ATLANTA -- This weekend's Atlanta Nike Football SPARQ Combine figures to be one of the highest attended stops in the tour's seven-year history. Athletes from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and beyond will enter Lakewood Stadium on Sunday looking to earn a spot to Nike's The Opening this summer. At last year's Atlanta Nike combine five players were selected to the inaugural event.
Lovejoy (Ga.) RB Travis Custis was Class 4A All-State selection after rushing for 1,839 yards and 32 touchdowns this past fall. Custis lead his team to a runner-up finish last season, falling short in the state finals to Tucker (Ga.). The bruising power back is hard working and rarely goes down on initial contact. He can take it the distance on any given play or keep the chains moving with his strong legs. Georgia Tech, Miami and Vanderbilt have offered among others. He likes the Canes, but the in-state Jackets are recruiting him the hardest at the moment. Auburn, Clemson and Georgia are also in the mix.
Brendan Langley out of Kell (Marietta, Ga.) is an impact player for the Longhorns. He reminds some of former Kell star Brian Randolph, currently a sophomore DB at Tennessee. On offense Langley is dangerous on trick plays and in space and is also a solid defensive back. He can cover space and will make the big hit, as well. The versatile standout already has nine offers. Alabama, Florida, and Miami have been showing interest.
Perhaps no other player at last season's Atlanta combine benefitted more than Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) DB Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey posted a 104.94 SPARQ rating a year ago behind a 4.63 40-yard dash and an impressive 40.9-inch vertical. The athletic playmaker projects at corner and has the ability to take away one side of the field. He is very explosive and can run with faster receivers down field. In addition, he can win his share of red zone jump ball battles against taller receivers with his excellent vertical and height at just under 5-foot-11. On the recruiting trail he has almost 20 offers ranging from Arkansas to Washington.
Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.) DL Antonio Riles has been busy the last few weeks as a number of college programs have made him a priority recruit. Riles registered 53 tackles and six sacks last fall. Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, and Tennessee have offered the 6-foot-4, 260-pound interior defender. This weekend will be busy a one for the rising senior as he is scheduled to be in Knoxville on Saturday for Tennessee's Junior Day before returning home for the combine on Sunday.
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