Commentary

Stars shine at Dallas Nike combine

Several talented top prospects stood out at Cowboys Stadium

Updated: March 29, 2012, 10:20 AM ET
By Kynon Codrington

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For the second time in 2012 the Nike Football SPARQ Combine tour made its way to Texas. The venue at Cowboys Stadium provided a great platform for college stars of tomorrow to showcase their skills where the pros play on Sundays. More than 1,200 athletes took part in the event looking for a chance to gain national exposure on the combine circuit.

Star tailback Altee Tenpenny of North Little Rock (Ark.) is coming off of a lower leg injury that sidelined him for his junior season, but that didn't stop him from competing among the talented field. Tenpenny entered the event as the top performer after posting a 129.60 SPARQ rating at last year's Dallas Nike combine. His 2011 performance was good enough to earn a spot to Nike Football's The Opening as an underclassman, where he finished in the top five in the SPARQ Rating National Championship.

On Saturday, the 5-foot-10.5, 207-pounder clocked a 3.94 shuttle and tossed the power ball 44 feet. The Alabama commit is a well-built back with great speed and excellent quickness. If he keeps progressing and can stay healthy for his senior campaign, he could produce an All-American season. Tenpenny has the natural ability to compete as a freshman when he heads to Tuscaloosa in 2013.

Another workout warrior in attendance was Woodrow Wilson (Dallas) cornerback Colin Spencer. After blowing up at the Houston Nike combine earlier this month with a 141.12 SPARQ rating, Spencer has seen his recruiting stock soar. Baylor is one of the handful of schools keeping an eye on the two-way star. The compact athlete blazed a 4.47 40 to go with a 3.91 shuttle. Although he didn't take home the top rating of the day, he still sits atop the SPARQ leaderboard through 10 events. His weekend isn't even complete, as Spencer will lace them up on Sunday at the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp looking to prove he can dominate in a true football setting.


Top Class of 2013 Performer

Altee Tenpenny, RB, North Little Rock (Ark.)
Tenpenny committed to Alabama in January. The Natural State star rushed for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore and is poised for a breakout senior year. His commitment to the Tide is solid, but don't expect schools to quit recruiting this big-play running back.


Class of 2013 Honorable Mention Performers

Torii Hunter Jr., WR, Prosper (Texas)
The son of MLB star Torii Hunter holds offers from Arizona, Arkansas, and Notre Dame among others. The talented wideout clocked a 4.51 40 to go with a 36.2-inch vertical. Look for him to go over double-digit offers this spring.

Brandon Jones, DB, Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)
The slender corner ran a 4.62 40 and 4.25 shuttle. He possesses great straight-line speed and offers some scheme versatility. He racked up a 108.54 SPARQ rating and was one of the day's best performers. Kansas and Missouri are showing heavy interest.

TBD Editor
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSBronson Jones of Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) starred at the Dallas Nike combine and finished with an elite 108.75 rating.
Bronson Jones, DB, Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)
The Jones twins were stars on Saturday as Bronson finished with the day's second highest rating at 108.75. Jones posted a 4.15 shuttle and showed good upper body strength tossing the power ball 40 feet. The in-state Tigers and Kansas are recruiting him and his brother hardest at the moment.

Jalen Rhodes, RB, Rowlett (Texas)
Rhodes tallied 1,491 yards and 24 total touchdowns during his junior season. The 5-foot-8, 179-pound back made Class 5A All-State in 2011 and posted a stellar 103.08 rating on Saturday.

John Schilleci, DB, Guyer (Denton, Texas)
The All-District selection notched a 95.79 SPARQ rating at Cowboys Stadium. Schilleci collected 42 tackles and an interception last fall and hails from a powerhouse program. He has already grabbed an offer from Washington State.


Top Underclass Performer

Kavin Alexander ('14), RB, North Little Rock (Ark.)
Alexander could be the next stud out of North Little Rock. The quick scat back earned the day's top SPARQ rating with a 129.24. After the aforementioned Tenpenny crashed the recruiting scene at the same event a year, Alexander is looking to do the same. Alexander is a rising talent to keep an eye on during the offseason and next fall.


Other underclassmen who impressed

QB Payton Holmes ('14), 5-10, 177, North Little Rock (Ark.)
DB Tyler Hayes ('14), 5-11, 192, Trinity (Euless, Texas)
DE Michael Epley ('14), 6-2.5, 232 Leander (Cedar Park, Texas)
DB Tony Brown ('14), 5-11.5, 179, Ozen (Beaumont, Texas)


Below is a list of top five performers from each testing category. Stay tuned to ESPNHS.com and the Nike Football SPARQ Combine homepage the rest of the week for more coverage from the Dallas Nike combine.

Dallas Nike Combine Top Fives

SPARQ Rating
1. Kavin Alexander ('14), RB, 5-8.5, 175, North Little Rock (Ark.)  129.24
2. Bronson Jones, DB, 6-0, 170, Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)  108.75
3. Brandon Jones, DB, 5-10.5, 167, Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)  108.54
4. Rodney Bryson, RB, 5-11, 182, North Little Rock (Ark.)  108.42
5. Payton Holmes ('14), QB, 5-10, 177, North Little Rock (Ark.)  108.15

40-yard dash
1. Colin Spencer, DB, 5-9.5, 177, Woodrow Wilson (Dallas)  4.47
2. Jordan Hicks, DB, 5-7, 165, Juan Seguin (Arlington, Texas)  4.50
3. Cre Moore, DB, 5-11, 168, Broken Arrow (Okla.)  4.51
3. Torii Hunter, Jr., WR, 6-0.5, 170, Prosper (Texas)  4.51
4. Tony Brown ('14), DB, 5-11.5, 179, Ozen (Beaumont, Texas)  4.52
4. Robert Gardner, DB, 5-7, 174, Wagner (San Antonio, Texas)  4.52

20-yard shuttle
1. Evan Peters, WR, 5-10.5, 174, North Little Rock (Ark.)  3.90
2. Colin Spencer, DB, 5-9.5, 177, Woodrow Wilson (Dallas)  3.91
3. Altee Tenpenny, RB, 5-10.5, 207, North Little Rock (Ark.)  3.94
3. Jabari Anderson, RB, 5-7, 175, Wylie East (Wylie, Texas)  3.94
4. Kale Harper, RB, 5-10, 161, Mustang (Yukon, Okla.)  3.97

Kneeling Power Ball toss
1. Curtis Parker ('14), OL, 6-1.5, 260, North Little Rock (Ark.)  48.5 feet
2. Altee Tenpenny, RB, 5-10.5, 207, North Little Rock (Ark.)  44 feet
3. Kyle Keller, QB, 6-2.5, 210, Ronald Reagan (San Antonio, Texas.)  43 feet
4. Cameron Williams, TE, 6-3, 256, North Little Rock (Ark.)  41 feet
5. Brandon Jones, DB, 5-10, 167, Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)  40.5 feet
5. Jake Juneau, WR, 5-9.5, 175, St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.)  40.5 feet

Vertical Jump
1. Kavin Alexander ('14), RB, 5-8.5, 175, North Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.)  41.6 inches
2. Tion Wright, DB, 5-8.5, 150, Tascosa (Amarillo, Texas)  40.9 inches
3. J.T. Ibe ('14), DB, 5-11, 167, Mansfield (Texas)  39.3 inches
4. Trey McGahan, LB, 6-0.5, 190, Kennedale (Arlington, Texas)  38.8 inches
4. Jo Jo Wadsworth ('15), WR, 5-9.5, 173, Bolton (Alexandria, La.)  38.8 inches
4. Kevonte Collier, DB, 5-5, 137, South Garland (Texas)  38.8 inches