Commentary

Grayson stands out in Oregon

Originally Published: June 15, 2009
By Brian Stumpf | ESPNRISE.com

With over 13,000 athletes tested so far in '09 at 15 locations, the Nike combine tour resumed on Friday in Portland, Oregon at Hillsboro Stadium, where over 300 prospects from as far away as Florida and Alaska competed.

The Pacific Northwest is sometimes overlooked as a region that produces top football talent, but as the results showed on Friday, the region can compete with the best. Twelve prospects posted SPARQ ratings over 90, led by quarterback Garrett Grayson out of Heritage High in Washington, who parlayed a 37.9-inch vertical jump, 4.63 40-yard dash and 4.13 shuttle into a 109.77 SPARQ rating.

For the 6-foot-2, 195 pound signal caller, it was the start of a big weekend, as Grayson went on to impress on Saturday at the Nike camp in Eugene, where he took home QB MVP honors. Grayson completed 225 of his 334 passes for 3,119 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior, but surprisingly is still waiting on his first scholarship offer despite his combination of production on the field and athletic ability.

Right behind Grayson in the SPARQ rating race was North Eugene (Ore.) linebacker Michael Bibbee. The 6-2, 226-pounder posted a 100.59 rating. He had the combine's top power ball throw at 45 feet, and also showed well with marks of 4.84 in the 40 and a 32.4-inch vertical jump.

See below for the "Workout Warriors" from the Oregon Nike Combine:

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. Not all players choose to test in all areas, and some have their marks scratched in individual events.
• The 40-yard dash at Nike combines are timed using SPARQ digital timing.
• The shuttle run at the Nike combine is timed with stopwatches, and players must touch the lines with their hand.
• The vertical jump at the Nike combine is measured on jump pads in inches.
• The kneeling power-ball throw is a test of upper-body and core strength and is measured in feet to the nearest half-foot.

ESPN RISE and Scouts, Inc. will have much more from the Long Beach 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.

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