Commentary

Nike SPARQ combine schedule

Updated: May 11, 2011, 9:37 AM ET
By ESPN Recruiting

For years, the Nike SPARQ combines have been a launching pad for some of the best players in the nation. This year the tour will include 16 regional events across the continental U.S. and a stop in Hawaii, beginning in January and concluding in June.

Nike SPARQ combines are free and open to Class of 2012 high school football players, as well as to top underclassmen looking to showcase their football skills. Alumni of the combines include Andre Johnson, Haloti Ngata, Larry Fitzgerald, Clay Matthews and hundreds more. Free online registration is available at ESPNRISE.com/Football.

Produced by ESPN RISE, Nike SPARQ combines were originally launched by Student Sports nearly 20 years ago. Student Sports was acquired by ESPN in July 2008 and is now known as ESPN RISE.

"We are excited to return our Nike SPARQ combines to high school football players across the nation this year," said Andy Bark, vice president of events for ESPN RISE. "Providing high school football players with free, expert and unbiased athletic measurement and an opportunity to showcase their abilities is an invaluable experience for players that aspire to play on the next level."

Registered athletes participating in the 2011 Nike SPARQ combines will receive free access and testing on a safe and high quality surface. After a supervised dynamic warm up, athletes will be measured by height and weight and tested in the 40-yard dash, vertical leap, the 20-yard shuttle and the kneeling power ball throw.

Athletes will run the 40 and shuttle twice with the fastest time kept and their best marks after two attempts in the vertical and power ball will also be recorded. In the end, each participant receives a SPARQ rating, which is based on a calculation of their testing results.

Other benefits from attending the combine include access to Nike/SPARQ trainers on-site, who can help with training tips and improve athletic ability, and a free Nike Pro workout shirt. Athletes will also receive exposure across ESPN platforms and with college football programs across the country.

Most importantly, athletes that attend are eligible for selection for the Nike Football Training Camps, which are some of the top showcase events for high school prospects across the country. Selection to the camps is based on overall performance and participation is free. Dates for the NFTCs will be announced shortly.