Winners and Losers from The Opening 2013
The nation’s top college football prospects descended upon Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to compete against one another in The Opening.
With players taking part in activities such as SPARQ testing, one-on-one position drills and a seven-on-seven tournament, the action has produced several noteworthy nuggets surrounding some of 2014’s top recruits.
So who were the winners and losers from The Opening 2013?
Winner: Speedy Noil
Noil’s score was the second-best mark ever posted in the event, falling just short of Ohio State 2013 linebacker signee Mike Mitchell’s record of 154.47.
Noil’s blazing 4.40 40-yard dash time was mildly impressive when compared to his astounding 45.3" vertical jump (h/t Barton Simmons 247 Sports).
After posting those freakish numbers, Noil took those skills to the field and flashed the ability that makes him one of the most dangerous playmakers available in the class of 2014.
Loser: RB Group
Seven-on-seven sessions are generally glorified passing skeleton practices for offenses, and as such, running backs are not able to show their full skill sets in these settings.
While this event gives backs a chance to work on their pass-catching skills, postseason all-star games such as the US Army All-American game are a better showcase for the nation’s top rushers.
Winner: Florida State
Several players made their college choices known during the festivities at The Opening.
On the final day, Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles continued their torrid start on the recruiting trail by picking up another pair of commitments.
Lake City, Fla. (Columbia HS) 4-star safety Trey Marshall and Tampa (Catholic HS) 4-star offensive lineman Corey Martinez both announced their intention to stay in state and play for the Seminoles next season.
Both players enjoyed solid weeks at The Opening, and their verbals will give the ‘Noles class a significant boost.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor
Although Auburn’s 2014 recruiting class has gotten off to a solid start, Gus Malzahn’s Tigers suffered a hit when Atlanta (Marist HS) offensive lineman Kendall Baker committed to Georgia over the Tigers.
The Tigers dispatched former Georgia assistant Rodney Garner and current ace recruiter Dameyune Craig as Baker’s main recruiters in an effort to lure him away from his home state.
With the offensive line a need in this cycle, the Tigers will have to regroup and refocus their efforts in landing some top-notch talent in the trenches.
Winner: Sean White
Hollywood, Fla. (University HS) 3-star quarterback Sean White entered The Opening with his most notable scholarship offers coming from Boston College and Cincinnati.
Compared to most of his peers at this event, his offer list is relatively modest.
However, White enjoyed a spectacular week, which resulted in the 6’2”, 204-pounder being named the seven-on-seven tournament MVP.
To cap it off, White was named the MVP of the Elite 11 competition, according to ESPN's Recruiting Nation via Twitter.
Considering that White earned one of the final invitations to the camp, his remarkable journey is certainly one of the top storylines to emerge from this camp.
Loser: Recruiting Rankings
Fans love recruiting services such as Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports. However, their ratings on players such as White and David Blough, who are both 3-stars, are an illustration of why early rankings can sometimes be misleading.
Blough (29th) and White (34th) are modestly rated amongst 2014’s top pro-style quarterbacks by 247Sports.
Although each of those quarterbacks are promising talents, players such as White and Blough used The Opening as a proving ground in staking their claim as two of the better quarterbacks in the class of 2014.
Winner: Field Generals
Pic Courtesy of 247 Sports
With White leading the way, the Field Generals won three games on the final day of seven-on-seven play to capture the tournament title .
They defeated Alpha Pro for the second time on the day, winning 21-14 in the decisive title game.
White captured the tourney MVP and Dupre, Roberts and Pickett were named to the All-Tournament team, according to Brandon Huffman of Fox Sports via Twitter.