May 10, 2006

Allison posts a top SPARQ rating

The Nike Combines held all across the nation use a testing measurement called SPARQ. SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. NIKE uses four main tests to determine the SPARQ rating of an athlete, the forty-yard dash, the pro-shuttle, the vertical jump and the bench press.

Last year current Spartan Eric Gordon had one of the best SPARQ ratings in the nation. Other notable prospects who excelled in SPARQ were All-American quartrback Tim Tebow (Florida) and standout athlete Brett Vinson (Tennessee). This year, Josh Allison of lake Orion High school had one of the top overall SPARQ ratings at the Penn State Nike Combine.

What is impressive about Allison's performance is that players his size usually do not score as well in SPARQ. Allison measured in at approximately 6-foot-2, 245-pounds. His SPARQ score was 13th best out of over 400 athletes. Of the top 20 SPARQ scores, only Allison weighed over 210 pounds. In fact, Allison was a full 35+ pound heavier than his nearest competitor in the top 20.

Often players will excel at speed, but lack strength. Or they will be strong as an ox but lack agility. Allison's test scores were indicative of someone who is a well-rounded athlete. His 30+ reps on the bench press is solid for a defensive tackle prospect, however his 30+ inch vertical jump is something not many interior line players can do.

Of the top 20 players with the highest SPARQ ratings 18 of them are skill position players. The other is a linebacker prospect and Allison is a defensive tackle prospect.

One of the big questions about Allison is his size. Some wonder if he will get big enough to hold up in the Big Ten. spoke with a national recruiting analyst at NIKE about Allison and asked them who Allison reminds them of.

We have often mention A.Q. Shipley as a comparison, however Shipley was in the 270-pound range at a height of 6-foot-1 coming out of high school.

The analyst indicated that Allison reminded them current Iowa back-up DT Ryan Bain. Bain was listed as being 6-foot-2, 250 coming out of high school. He is now listed as being 6-foot-2, 282-pounds by the Iowa Hawkeye site. He actually played some quality minutes as a true freshman for the Hawkeyes last year. We belivbe that comparrison is apt. will be releasing all of the NIKE Camp results over the coming days.

A few other highlights:

-Wide receiver Mark Dell of Farmington Hills Harrison was one of the fastest players at the OSU Combine

-Michigan sleeper prospect wide receiver David Wurst of Lake Orion High School posted a 40-time in the 4.5 range. He is sure to get more attention now that he has answered that question.

-Defensive end Martez Wilson was recently offered by Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa. He clocked a forty in the 4.5 range at around 230 pounds.

Name to remember?

With Domenic Natale gone some have speculated the Spartans will look to take a 2nd quarterback prospect for the class of 2007. The thought is they would look for a guy who could easily make the switch to another position. A player who could fit that mold is Chicago QB/ATH Sean Cattouse. He showed excellent athleticism at the NIKE Camp and then followed that up with a decent performance at the Elite 11 QB Camp.

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