TomVH: Sparq Scores from The Opening

Submitted by TomVH on July 7th, 2011 at 6:40 PM

As everyone knows by now there are several Michigan commitments and targets at the Nike event, The Opening, in Oregon. You can watch some of the events tonight on ESPNU at 9pm. The first part of the week was spent with the prospects running combine drills to figure out their Sparq training score.

The Sparq score is determined by using an equation that combines the prospect's forty yard dash, shuttle, powerball* (measured in feet), and vertical leap. Here are a look at the scores for the Michigan commitments and targets, and you can also see the rest of the scores here. The finals video is here.


Name 40 Time Shuttle Powerball Vertical Total
DB Anthony Standifer 4.61 4.38 38 30.7 91.77
DB Terry Richardson 4.55 4.22 31 33.2 87.93
DE/LB Mario Ojemudia 5.02 4.44 35 30.1 79.29
OL Erik Magnuson 5.38 4.78 41 22 77.85


Name 40 Time Shuttle Powerball Vertical Total
WR Dwayne Stanford 4.73 4.35 40 34.9 101.64
OL Kyle Murphy 5.31 4.52 42 28.3 96.21
DE Adolphus Washington 4.97 4.57 42.5 24.6 91.89
OL Josh Garnett 5.38 4.68 38 28 90.81
OL Adam Bisnowaty 5.31 5.34 44.5 25.6 79.89
OL Zach Banner 5.54 5.34 44.5 19.6 79.89
TE Ron Thompson 5.27 4.51 38 25.4 75.51

Top Three Scores:

Name 40 Time Shuttle Powerball Vertical Total
DB Daje Johnson (TCU) 4.34 4.01 45 40.8 146.52*
RB Derrick Henry (2013) 4.54 4.29 42.5 39.2 134.19
RB Altee Tenpenny (2013) 4.49 3.92 41 35.1 133.77

As you can see this testing isn't necessarily set up for the bigger prospects to score high. The forty times were, I believe, laser timed also. That's at least what people were tweeting that were at the event. Take from this what you will, just interesting to see how they all stack up if nothing else.

Derrick Henry is also a 6'4", 222 lb running back. He's in the 2013 class and took second in the preliminary ratings.

Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn only had a 40 time recorded, it was a 4.77. 

*The powerball is throwing a weighted ball from their knees as far as they can.

**I believe Daje' Johnson's score is a record



July 7th, 2011 at 8:35 PM ^

But the results above show that Richardson are Standifer are slower than many/most of their peers. That doesn't mean they'll be bad players, but its evidence that they are slower-than-average (amongst some elite prospects), which will come as shock/disappointment to many.

I agree that the issue here is expectations.


July 7th, 2011 at 8:43 PM ^

A lot of the guys ahead of them are super-recruits.  This is a high profile event that drew some of the best players in the country.  Out of the hundreds of cornerbacks looking for scholarships in this country, if Richardson and Standifer are the 14th- and 16th-fastest, then I'm not extremely concerned.


July 8th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

I'm not too concerned with the scores & measurables in-and-of-themself (you can't measure playmaking, hands, football IQ, etc...), but am a tad surprised that all our commitments are in the bottom third of the rankings (of players that completed all events).  For that matter, most of our targets fall into that bottom third as well...  You always want to see your players score higher...


July 8th, 2011 at 9:55 AM ^

It isn't shocking that Standifer is slower than many of his peers, that was the knock against him. It is surprising he is so close to his peers. For Terry, it might be a little dissapointing, but then again a 4.55 forty time is great. He is ranked 18th in the nation among corners, so being 14th at an event like this isn't too surprising. Also, it isn't dissapointing if his competitor runs a 4.45 or 4.4. Those times are only .1 or .15 faster, which can be significant at some times, mostly having a 4.45 forty probably isn't as big an advantage on the field. Instincts, playmaking ability, coverage ability, the ability to press a receiver at the line, acceleration, and smooth hips will always play a much bigger difference than a .1 or .15 differential.

That being said Daje is only a 3 star to Rivals, but that will probably change soon.


July 8th, 2011 at 12:26 PM ^

Try running a 4.4 forty time with a corner's hand on your hip. A lot of straight line speed gets negated on the field. I want corners with instinct, quick reaction, and hips on a swivel, not to mention someone that can make a play on the ball. Watch game film against quality opponents and use that as a measuring stick for potential.


July 7th, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

40 times do not say anything about toughness or pure speed. What it does say is hey that guy is really quick off the block. Richardson 4.5 is decent and for his height he showed some serious athleticism. I am not going to jump on this wagon of this one day showing what our top prospects full potential. And by the way thanks to all who let this happen i live in north dakota where i am probably the olny michigan football or athletics fan there is so thank you for all the hard work you put in i will also be looking into to donating as this in my opinion is better than the pay sites.


July 7th, 2011 at 7:42 PM ^

...are the scores from the preliminary round. After that round, they took the top ten finishers and had them go again. In that competition, 2012 LA S Landon Collins (Rivals 5*, #2 S, #17 overall) won the championship with a score of 143.76. Daje Johnson ended up finishing 6th in the championship round (but retains his record score). Collins posted a vertical just under 44 inches, and a 4.42 40.


July 7th, 2011 at 7:59 PM ^

just like the next guy who reads this blog, but I'm more interested in their Football IQ.  It's great if you're fast, but as DJ Williamson will tell ya: "It doesn't always translate"


July 7th, 2011 at 10:21 PM ^

I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about the 40 times. Watching the show the times varied greatly from one trial to the next. One guy ran a 4.69 and on his next attempt ran a 4.45. That shows that the times above really are meaningless.


July 7th, 2011 at 10:58 PM ^

I would much rather see the one vs. ones or the 7v7 highlights and then make my judgements about how our guys fare against the best talent in the nation


July 8th, 2011 at 1:35 AM ^

for those disappointed with 40 times:

a lot of time in the 40 can be made up by coaching specific technique to run the 40 well. most of all the start, acceleration, etc. as high schoolers it's like a standardized test where some kids have more tutoring then others.

so moreso then later on in there career, 40 times as a 17 yr old are heavily skewed by speed coaching and not necessarily game speed. though obviously faster times the better.

in my opinion, the 40 is not a level playing field for measuring speed until usually the latter stages of a player's college career and almost certainly during the nfl combine when everyone has gone through a strenuous s&c program


July 8th, 2011 at 8:16 AM ^

Has anyone been SPARQ rated on here?  I was going to do it, but got injured before I could.  I'd be curious to know what "normal" people's scores are.


July 8th, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^

Alright, so it's a slow day at work, so I decided to go ahead and answer my own question. This is the result of a dangerous combination of boredness and curiosity, but I thought I'd share just in case anybody else is interested. So, here's what I found for average SPARQ scores by position group:

  • Cornerbacks: 102.75
  • D-Line: 94.20
  • Linebackers: 106.33
  • O-Line: 83.33
  • Quarterbacks: 85.31
  • Running backs: 115.00
  • Safeties: 109.62
  • Tight ends: 84.19
  • Wide receivers: 102.09
  • Overall average: 98.09

However, some guys were above average for their position group, but below average overall, and vice versa (below average for their position group, but above average overall). Here's a quick breakdown of guys in those categories:

Above avg. for position group, below avg. overall

  • CB: 0
  • DL: 0
  • LB: 0
  • OL: 6, or 86% of all OL who were above average for their position group
  • QB: 1, or 33% of all QB who were above average for their position group (super small sample size here)
  • RB: 0
  • S: 0
  • TE: 3, or 100% (another real small sample size)
  • WR: 0

Below avg.  for position group, above avg. overall

  • CB: 2, or 20%
  • DL: 0
  • LB: 3, or 30%
  • OL: 0
  • QB: 0
  • RB: 5, or 83% (Bri'onte Dunn's SPARQ score is not listed)
  • S: 4, or 57% (Chaz Elder's score is not listed)
  • TE: 0
  • WR: 3, or 23%

I am anything but a mathematician, so I've tried to keep it simple. I know this stuff doesn't mean a whole lot, and the sample sizes for each position vary and are small anyway, but at least now you have an idea of how guys did in relation to averages for the camp.

Edit: FYI, I have a spreadsheet with the averages by position group for each of the stat categories listed on The Opening's website, so if you are curious about those, just let me know.


July 8th, 2011 at 11:17 AM ^

Thanks for sharing this info - I think many times people put too much weight on these numbers though (not to say that I'm not interested in them anyway) - obviously, you can't be a fat slob or a slow-poke, but other factors that are unquantifiable, such as not giving up on the play, awareness and intelligence on the field, and heart (hart?) are just as important.  (I'm thinking of Zack Novak @ the MSU game, yelling at everyone).

Or perhaps the best example of this would be T. Brady - on "paper", horrible - but the intangibles made him one of, if not the best QB of all time.


July 8th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

For example, how come T-Rich was better than Standifer in 3 of 4 tests, but Standifer has a higher SPARQ rating.  Thanks.

Also, I wouldn't get bent out of shape about the 40 times.  Looks like a slow track - most everyone seemed to be at least a couple tenths slower than their previously reported time.  The more likely scenario is that this event has accurrate 40 times because it is being done professionally. At any rate, the only thing that matters is relative speed. 


July 8th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

Some perspective on the importance of 40 times.

Nelson Agholor: 4.59 40 time.

Meanwhile. . .

1:03  ScoutKennedy: WR Nelson Agholor out of #FL can FLYYYYYYY. One of the fastest kids I've seen so far at #theopening [via Twitter] 
1:22  ScoutKennedy: Nelson Agholor had a 50 yard catch from Chad Kelly on a fly route to set up a TD. Did I mention Agholor was fast? At #theopening [via Twitter] 


July 8th, 2011 at 10:02 PM ^

Here's my problem with 40 times, if one guy runs a 4.7 40 and another guy runs a 4.5 40. That means dude was 2/10 of a second faster over 40 yards. (Bear with me).

2/10 is a blink of an eye if not less.

I realize speed is important and the game is growing quicker, but give me a good route-running, jump-ball taking, guy who runs a 4.7 40 over a guy who runs a 4.5 and can't figure out plays, doesn't have good body position, is 5'10'', etc.

Same goes for every position on the field.


July 9th, 2011 at 11:24 PM ^

Keep in mind that the times your talking about is the difference between a Denard 87 yard TD and a Mike Hart frustrating caught-from-behind-not-TD. So they kind of do make a big difference. That being said, I really like Stanford not because of his speed, but because who the fuck cares as he will out jump the guy covering him anyway.


July 9th, 2011 at 6:08 AM ^

Wow Reeves and Morgan really showing well, coming in 15th and 16th on that preliminary list.  Surprised the UM staff stopped recruiting them so early