God blessed Jabari Hunt-Days with a nearly 6-foot-3 frame and exceptional strength and speed. But those natural gifts aren’t the only reason the Hillgrove High two-way player has been blowing up prospect combines in Georgia and Florida this year.
The two P’s — practice and preparation — have to be given more than a little credit here.
“I did probably a month or month and a half of training,” said Hunt-Days, an articulate but soft-spoken young man from Powder Springs. “I knew what I was goiong to be doing at the combines: the 40-yard dash, shuttle, vertical leap and power-ball toss. So I broke down the numbers and ran everything at home with my dad. We just tried to chop down the numbers and see how we could do each drill best. If we weren’t getting the right times we just kept trying to chop it down and chop it down until we got it down to where we thought it should be. Knowing what kind of steps to use and the mechanics made a difference.”
Hunt-Days (6-2 1/2, 226 pounds) went down to Orlando for a Nike Combine the first of March as a relative unknown in recruiting. He left with national recogntion.
His SPARQ rating — a grading formula combining scores of the four different physical tests — of 104.31 was No. 2 among more than 1,000 elite athletes, most of them from Florida. He was No. 1 among linebackers and was named Linebacker MVP for the event.
Hunt-Days participated in another Nike Combine in Atlanta last weekend. He emerged still No. 1 in the nation in testing among linebackers and No. 3 overall. He has been invited by Nike to attend at its expense its all-star combine in Oregon this summer.
In between he participated in David Schuman’s National Underclassman Combine in East Point. Once again, tops at his position.
“It’s been fun, very exciting,” Hunt-Days said. “I enjoy training and getting prepared. Knowing all I could was my best and actually doing my best was a good feeling.”
Obviously the impressive performance are getting Hunt-Days noticed. But so far at least it still hasn’t paid tangible dividends on the recruiting trail. Remarkably, Hunt-Days still does not have a major-college offer.
“I have an offer from Toledo,” said Hunt-Days, who plays both fullback and linebacker in high school. “Other than that I have no offers.”
That’s expected to change over the next few weeks. Hunt-Days said he can already see a difference from the standpoint of the interest. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Florida State have made inquiries for more information and invited him to camps. He was invited to UGA’s junior day this Saturday in Athens, which he plans to attend.
The Yellow Jackets would appear to have the inside track for this elite athlete. Hunt-Days’ older brother, Synjyn Days, is a quarterback who signed with Georgia Tech in February. But Jabari insist he’s entering the recruiting process with an open mind.
“That’d be my preference, to play with my brother,” said Hunt-Days, who aspires to be a dentist. “But right now I’m very open about colleges and where I need to be and where I should be. Georgia Tech may not be best for me; I’m not sure. It was for Synjyn.”