THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The Nike Football SPARQ Combine tour returns to Houston for the seventh straight year on Saturday as Woodforest Bank Stadium hosts the fifth stop of the 2012 tour. The streak of three consecutive combines with more than 1,000 participants figures to be extended in Houston, as players from not only the Lone Star State, but also Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and beyond will compete for a coveted trip to "The Opening" at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Last year's Houston Nike Combine was a coming out party for Westfield (Spring, Texas) DT Anthony Smith, who posted a remarkable 109.41 SPARQ Rating and eventually signed with Texas Tech. Saturday's headliner could be another standout defensive lineman, as there are several talented pass-rushers who will compete for top billing.
Alief Taylor (Houston) defensive end Torrodney Prevot's stock has been soaring over the past few weeks, as the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder has picked up offers from power programs like LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and most recently Texas. Prevot has tremendous speed off the edge and totaled 14 sacks as a junior on his way to honorable mention all-state honors. His speed and explosive could lead to a big SPARQ Rating on Saturday.
Another big-time performer along the defensive front who should test well Saturday is Christian LaCouture of A&M Consolidated (College Station, Texas). A big 6-foot-5, 260-pounder who registered 60 stops and six sacks as a junior, LaCouture decommitted from Texas A&M on Friday but is still considering the Aggies along with Michigan, LSU and Missouri.
He may not be a pure defensive end at this point, but 6-foot-3, 220-pound Kendall Beckwith of East Feliciana (Jackson, La.) could end up there in college. Beckwith, the cousin of former LSU LB Darry Beckwith, passed for eight scores, ran for eight scores and had seven sacks as a junior to earn Class 3A All-State honors in Louisiana. He's already been offered by SEC West powers Alabama and LSU.
LSU is in the hunt for another scheduled Houston participant in Madison (San Antonio, Texas) defensive lineman Vincent Taylor. The Tigers, along with Baylor, have offered the 6-foot-3, 255-pounder, who was named as the defensive player of the year by the San Antonio Express-News following a dominant junior campaign that saw him total 153 tackles and 14 sacks.
Some skill players to watch for include Bellaire (Texas) RB Denzel Evans, Elkins (Missouri City, Texas) WR J'Mon Moore and Texas A&M-bound safety and Prevot's teammate at Aleif Taylor, Jonathan Wiggins.
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