Top Performers from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterMay 3, 2014

Top Performers from 2014 Dallas Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine

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    The Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine rolled into Arlington on Saturday at AT&T Stadium to host some of the most promising young football prospects from around the country.

    Participants in the combine were divided into several groups, from local Dallas-Fort Worth recruits to out-of-state recruits. 

    Bleacher Report was on site to a get a first-hand look at which stars of tomorrow stood out. The following were some of the top performers from Saturday's event. 

3-Star OLB Clay Johnston (Abilene, Texas)

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    Clay Johnston, a 3-star linebacker from Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas, was in one of the final groups to make its way through Saturday's combine. Sometimes, you have to save the best for last. 

    Johnston, who holds an offer from SMU, looks the part of a college-ready outside linebacker—yet he still has a year to go as a member of the class of 2015. 

    Johnston has nice speed and showed off his change-of-direction skills as well with one of the best agility drill times of the day (4.07 seconds). If he can continue to build out his frame, he's going to be a solid-looking prospect who will start picking up more offers in a hurry. 

3-Star Safety Bryce Balous (McKinney, Texas)

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    If college teams are looking for a speed guy on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball, look no further than 3-star safety Bryce Balous

    The McKinney North product had the fastest 40-yard dash of the day with a blazing 4.39. At a listed height and weight of 5'11" and 185 pounds—he looks a tad smaller in person—he may project better as a corner. The good news on that front is that Balous looked good in his agility drills as well. 

    Balous doubles as a return man for McKinney North. His tape shows great closing speed, which can make up for some bad angles or misreads. In terms of pure athleticism and speed, Balous stood out on Saturday. 

Safety, OLB McKinley "Kiwi" Mitchell (Plano, Texas)

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    Yes, Kiwi. 

    Whether you want to call McKinley Mitchell by his first name or his nickname, Kiwi, the Plano West High School defender posted some of the best numbers across the board on Saturday. Mitchell posted the best Power Ball Toss numbers at 48 feet and ranked in the top five among all participants in total score. 

    Mitchell only holds two offers from Baylor and SMU, but comes from a family of athletes. His older brother, Mike, is a now-former Ohio State linebacker. Another brother, Mickey, is a Buckeyes commit in basketball. 

    Mitchell showed excellent strength and burst in Saturday's drills. He didn't record the fastest 40 time, but his bloodlines and physical tools—he says he's up to 200 pounds—make him an interesting prospect. 

    Expect his list of offers to grow over the next year. 

3-Star OL Devante Lovett (Strong, Ark.)

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    Interestingly, Strong High School (Strong, Ark.) offensive tackle Devante Lovett showed he was one of the strongest players at Saturday's combine. 

    The 3-star prospect seems like he would be a perfect fit for Arkansas coach Bret Bielema's run-heavy, bruising offense. Lovett posted 44 feet in the kneeling power ball toss, which was not only one of the best numbers in the Arlington event, but nationally in Sparq's database as well. 

    The one area Lovett needs to improve is his nimbleness. He's not the most athletic lineman prospect out there. He also has yet to claim any scholarship offers. But he's a big kid who already looks like a college-level lineman. If he gets into the right offense, he'll thrive. 

4-Star RB Jordan Stevenson (Dallas, Texas)

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    Unlike most of the prospects in Saturday's combine, 4-star running back Jordan Stevenson is already an established name. 

    The South Oak Cliff High School running back from nearby Dallas has been a Texas Longhorns commit since last October. Of course, there's still plenty of time for him to change his minds with offers from Alabama, Arkansas and others. Not to mention, more could be coming. 

    Stevenson put his blinding speed on display with a 4.44 40-yard dash. 

    It will be interesting to see if stays committed to the Longhorns. He's a flashy runner who should be able to make it tough for defenders to get a hand on. With new head coach Charlie Strong looking for offensive playmakers to upgrade the offense, Stevenson would be a great recruit to hold on to. 

4-Star ATH Larry Pryor (Sulphur Springs, Texas)

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    Texas A&M fans should be excited about Larry Pryor. The 4-star athlete—he can play wide receiver or defensive back—had one of the best showings on Saturday. 

    Pryor posted one of the best agility drill numbers of the day (4.07 seconds) and finished just outside the top 10 in highest total scores at the Sparq combine. At about 6'0" tall, he is surprisingly nimble and has great change of direction. That only adds to his versatility. 

    Pryor is one of the top players in the state of Texas and can morph into either a physical wide receiver, or physical, hard-hitting defensive back. Either way, he was impressive and shows a ton of promise. 


    Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports. Star ratings based on 247Sports composite rankings.