When it comes to testing at the various camps and combines, few players come in as well prepared as the players from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure. Therefore it was no surprise at all when Seraph athlete Blaine Irby recorded the top SPARQ Rating at the recent Nike combine held at Orange Coast JC this past Sunday.
Irby came in at a chiseled 6-2, 225 pounds and despite being disappointed in his 40 time, tested very well all across the board.
"Yeah, the best time I've ever run in the 40 was a 4.5 last year but that was a hand time," Irby said. "I'm still pretty happy overall with how I did but I know I can do better."
Irby clocked a 4.82-40 (SPARQ electronic time), 4.35 in the shuttle, did 26 reps on the bench and jumped 31 inches in the vertical. As mentioned, he finished with the top SPARQ time in the camp with an 80.46 rating.
Seraph head coach Jon Mack always has his players ready to go as evidenced by St. Bonaventure winning the NIKE Team SPARQ Challenge last season. The event featured the NIKE trucks driving all over the country and testing over 150 different high schools. The school could have as many players test as they wanted with the top five marks given an average score. The Seraphs won handily.
"It's all about competition for us," Mack said. "We just love to compete in anything. It doesn't matter if it's on the field with the pads on or at a Nike camp or the SPARQ challenge, our guys just love to compete and test themselves against other players and programs."
On the recruiting front, Irby received early offers from Arizona State and Mississippi and is hearing from a host of schools all over the country.
"Right now ASU is my top school followed by Ole Miss, USC, Notre Dame and Texas," Irby said. "I play H-Back and tight end and most of the schools are recruiting me as an athlete right now. I'm going to go through the process a bit before making a decision."