Posted: 12:26 am Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

40 times from Georgia’s top prospects at The Opening 

By Michael Carvell

Taj Griffin (AJC/Michael Carvell)

Taj Griffin (AJC/Michael Carvell)

McEachern High School’s Taj Griffin was the top Georgia performer at Tuesday’s Nike SPARQ competition.

Griffin was one of 16 Georgia players invited to participate to The Opening all-star camp at Nike Headquarters in Oregon. It features around 160 of the nation’s top college football prospects.

On Tuesday, Griffin finished No. 7 overall in the SPARQ competition, which measures recruits in four areas: 40-yard times, 20-yard times, the vertical jump and the power ball toss.

Griffin had a vertical jump of 45.8 inches, which would’ve been the second-highest jump in the history of the NFL Combine. The record is 46 inches in 2005 by former Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh.

Griffin also was clocked at 4.31 in the 40, which would’ve been the second-fastest time at the 2014 NFL Combine.

It’s always interesting to see heights, weights and 40 times from Georgia’s elite prospects at The Opening. Some are very surprising (and not in a good way). Here’s the numbers (ranked by 40 times):

  • Taj Griffin, RB, McEachern (Oregon commit), 5-9.5, 169, 4.31
  • Roquan Smith, LB, Macon County (UGA, Auburn, Florida) 6-1, 203, 4.55
  • Montrell Custis, DB, Lovejoy (Alabama commit) 5-11, 170, 4.59
  • Terry Godwin, WR, Callaway (UGA commit) 5-11, 165, 4.60
  • Preston Williams, WR, Lovejoy (Tennessee commit) 6-4, 192, 4.60
  • Adonis Thomas, LB, Central Gwinnett (Florida and Alabama) 6-3, 219, 4.61
  • Duke Shelley, DB, Tucker (Clemson, Tenn., Wisconsin) 5-9, 163, 4.64
  • Quarte Sapp, LB, Milton (Tennessee and UNC) 6-1.5, 200, 4.76
  • Chuma Edoga, OL, McEachern (USC commit) 6-3, 283, 4.91
  • Natrez Patrick, DE, Mays (UGA commit) 6-3.5, 254, 4.96
  • Austin Bryant, DL, Thomas Co. Central (Clemson, FSU, Auburn) 6-4, 249, 4.99
  • Jonathan Ledbetter, DL, Tucker (Alabama commit) 6-3.5, 276, 5.04
  • Chauncey Rivers, DE, Stephenson (UGA commit) 6-1.5, 252, 5.09
  • Mitch Hyatt, OL, North Gwinnett (Clemson commit) 6-5, 274, 5.38
  • Dallas Warmack, OL, Mays (Alabama commit) 6-1, 301, 5.64 
  • Darius Slayton, DB, GAC (Auburn and UGA), 6-1, 180, N/A

 

 

63 comments
RandyHall
RandyHall

C Rivers slow time for his size!!!

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

GTBob....the guy that jumped higher than anyone but has no offers is explainable.  He thought he was at the basketball camp where jumping high means something.  If you are not on the hs football team it is very difficult to get a football scholly!

BSNBC
BSNBC

Numbers don't always mean the kid will be a good college player.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

congrats to Taj Griffin and all local talent who have done well at the competition.

Safe to say that the CFB world will hear more from Griffin in the coming seasons.  A shame that UGA didn't really have much of a chance with Griffin, but I'm pretty happy with the prospects for both chubb and michel.

dawgs01
dawgs01

When the top 160,athletes in the country are invited to an invited to an event I expect stupid looking numbers . a lot of the NFL players are above average athletws with exceptional work ethic and mental strength. some of these kids are just physical freaks does not mean they will make it to the NFL. One of the best vertical jumps I have seen and may be the record is over 50 inches from a little white kid that plays division three basketball but studies kinesiology and this kid had like a thirty something inch vert which is already above average as he learned of training programs and how the body works he put together a vertical jump program and did that crazy vertical oh yeah he cant weigh but like 150 .

dawgs01
dawgs01

With that timing equipment it is important to train with a qualified speed.coach not necessarily your high school track coach. Some people are born fast with natural running mechanics most are not mechanically sound and are so tight it affects their timing . let's take Moreno the uga rb frona few yrs ago. He trains with michael Johnson out of college befoe twsting at thw combine. an ex Olympian who I am sure through the number of training sessions he has had.on a track he knows alot about sprinting and a number of drills to improve speed but can he study someone's running motition and figure out what is wrong well if you look at the guys he has trained I don't know if he can BC none of them have blown anyone away with their combine results Moreno forty stance was horrible. Cordy Glenn a linemen from a few urs ago out of uga was like 330 and ran a sub five forty and remember the big d linemen out of Memphis last name pie who ran like a 4.8,something at over 330 well both of these guys trained at IMG under speed guru Loren seagrove use to be the LSU track coach from either late 80s or early 90s won some national titles there and has trains about 40 NFL guys each combine season at a price ranging from 5000 to 10000 a wk but includes living for the three to four months training time, individual nutritional plan with the it served to you on site, strength training, combine drill training, position training, and intervew training. This guy is one of the best. Him and tom shaw get it done neither look the part though but they are so smart it is ridiculous and they are very skilled at breaking down biomechanics and biophysics which is what one must do when millions of dollars are on the line the agents that send their guys to under qualified people to save some money or BC they don't understand the difficulty in what comes with trying to get someone from a 4.6 to 4.4 who has been at a college with very qualified s&c coaches who have been doing speed drills with them for four yrs it really takes a skilled coach to make improvements at that point. Some people just don't understand what these athletes do to make it to the league. I tell kids all the time I see kids with the physical tools to make it but not the mental tools or the work effort. The start in these electronic times are extremely important since the clock ticks on first.movement so if you lift that hand and the body has not.moved you just lost some time and this thing won't last 5 seconds so everything counts.

JM64
JM64

Almost every comparison that I have seen shows players NFL times are slower than the times they had going into college.  The mass gained and muscle makes them a little slower, th the power is much better.

dawgs01
dawgs01

Nike sparq test usually uses the same type of timing equipment that the NFL combine does. These kids are just a lot lighter and I mean a lot lighter. The joke numbers are the ones colleges and high schools turn in BC they are hand time which leaves plenty of room for human error the electron equipment gets you when the finger lifts up to when the first body part crosses the lazer and it hurts a lot of egos.

dawgs01
dawgs01

This great SEC scat back is what taj could do in the sec. ole miss used him out in space but he chewed the yardage in a hurry in the SEC was a joy to watch and is very comparable to taj. DEXTER MCCLUSTER. Was a monster.

GTBob
GTBob

Im sure these guys are very fast and athletic but most of these numbers are a joke.

dawgs01
dawgs01

Griffin is blazing but is 169 at almost 5'10" that is a light frame so he better be blazing. When college starts he should be there though. So archer who ran a freaking 4.26 at the NFL combine weighs 173 but is 5'7.5" that is a lot more mass on archer being almost three inches shorter. The second time at the combine turned in by sprayberry and ga southern rb McKinnon ran a 4.41 but his frame is packed on at 5'8" he weighs 209 that is forty pounds heavier and he is shorter than griffin by almost two inches. The reason I am saying this is when these kids run these times a lot of the grown men start talking and saying things like he is faster than NFL rbs but fail to inform the kid but look at the body comparisons. People wonder why these top recruits become out of touch with reality. They get their butt kissed bY grown men and very few coaches keep them grounded in high school. I am not saying that is griffin just using hia stats as.a conparison but crowell that was his problem he thought he was there and neglected his conditioning just think if his body was not sucking wind at uga for that one yr.

dawgs01
dawgs01

When throwing out these times include ht and wt when considering times like the defensive end that ran a faster time than clowney if he had clowneys ht an wt then I am impressed. What I like is natrez is huge and still runs under a five and trust me this kids first few steps are amazing. Natrez is a 4.75 all day his forty mechanics are raw which is fine BC he spends his time working on pass rush and dropping into coverage which if he ends up putting the hand down is great BC it just improves his athleticism. Natrez who still has not started his senior yr checked in at 6.3(.5) at 254 this kid can play outside backer or defensive end and he is only twenty pounds lighter than ledbetter who is an interior linemen. That should get bulldog fans happy this kid could see some decent playing time next yr BC by time that freshmen season comes along he will be even heavier and stronger. he is already big enough to see time just has to keep lifting. I love the way this kid plays uga fans you have to see him and oh year natrez has not trained at all on that forty not like a lot of these kids that go to this camp.

JacketMan
JacketMan

I should have added that Taj Griffin is ranked 13th in the National SPARQ Rankings; 8 BEHIND Cottrell.

thebucket
thebucket

Impressive showing for Griffin for sure in the 40 and vertical jump. JMO, but I would say that Oregon is probably the perfect fit for him. If that is his final decision I wish him well.

FireSomebody
FireSomebody

@P_The_Ricker UGA was Griffin's childhood favorite school.  He made it no secret that their depth at RB was the reason he decided to look elsewhere.

GTBob
GTBob

@dawgs01 Just answer this. Do you truly believe that 240 lb Josh Sweat is faster than DeAnthony Thomas, Brandon Boynkin, Knowshon Moreno, and 95% of the RBs in the NFL? Do you truly believe that he is only 5 one hundredths of a second slower than Sammy Watkins and Odell Beckham Jr?

GTBob
GTBob

@JM64 When a 240 LB DE is running faster than a 170 lb RB that was known as one of the fastest guys in college football then you are way past the weight gain excuse. 

GTBob
GTBob

@dawgs01 One of the linebackers at this thing is supposedly faster than 95% of NFL running backs. Taj Griffin had a better vertical than any player at the 2014 NFL combine. That Josh Sweat guy supposedly ran a faster 40 than DeAnthony Thomas did at the NFL combine. You aren't going to convince me that these numbers aren't fudged a little.

DawginCO
DawginCO

@thebucket  Unfortunately that system was made for backs like him.  The pounding in the SEC would be something that in the long run would strip away his speed.  The system is a good fit but will he be happy being 3000 miles from home.  No guarantee there and he won't know until he has been there a while.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@FireSomebody Well it was that and he didn't want to get the speed knocked out of him in the SEC.

NCDawg
NCDawg

@gtcaryd  I had a speed coach, wel coaches, when I was in my early twenties.  As far as I know bees don't have names but 60 or so swarming will teach you how to run Olympic level fast.  lol.

dawgs01
dawgs01

Well when you invite the top 160 athetes in the united states to an event i expect stupid numbers. All pro athletes were one time in high school putting up head scratching numbers. The crazy thing is there kids in the corners of georgia Alabama Texas Ohio California faster than some of these but they did not get this opportunity now Nike hits almost every area on their search for the best. It is an intensive tour they do collecting data at these camps. So their are not as many diamonds in the ruffs as their were in the 70s but it still happens and these times don't translate to football greatness but it sure does make you a physical specimen. A couple of yrs ago a white linebacker from a small town in Texas with good size for a linebacker blew the roof of the combine in Oregon was like a three star but Nike invited him. Last yr Chubb and the d end from norcross shine bright in Oregon. clowney ran a 4.53 at almost 280 and DRI archer was the fastest at 4.26 who are you talking about. Uga had a 240 pound d end a few yrs ago run ago run 4.44 at the combine. Hell uga cornelius Washington at 285 ran a freaking4.6. You talking about a freak that guy looked like he was not of this earth. These are the top 160,kids in the united states I don't understand why you think they could not run fast. Clowneys numbers out of high school would have been eye popping and you would not believe them but you believe them now and he was not the fastest big at the combine.

.

dawgs01
dawgs01

Look at their wts and yea the person writing them down could have changed the time but I was talking about forty time equipment spaeq uses a jump Matt and the combine uses a different machine the name escapes me at the moment but a jump mat works like this u stand u jump and it measures hang time the person timing the subject has to be srw there is no knee bend or hip flexion meaning I keep my knees straight I could do the slightest flexion of the hip and cheat it. The NFL measures you this way arms overhead with somone holding your elbows touching a ht on a rung to get your standing reach then you jump and touch a rung on the apparatis and they subtract the top ht from the standing overhead reach ht giving you your vertical. neither testing method allows a step both are from standing still but you can and should use a counter movement which is a quick squatting movement swinging the arms back then forward as you jump. Studies show it improves vertical jump by 15% and is allowed. The Nike one is easier to cheat even with someone watching you. the NFL method is only cheated if the tester does not push in your elbows when getting the standing vertcial ht BC if you flex in your elbows your initial ht will be shorter so when you subtract that from your jump ht it gives you an exxagerrated vertical.

JacketMan
JacketMan

@TheAuditor @JacketMan I find it "amusing" that someone claiming to be an "auditor;" a profession" supposedly good with numbers, would make such a comment posted about players which listed their statistics, which are, by definition, numbers.


I may have gone to GA Tech, and obviously learned about statistics, etc., but also went onto Law School from there, so I know a bit about logic and respect, as well. I don't come onto these boards with the intention to insult/disrespect teams, players, or fans.

To you, sir, I'll only say count your blessings I'm a gentleman and a scholar.





















l

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@DawginCO @thebucket Guess he will be happy to be there since he was going to be pulverized in the suicide alley yall call the SEC. Pound the speed right out of him. That's funny

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@NCDawg @gtcaryd Got covered up by many a damn yellow jacket as a kid. It was nothing personal just business. NC, where in the wide world of sports have you been, you ain't one of them damn missionary's are you.

GTBob
GTBob

@dawgs01 Im sure they can run fast. But not this fast. I don't think there are several guys (including defensive linemen) at this event that are faster than 95% of the guys in the NFL. I also don't think Taj Griffin has a much better vertical than any player coming out of college last season. I don't believe Josh Sweat is much faster than DeAnthony Thomas and Brandon Boykin. Sorry, but some of the numbers are borderline laughable. There was one guy there who has no offers at all right now who supposedly jumped higher than any player in last years NFL combine.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@gtcaryd Rarely do you see backs in the SEC 5'9, 169 pounds. That's the point. Gurley is as big as a linebacker (6'1, 232 pounds) but has track speed. Look at Derrick Henry at Bama (6'3, 240 pounds). Yeldon is 5'11 about 220 pounds himself. SEC caliber backs are big guys who can take the pounding. Unlike GT who recruits 5'8, 160 pound backs. The SEC is just a different animal.

thebucket
thebucket

@gtcaryd @DawginCO @thebucket  Not sure about Griffin losing his speed if he plays in the SEC, but the fact is that he is small at this stage in his career compared to a lot of SEC backs. Some small backs can and have made the adjustment and have been very successful. If Griffin wants to play in the SEC I am sure he has multiple offers to choose from.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgGoneIt Yet Taj Griffin has offers from pretty much every SEC school. Maybe you should call Richt, Saban, and Spurrier and let them know that this guy would be useless in the SEC. Their limited coaching knowledge is leading them to think he might be useful to them.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@DawgGoneIt Well wasn't Gurley pretty big last year, guess your formula for SEC backs has a few kinks in it? I don't recall Gurley playing every game last year.