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Thoughts on the Opening Combine this Saturday

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I got a call today, asking about the “Opening Combine, this Saturday, at Massillon, Ohio. Actually, I had forgotten about the event. Not to be confused -the next day is the “Opening Regional – The Elite 11 regional.” Of course, I forgot about that one, as well.

The Opening Combine test prospects in the 1)40  2) 5-10-5 or Prop Shuttle  3) vertical jump off a pad  4) power ball test from a kneeling position.  The results are put together to get your SPARQ rating used by NIKE. I forget what the letters stand for.

The cost is $30.00. Non refundable.

This is what you get for your 30.00. You will get measured – height/weight. You will be photographed. You will be put thru a warm-up period. Finally you will compete in the four above mention testing events.

As I said earlier, The Opening Combine allows athletes to receive a SPARQ football rating. The SPARQ rating is available to college football programs across the country. Your SPARQ score gives you a base to compare your results with other prospects throughout the country.

A good score at the Opening Combine makes it possible for a player to compete  in The Opening Regional event (held on Sunday)and earn a chance at going all the way to The Opening Finals at The Star in Dallas in July. Now that is a long, long shot to compete. Definitely not a guarantee. Just remember, athletes have already been invited to the Opening Regional on Sunday, March 31. They know who they want representing NIKE.

My biggest concern is that the athletes competing in the combine take the SPARQ score way – way – way too – too serious.

A few years I received a call from a dad complaining that his son was getting no love from D-1 programs, but yet he scored 5th highest in the SPARQ results. The player was from a small school east of Columbus. Why? He asked me. My answer – your score means little with regards to recruiting. He was not very big and played receiver and defensive back in a small school program.

To add insult to the situation, I told him to take that “silly” SPARQ score card out of the picture of his son that he was sending to colleges all over the country. Needless to say, he never communicated with me again.

I see no reason why a player should not to go to the Opening Combine this Saturday. If you can get into the Opening Regional – Elite 11, GO.

Learn. Compete. Get better. Most of all have fun. Really a low score or poor showing does not hurt your football recruiting. People say it does, but in this social media world of brown sugar, I do not think it does. Remember – Kind of like some of the girls I was able get a date with in high school. They always said -“We will have fun, but don’t take this one time date seriously.”

Just remembered something else – A player will also receive an exclusive The Opening t-shirt at the end of the event. WOW!

Finally, sure there are some bad camps and combines to stay clear of, without question. But contrary the recruiting expert in Northeastern Ohio, not all are bad. This one is well run.

Learn. Compete. Have fun.

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