitely come in first for the camp, as he currently maintains a 4.2 GPA and has scored a 2000 on the SAT and a 31 on the ACT.
*Taking the standard measurements of the football combine, the SPARQ Rating
weighs and combines the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and bench
press into a single number that measures an athlete's overall athleticism. Thus,
football players can track the progress of their training, through occasional
tests, and compare SPARQ Ratings with teammates, training partners and
Note: Some players chose not to test or had
their times or marks scratched from the records. The 40s were timed indoors on
a brand new Fieldturf surface using electronic SPARQ Timing at the Baton Rouge NIKE Camp.