Don't look now, but San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian running back Kirk Johnson is getting faster and more athletic, with the proof positive his top SPARQ testing result on Sunday at the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp at Chabot College.
Named the SPARQ MVP for his efforts, Johnson produced an overall score of 117.42 at an event that featured six invites to The Opening this summer -- there was hardly a dearth of strong athletes at the event. To get that number, Johnson ran a 4.57 40, posted an elite 4.00 shuttle time, threw the medicine ball 36 feet, and registered a 35.8-inch vertical leap.
Student Sports hasn't yet updated the overall SPARQ numbers from all the events this spring, but his testing score would rank in the top-30 nationally so far with most of the events now completed and not far behind elite athletes like five-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield and physical freak Dylan Moses, the 2017 prospect committed to LSU. For further perspective, consider that Johnson's SPARQ score was higher than fellow running back commit Jordan Stevenson managed at the Dallas NFTC.
When looking only at the shuttle time, Johnson would rank tied for seventh nationally with Baylor running back commit JaMycal Hasty. At the NFL Draft Combine this year, the performance would have ranked in the top 10. The shuttle time was also .09 seconds better than Sheffield, who took home two gold medals in the high hurdles at the recent Texas state track meet and posted the nation's best time in the 110-meter hurdles.
The numbers provide the most recent insight into Johnson's current health and physical development after an injury significantly reduced his explosiveness as a junior. Prior to his injury last year, Johnson ran a 4.64 40, a 4.26 shuttle, threw the medicine ball 34 feet, and had a vertical jump of 33.9 inches, making his Sunday effort a significant improvement across the board.
Set to be featured heavily in the Valley Christian offense this year, the 6'0, 191-pounder managed to gain over 1,200 yards as a junior despite only playing in seven games, suggesting that his production this season if healthy could reach 1,800 yards.
It may be time for the industry to start catching up with the four-star rating (92) given Johnson by 247Sports, which is roughly five points higher than the consensus ranking from the industry. Unfortunately, a strong performance at a Nike Football Training Camp may not be enough to convince Rivals since they no longer attend those camps after starting their own competing series.