The Dallas Nike Football SPARQ Combine at AT&T Stadium hosted more than 1,700 athletes, but none of them scored a higher SPARQ rating than North Little Rock (Ark.) 2015 prospect Tyler Phillips.
In fact, nobody in the nation has scored a higher SPARQ this year than Phillips.
The 6-foot-1 1/2, 206-pounder posted a 141.36 to take the nation's top score among all of this year's Nike combines and training camps. He ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash, while recording a 4.00-second pro agility time and 40.7-inch vertical. He also registered an impressive 42-foot kneeling powerball throw, giving him top six or better finishes in the pro agility, vertical, and powerball at Saturday's event.
Because of a pulled hamstring, Phillips was not able to compete at the April 5 Dallas Nike Football Training Camp at DeSoto High School, so Saturday's performance meant a lot.
"I'm just so thankful that my patience and perseverance has paid off. I just had faith and I just tried to persevere through it," Phillips said. "I knew that if I was gonna work hard then it was gonna pay off, and it has. I'm really just thankful."
"I didn't expect it to be anywhere close to a 141. I'm just really thankful. I was super surprised."
Phillips should see his exposure grow following the jaw-dropping performance. Despite not having an offer, he's seen plenty of activity lately. Phillips said he's already visited Ohio State and Missouri this spring.
"I've gotten contacted by quite a few other schools," Phillips said. "A lot of Ivy League schools. ULM talked to me the other day, Stanford."
Phillips, who said he carries a 3.58 GPA, played outside linebacker as a junior. Now that spring ball has started, he's changed positions, which should help him acclimate to where he'll play at the next level.
"I'm really liking safety and I think I'm gonna do well at it," Phillips said. "I'm a center field-type safety, but I'm defintely gonna help stop the run being an outside linebacker last year."
That run-stopping ability is evident on film, which reveals that Phillips is more physical than you might expect and plays with good aggression. From his 3-4 outside linebacker spot this past fall, he displayed the ability to drop in zone coverage and be a factor against the pass, which will obviously come in handy as he makes the transition to free safety, a move that I fully expect to serve him and his team well.
Phillips should be a fun prospect to follow in the coming weeks as his name gets out more following the big performance, which was one of several for a North Little Rock squad that really dominated Saturday's event with five of the top 10 SPARQ scores.