The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dominion LB Chad Smith finishes fourth in SPARQ championship at The Opening

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Dominion linebacker Chad Smith has made a name for himself in the spring and summer football camp circuit. The Clemson oral commit has played with a chip on his shoulder as he’s entered each camp as an under the radar prospect.

His performances have earned him a four-star rating by ESPN, and he’s now listed as the 24th-best linebacker in the nation by ESPN.

But none of those previous camps were at the level of  Tuesday’s  SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, Quickness) National Championship in Beaverton, Ore. at  Nike World Headquarters at The Opening. A 140.97  preliminary round score was good enough for third place, and it earned him a  spot in the 10-person national championship that was televised on ESPNU.

The rangy 6-foot-4, 215-pound outside linebacker was the only area player to make it to the nationally televised final. Smith displayed energy, getting the crowd involved prior to his power ball toss. He scored a 138.93 in the final round for fourth place.

Smith jumped 40’4 in the vertical jump to start the final — a nine inch improvement from his preliminary jump — to place fourth in that category.

He also improved on his preliminary shuttle run (4.00) and 40-yard dash (4.69). The 20-yard shuttle run involved a five-yard run, 10-yard run and another five-yard run with a change of direction each time the individual touched the yardage line. Here’s Smith’s preliminary shuttle run. (Video courtesy of @coach_paultroth)

Smith posted a 4.67 40-yard dash in the final to close the event, then was mobbed by several Opening invitees.

ESPN broadcasters said Smith was upset he was missing the one-one-one sessions due to competing in the SPARQ National Championship. But he will be in team action tonight with the Land Sharks squad in a session televised on ESPNU from 8-10:30 p.m. EST.