TYLER -- The Accelerated Performance Enhancement Center opened its new facility in Tyler on Sunday with the third annual ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine.

Presented by Azalea Orthopedics, the event allowed more than 120 standout East Texans to experience APEC's equipment first-hand. And stars from the most storied regional programs came out in droves.

Sabine running back Dain Duncan entered the day figuring he didn't have much of a shot to win his position group's field. Instead, he took home the combine's Offensive Most Valuable Player in addition to the running backs' title.

"I didn't think I had a chance," the rising senior back said. "Not a chance. Coming up against some of the biggest schools in the state and then coming out like this -- There's no better feeling."

Duncan's victory was also a win for the combine's mission. It seeks to validate players that have already drawn college interest, but, more importantly, spread the word for prospects flying under the radar.

The running back won favor with the APEC coaching staff as well as ETSN.fm's staff as it sought the middle ground between outstanding testing numbers and on-field performance.

Duncan (5-9, 166) opened testing with a 4.54 second laser-timed 40-yard dash and got up 12 reps of 205 pounds -- the testing standard for all running backs at the combine -- on the bench press. The back also put out 3,084 watts on the Keiser squat machine, recorded a vertical jump of 36.8 inches and ran the pro agility drill in 4.06 seconds.

It got even better during the on-field testing phase. Wherever Duncan went, a crowd of peers, high school coaches and curious parents followed.

"There's a lot of kids that were here today that were very accomplished and have a lot of offers," APEC founder and director Bobby Stroupe said. "We hosted some outstanding kids. But on this particular day, Dain was hands down the best in every drill that we did where there wasn't a tangible that could be recorded for it. And he was among the best in every drill you could record a number for."

Stroupe knows what he's talking about.

Several of the athletes under his tutelage entered the APEC program as marginal National Football League prospects and have survived long-term in the organization. Another, pitcher Philip Humber, threw the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history and has lasted nine full seasons in the professional ranks.

Current Texas Tech starting receiver Dylan Cantrell and Baylor true freshman receiver Blake Lynch will train at the facility during their brief summer vacations, as they did during their high school careers. Both players were on hand to observe the combine.

"It's a humbling experience," Duncan said. "I didn't come out with expectations. To walk away with two awards is very humbling."

The back will return to Sabine for his senior season. The Cardinals will be gunning for their second straight playoff appearance following a 1-9 campaign in 2013.

There are some major challenges ahead of it in District 8-3A Division I, including battling 2014 state runner-up Mineola.

With Duncan, however, Sabine should have at least one major strategic advantage.

"I like getting into open space and avoiding contact," Duncan said. "I run very long and I can run over anybody. I'm looking for 2,500-plus yards and 20 touchdowns."

Dain Duncan's Football Recruiting Combine Results

  • Height: 5-9
  • Weight: 166
  • Laser-Timed 40: 4.54
  • Laser-Timed 20: 2.60
  • Laser-Timed 10: 1.53
  • Bench Reps (205 Pounds): 12
  • Vertical Jump: 36.8 inches
  • Broad Jump: 113 1/2 inches
  • Pro Agility: 4.06
  • Medball: 2.66
  • Keiser Squat: 3,084 watts