Sharp Performance continues to offer the Combine Series in an effort to help connect prospective college student-athletes with scholarship opportunities and provide athletes and coaches with verified third party testing heading into offseason training.
This year’s Combine Series currently includes the following events:
FREE COMBINE: March 12th, Salina, KS ($0 entry fee)
SHOWCASE: April 23rd, Salina, KS ($100 entry fee)
TOP PROSPECT: June 4th, Salina, KS (invite only)
Register at: Sharp-Performance.com
Why the SP Combine Series? Proven results!
What do Jaren Kanak, Christien Hawks, Darell Jones, Tobi Osunsanmi, Isaac Sheeran and Gaven Haselhorst have in common? Their recruiting interest increased significantly following standout performances at Sharp Performance events!
Certainly Kanak's recruiting interest exploded after viral video of his 10.37 100 meter dash last track season, but his performance at the 2020 SP Showcase resulted in DI offers almost immediately after the event. Hawks had several non-Power 5 opportunities going into the same showcase, but he came out with his first Big 12 offer. Jones was a relative unknown yet his coach received calls from at least one FBS coach on the field during the 2020 Showcase and after a whirlwind couple of weeks committed to K-State. Osunsanmi ran a hand-timed 4.4 at an SP Event and his college interest immediately picked up. Sheeran and Haselhorst have similar stories, as do numerous others, and not just at the FBS level, relatively unknown players in Kansas have left SP events with interest from all levels of college football.
"Numerous athletes have connected with scholarship opportunities at all levels after eye-opening performances at one of our Combine Series events," Sharp noted. “Gaven Haselhorst, Darell Jones, Christien Hawks, the list goes on. Every year more and more kids get offers shortly after Sports in Kansas and Kansas Pregame blast their SP stats and videos across social media.”
Sharp has partnered with Sports in Kansas and Kansas Pregame to expand the exposure opportunities for Kansas high school football players through summer camps and showcases, with proven results. While Kansas hasn’t historically produced 5-star prospects in the same quantities as other states, there is a reason.
"It's a simple numbers game," Sharp Performance CEO and former University of Kansas running back Jake Sharp noted in a recent interview. "Something like 1,400 high schools in Texas play football. Just over 300 play the game in Kansas. Colleges - and recruiting media outlets - don't have unlimited resources and when picking parts of the country to focus on, Texas, Florida and California are going to top the list, not just because of a high level of play, but also because of the sheer number of high school football players in those states."
With a better understanding of the numbers involved with state-to-state recruiting, it’s easy to see the need for high school athletes to have a platform to display measurables for college coaches. Sharp provides just that.
Combine Series to kick off with free event in Salina
First on the list of 2022 SP Combine Series events is the annual free combine, scheduled for Saturday, March 12th, in Salina. This is open to athletes from the 2023-2027 classes.
Athletes in attendance will receive accurate, verified testing results in the 40-yard dash, pro agility drill, vertical jump, standing broad jump and bench press as well as accurate height and weight measurements.
It’s an opportunity for players flying under the radar, or those looking for increased exposure to show off their abilities at an event featuring dozens of other prospects from across Kansas. It’s also a great place for first time combine attendees to learn how to navigate the tests and get some baseline numbers heading into the spring and summer training.
While the combine is free, it requires pre-registration. Register at the Events page at Sharp-Performance.com.
SP Showcase returning to Salina
The Combine Series will continue on April 23rd, in Salina, with the Sharp Performance Showcase.
This event is for all high school football players from the classes of 2023-2025 and includes position specific drills and 1-on-1s allowing a platform for athletes to display their abilities in competition against some of the top football players in the area.
On June 4th, the Top Prospect showcase will round out the Combine Series in Salina. A group of top players identified at SP Showcases will receive invitations to the event and have an opportunity to perform in front of recruiting media and college coaches.
Kansas players boost their stock at SP events
Dozens of athletes have connected with scholarship opportunities after posting top marks at SP Events or working with SP trainers at Sharp's facilities in central Kansas.
A few from the Summer of ‘21 include Mulvane’s Mason Ellis (KU signee), Dodge City’s Manny Aguilar (Fort Hays commit), McPherson’s Trey Buckbee (Drake commit) and Andover Central’s Isaac Sheeran (Pitt State commit) and Kai Kunz (DII and JUCO offers).
Mason Ellis, Mulvane High School
Mulvane quarterback and defensive back Mason Ellis had a fantastic senior season, leading the Wildcats to a state quarterfinal appearance and earning a Shrine Bowl nod on the way.
In 2020, it was a different story for the talented athlete, as he faced a broken elbow that kept him out for a majority of his junior season.
“When I went to the combine in Salina last year it kinda boosted my recruiting and started getting a lot of interest in schools,” Ellis said. “Ever since my injury my junior year, it kinda put me behind on the recruiting process, so I was working trying to get into the best shape possible for the combine to show what I could do. So I’m very thankful for Sharp and the Sharp Performance Combine series for helping me get to where I’m at today.”
After initially committing to North Dakota State University where he would join former Mulvane teammate Jayden Price, Ellis accepted a last minute offer to play for head coach Lance Leipold at the University of Kansas and signed with the Jayhawks during December’s Early Signing Period.
Emanuel Aguilar, Dodge City High School
Dodge City senior Emanuel Aguilar was among the best kickers in the state in 2021 after a summer spent at Sharp events. The first team all-state kicker scored 65 points on special teams for the Red Demons over the course of the season. However, prior to this past summer on the Sharp combine circuit, Aguilar - who is now committed to Fort Hays State - wasn’t getting the looks he deserved.
“When I went to the Sharp Performance Combine I wasn’t to sure if it would help me at all as a kicker, but when I went and kicked a 65-yarder and we got it on tape and (Kansas Pregame) posted it, and Sports in Kansas reposted it, that was when my recruiting actually started. I got a lot of attention from that and that kind of just put me on the map. Coach Sharp is an awesome dude, I love what he does and how he does it. Definitely 10/10 camps.”
Trey Buckbee, McPherson High School
Buckbee is a rangy, athletic wideout and defensive back with great hands and notable big play ability. While the 6-3 Drake commit seems like an obvious target for most schools, a little push always helps.
“Sharp Performance combines helped me with a lot of local exposure that helped me get my feet under me in the recruiting process!”
Buckbee tracked down numerous offers at the NAIA, JUCO and DII level following good performances at Sharp event, but ultimately the call to play DI FCS level football at Drake was too strong to deny.
Kai Kunz, Andover Central
Among the biggest stock increases in 2021 was Kai Kunz, a senior quarterback who played at Kapaun prior to transferring to Andover Central for his final season. The Jaguars signal caller proceeded to have a massive year, totalling 2,512 yards and 27 touchdowns on offense, and receiving first team all-state honors while leading his team to a 4A state runner-up finish.
“Sharp was great,” Kunz said of the events. “I was flying under the radar due to playing for one of the top running coaches and programs in Kansas to then transferring to AC after moving. So a lot of coaches didn’t know about my throwing abilities. What the Sharp Combine did was help jump start that for me this year. Gave me a platform to talk to college coaches and show them what I was capable of. It definitely helped open some doors for me.”
The dual-threat QB is currently considering a number of offers, including DII and JUCO.
Isaac Sheeran, Andover Central
Isaac Sheeran was one of the top players in the state in 2021 and had much to do with Andover Central’s appearance in the 4A state championship. The nearly 6-5, 230 pound senior defensive lineman totaled 48 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Jaguars during the ‘21 campaign.
“Jake Sharp and his combines helped put me on the map,” Sheeran said. “My position as a defensive lineman didn’t always bring in huge stats for the impact I had on the game. At the combines, I was able to show my speed, strength, agility and 1vs1 skills all at one venue. The Sharp combines always brought college coaches from D1, D2, JUCO and NAIA to the events, which was a huge plus. In fact, I picked up a couple offers right there on the spot at Sharp combines. I was also afforded great press visibility through interviews on the spot with Sports in Kansas, 247 Sports/GoPowerCat.com and Kansas Pregame.”
Sheeran, who is now committed to Pitt. State, has only one regret looking back.
“Lastly, Jake was also very influential in connecting me with additional college coaches based on my performance at the camps,” Sheeran said. “The only thing I wish I would have done sooner in my high school career, was attend those combines my freshman and sophomore years. Also, Sharp Performance has a great position specific program that will help catapult an athlete’s skills and conditioning, it’s worth looking into.”