Following months of buildup, one of the biggest recruiting events on the schedule will officially get underway on Tuesday. The Opening will see several recruits make their commitments during the week, with many hoping to shine and improve their ranking heading into the summer.
Both rosters have a plethora of talented 5-star recruits ready to take the big stage in Beaverton, Oregon, to make their case as the top player at their respective position. With only 162 players making the final cut, each team will have to wait until Monday to find out who their quarterback will be.
Though the prospects won't find out until Monday about the signal-caller for their squad, Elite 11 posted a preview of the finalists:
Between the 7-on-7 matchups and linemen challenges, there will be plenty of prospects for scouts to drool over throughout the three-day event. Though some have already become popular names thanks to committing to a school, others hope to prove their worth to fanbases as they continue on the recruiting trail.
Here's a look at everything fans need to know heading into Nike's The Opening.
|2014 The Opening Schedule|
|Date||Event(s)||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|July 8||SPARQ Rating National Championship||8-10 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|July 9||7-on-7 Pool Play||8-10:30 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|July 10||7-on-7 Semifinal & Championship / Linemen Challenge Finals||8-11 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|The Opening Rosters|
|Position||Alpha Pro||Apocalypse||Fly Rush||Landsharks||Mach Speed||Vapor Carbon|
|QB||Ross Bowers||Blake Barnett||Sam Darnold||Ryan Brand||Ben Hicks||Sheriron Jones|
|QB||Alex Malzone||Brian Lewerke||Deandre Johnson||Deondre Francois||Josh Rosen||Drew Lock|
|QB||Jarrett Stidham||Travis Waller||Brady White||Ricky Town||Brandon Wimbush||Kyler Murray|
|RB||Taj Griffin||Damien Harris||Dexter Williams||Soso Jamabo||Mike Weber||Nick Brossette|
|RB||Mark Walton||Jacques Patrick||Bryce Love||Jordan Scarlett||JaMycal Hasty||Saquon Barkley|
|WR||George Campbell||Calvin Ridley||DaMarkus Lodge||Tyron Johnson||Preston Williams||Christian Kirk|
|WR||Cordell Broadus||Equanimeous St. Brown||Trent Irwin||John Burt||Da'Vante Phillips||Deon Cain|
|WR||Derrick Dillon||Desean Holmes||Van Jefferson||Kemah Siverand||Jovon Durante||Juwan Johnson|
|WR||Ryan Newsome||Deddrick Thomas||Lawrence Cager||K.J. Hill||C.J. Sanders||Kirk Merritt|
|TE||CJ Conrad||Jordan Davis||Chris Clark||Jackson Harris||Auden Tate||Will Gragg|
|LB||Osa Masina||Malik Jefferson||Roquan Smith||Justin Hilliard||Cameron Smith||John Houston|
|LB||Tevon Coney||Porter Gustin||Darrin Kirkland||Sherrod Pittman||Adonis Thomas||Quarte Sapp|
|LB||Cecil Cherry||Joshua McMillon||Josh Smith||Chad Smith||Ben Humphreys||Arthur McGinnis|
|CB||Tarvarus McFadden||Mark Fields||Kendall Sheffield||Kevin Toliver||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Iman Marshall|
|CB||Rico McGraw||Xavier Lewis||Tyrek Cole||PJ Mbanasor||Shaun Crawford||DeChaun Holiday|
|CB||Darius Slayton||Jaylon Lane||Kris Boyd||Donte Jackson||Holton Hill||Isaiah Langley|
|CB||Tyler Green||Mook Reynolds||Stephen Johnson||Montrell Custis||Levonta Taylor||Duke Shelley|
|SAF||Jaquan Johnson||Frank Buncom||Kendrell McFadden||Deionte Thompson||Derwin James||Larry Pryor|
|SAF||Will Sunderland||Justin Reid||Calvin Brewton||Deontay Anderson||Marvell Tell||Justin Dunning|
|ATH||Torrance Gibson||Tyler Phillips||Terry Godwin||Shawn Burgess-Becker||Ray-Ray McCloud||Jordan Cronkrite|
|ATH||AJ Turner||Deondre Farrier||Marcus Lewis|
|OL||Maea Teuhema||Lester Cotton||Chuma Edoga||Javon Patterson||Mitch Hyatt||Martez Ivey|
|OL||Jerry Tillery||Matt Burrell||Drew Richmond||Richie Petitbon||Tristen Hoge||Keenan Walker|
|OL||Noah Green||Fred Ulu-Perry||Dallas Warmack||Andre James||Quarvez Boulware||Darryl Williams|
|DL||Josh Sweat||Rasheem Green||Byron Cowart||Daylon Mack||Terry Beckner||Tim Settle|
|DL||Kahlil McKenzie||Daron Payne||Jonathan Ledbetter||Keisean Lucier-South||Breiden Fehoko||Jashon Cornell|
|DL||Adam McLean||Michael Barnett||Neville Gallimore||Austin Bryant||Natrez Patrick||Chauncey Rivers|
|Add'l OL/DL||Tommy Hatton||Kendell Jones||Dru Samia||Rashan Gary|
Top Recruits to Watch
Josh Sweat, Defensive End, Uncommitted
The top defensive end in the 2014 class, according to 247Sports, still hasn't committed. Oh, you better believe there will be some watchful eyes on this outstanding prospect out of Chesapeake, Virginia.
With an astounding 57 programs reportedly interested in Josh Sweat, only one will ultimately add his immense talent to their roster in the 2015 class. Chris Nee of 247Sports notes the latest predictions for the huge recruit:
He added a new Crystal Ball prediction this week, which was for Virginia Tech. The Hokies lead on his Crystal Ball with 48 percent of predictions. Florida State is second with 38 percent. Tennessee (10 percent) and Ohio State (5 percent) claim the remainder of predictions.
He has visited all of those schools with the exception of Florida State. He is due to see the Seminoles in July.
Sweat posted 94 tackles and an absurd 22 sacks last season with Oscar Smith High School and has clearly made a name for himself with his elite-level play on the field.
In a loaded field with some of the best offensive linemen looking to knock him off, this will be a huge test for Sweat. If he can shine once again on one of the biggest stages on the recruiting calendar, Sweat might just secure the top defensive end spot heading into his final season.
Kevin Toliver II, Cornerback, LSU Commit
Unlike Sweat, Kevin Toliver II has already announced his intentions for his college future.
The LSU commit is the No. 1 corner in the 2015 class, per 247Sports, and will look to put his elite coverage skills to the test yet again. The young man might not have hit a college field just yet, but he's already had some great coaching at the position, as Josh Newberg of 247Sports notes:
Toliver is already viewed as the top corner and knows exactly where he's heading next year, so he surely doesn't have to worry about proving himself anymore. But gaining more experience from covering top receivers like Preston Williams, George Campbell and DaMarkus Lodge will be great for his future.
With all three of those receivers potentially landing in the SEC, Toliver will have his hands full in the years to come with the Tigers. Getting experience now against the big-name wideouts and best quarterback prospects will simply better him for the road ahead.
Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA Commit
Do you like big arms? How about pinpoint accuracy from a pro-style quarterback? Well, quite frankly, who doesn't?
Josh Rosen offers all of those things and more from his 6'4", 205-pound frame and looks every bit the part of the future star quarterback at UCLA. The St. John Bosco signal-caller discussed why he ultimately chose the Bruins for his college future, per Erik McKinney of ESPN.com:
I knew for sure it would be UCLA four days ago. I put UCLA in front a few months ago, but the Michigan visit made me go in depth about why UCLA was the right place for me. A lot went into the decision and it wasn't made just for football. I'm going to the university where I fit best in all aspects.
After throwing for 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, Rosen burst onto the scene and is now viewed as the No. 1 quarterback by 247Sports. Already committed and showing flashes of what is to come in the next several years for the Bruins, Rosen might have to compete against players like Toliver and others to prove himself.
In a 7-on-7 setting, look for Rosen to yet again emerge as a star by finding his elite-level receivers down the field with his huge arm. With a huge Pac-12 audience expected in Beaverton, Rosen will prove yet again why he's the next in line of great quarterbacks for the Bruins.
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