Commentary

Ohio Nike combine stars

Updated: March 8, 2010, 1:35 PM ET
By Brian Stumpf | ESPN RISE

MASSILLON, Ohio -- While the weather outside was cold and crisp, Doran Grant (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) was on fire by posting a 124.50 SPARQ Rating Saturday, establishing a new-high mark for the 2010 Nike combine tour.

NIKE Ohio Links

Over the next week, ESPN RISE will have several items pertaining to the NIKE Ohio and Philadelphia Combines. For complete coverage of the event be sure to check ESPN RISE daily.

The 5-foot-11, 172-pound cornerback Grant, who has already collected over 20 scholarship offers from the likes of Ohio State, USC, LSU, Penn State and many others, was attending his fourth Nike Combine in as many years and his experience showed.

After putting up a 109.17 SPARQ Rating a year ago at the Pittsburgh Nike Combine, Grant didn't seem to leave himself much room to improve, but he blew away all expectations.

Grant's day included a 4.56 SPARQ digitally-timed 40-yard dash, combine-bests 3.97 in the shuttle and 41.2 inches in the vertical, as well as a 37-5 foot power ball throw, as he bested every single one of his marks from a year ago.

A Division III Second Team All-State pick last fall, Grant has vaulted himself into a near-certain berth in this summer's first annual SPARQ Rating National Championship to be held in Beaverton (Ore.) at the Nike World Headquarters. The event will feature 20 of the top SPARQ-rated athletes from this spring's combine tour.

While Grant grabbed all the headlines, he was just part of what was overall the best combine yet on the tour, as 13 players topped 100 in the SPARQ Rating.

A guy who has a chance to be a big-time recruit in the Class of is 6-foot-1, 217-pound running back Brionte Dunn of Glenoak (Canton, Ohio).

An honorable mention Division I All-State pick last fall as a sophomore after rushing for 1,332 yards and 13 touchdowns, Dunn showed the physical attributes Saturday that will have colleges salivating -- clocking a 4.59 40, a 4.29 shuttle and registering a 35.5-inch vertical on his way to 114.72 SPARQ Rating.

Other standouts Saturday included Belle Vernon Area (Belle Vernon, Pa.) running back Matt Green, who upped his SPARQ Rating from 97.62 a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh to 113.07 and also Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.) cornerbacks Delonte Hollowell and Kishon Wilcher. Hollowell, a Michigan commit, finished with a 102.18 SPARQ Rating while Wilcher recorded the day's fastest 40 at 4.43 on his way to a 106.98 mark.

Ohio Nike Combine Workout Warriors

40-yard dash

1. Kison Wilcher - Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.), 4.43
Breakdown: Son of Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher broke out Saturday, finishing with 106.98 SPARQ Rating.

2. Aaron Lindgren - Willoughby South (Willoughby, Ohio), 4.47
Breakdown: 5-9, 174 pound DB/WR earned Division I All-State special mention honors last fall and finished with day's second-best SPARQ Rating at 117.24.

3. (tie) Tyler Allen - Eastern (Lansing, Mich.), 4.53
Breakdown: 5-8, 158 pound running back's speed makes him a threat to go the distance at anytime.

3. (tie) Akise Teague - Ursuline (Youngstown, Ohio), 4.53
Breakdown: Was a Division V All-State pick last fall and already holds an offer from the Akron Zips.

Vertical jump

1. Doran Grant - St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), 41.2 inches
Breakdown: National recruit showed why Saturday, as top vertical jump was just part of a huge day.

2. Clayton Patton - Elizabethtown (Elizabethtown, Kent.), 39.3 inches
Breakdown: Sleeper alert - this 6-1, 170 pounder had 541 yards on 33 grabs a year ago.

3. Jeffie Johnson - Hilliard Bradley (Hilliard, Ohio), 38.1 inches_
Breakdown: 5-10, 187 pound RB had some big games last fall and should be on DI radars after finishing with a 96.42 SPARQ Rating.

Shuttle run

1. Doran Grant - St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), 3.97 _
Breakdown: New national leader in SPARQ Rating had day's best shuttle and vertical jump.

2. Jerrime Saunders - Africentric (Columbus, Ohio), 4.00 _
Breakdown: Attended a Nike Combine for a fourth straight year and boosted rating from 57.39 a year ago to 88.89.

3. Ronnie Beers - Northwest (Canal Fulton, Ohio), 4.09_
Breakdown: Class of 2012 prospect was named honorable mention all-conference last fall as a sophomore.

Power Ball throw

1. Aaron Lindgren - Willoughby South (Willoughby, Ohio), 43-5 feet
Breakdown: Lindgren almost earned what would have been a unique daily-double at a Nike Combine, posting top power ball and second-fastest 40.

2. (tie) Zac Bartman - Ontario (Ontario, Ohio), 41-5 feet
Breakdown: 5-11, 185 pound rising junior linebacker had solid sophomore season last fall, totaling 54 tackles, seven sacks and an interception.

2. (tie) Tommy Brown - Firestone (Akron, Ohio), 41-5 feet
Breakdown: Big 6-4, 332 pound OL finished with an 81.78 SPARQ Rating and has been offered by Akron.

2. (tie) Jacob Patterson - Symmes Valley (Willow Wood, Ohio), 41-5 feet
Breakdown: 5-11, 175 pound LB/FB earned second-team all-league honors last fall; finished with 99.90 SPARQ Rating.

2. (tie) Jasir Rayyan - Tates Creek (Lexington, Kent.), 41-5 feet
Breakdown: 6-0, 238 pound two-way lineman could have a future at DT.

Editors Note: All results should be considered unofficial until full results are posted later in the week. Over the next week, ESPN RISE will have several items pertaining to the Ohio Nike Football Combine. For complete coverage of the event be sure to check ESPN RISE daily.

At the conclusion of the Nike Football Combine tour, the top 20 SPARQ Rated athletes will be invited out to Portland (Ore.) for a SPARQ Rating National Championship competition to be held July 7-9.

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 Football 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 Football 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 Football 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.