March 31, 2008

Michigan products shine at combine

The NIKE Combines are currently taking place across the nation. This past weekend they made two stops in the Midwest, Columbus and Chicago. Needless to say, players from Michigan made a strong impression at the events. Prospects from Michigan, like Jeremy Gainer, posted outstanding results. Find out the details.

For a few weeks now has been saying that we expected Livonia Clarenceville product Jeremy Gainer to improve his recruiting stock this spring with a strong showing at camps and combines. This past weekend he did just that, by posting the third highest SPARQ rating out of over 700 athletes.

The SPARQ rating is a number that is derived from four events:

  • 40-yard dash
  • Pro shuttle
  • Vertical Jump
  • Power ball throw

    Gainer performed well in all categories, but where he really escelled was in the pro-shuttle. His time was 4.00 seconds, which is puts him in elite company across the nation. The pro-shuttle is one of the best measurements for players like Gainer that project at linebacker. It measures an athlete's ability to move and accelerate laterally.

    The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Gainer, who went into the event with scholarship offers from Central Michigan and Indiana, will likely garner even more recruiting interest once his results become widely known.

    Gainer was not the only Michigan product that did well in Columbus, Ohio. Though the Buckeye state provided the most athletes, the state of Michigan provided the most top performers. Five of the top ten SPARQ ratings came from Michigan athletes and a total of seven of the top twenty. Ohio was the next closest state with four of the top twenty.

    Country Day wide receiver Bennie Fowler opened a lot of eyes with his performance and the 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect is a name to remember this spring. If Fowler performs well at the NIKE and college camps his stock could shoot through the roof. His overall combination of athletic ability and size is exactly what coaches are looking for.

    Two players that that expects to have huge senior years for their respective teams are Bobby Lowry of Allen Park and Ali Alaboody of Dearborn Fordson. Fordson and Allen Park are fierce rivals and will meet on the field. Though Lowry and Alaboody are not the biggest prospects (5-foot-9 175-pound range), both are dynamic running back prospects that also play defense back as well. Look for both of them to be household names on the Michigan prep scene this fall.

    If they gave it out, Brother Rice would have won the award as the school that had the best performers at the event. Three Warriors posted top 20 SPARQ ratings, wide receiver Mark Makoski, linebacker Shaquille Marshall and defensive back Kenneth Watkins. Shamri Benton did not particpate at the event. He will be at the NIKE Camp later this spring.

    The Chicago NIKE Combine results have not been officially released by StudentSports (, but one player who performed well at the event is Spartan linebacker recruit Chad Setterbo of Spring Lake High School.

    Setterbo's had a solid performance, scoring well in all four events. Setterbo will definitely be at Michigan State's Senior Elite Camp this summer and is a player the Spartan staff will be sure to keep a close eye on.

    Stay tuned to for more news on the NIKE Combines and Camps.

    ...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!