The Opening 2014: Meet the 9 Recruits Who Committed in Beaverton
The Opening is over, and a lot went down this week in Beaverton, Oregon.
While the focus of the event concerned on-field performance and competition, several recruits used the camp as a platform to announce where they will play college football.
A 5-star defensive tackle made his decision, while Miami got itself another 4-star running back. Plus, a pair of Pac-12 programs made some noise.
This list will not be complicated, as we will quickly run down all of the prospects who committed during the week at Nike headquarters.
Kahlil McKenzie, DT
Committed to: Tennessee
A 5-star defensive tackle, Kahlil McKenzie checked in at 6'4" and 341 pounds. He plays for Clayton Valley high school in California, where he dominates with strength, power and deceptive athleticism.
McKenzie's father is Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. Kahlil made his dad proud in Beaverton, committing to his father's alma mater in Tennessee, per 247Sports.
The Volunteers have a lot of young talent, but McKenzie will surely find a way to warrant immediate playing time in Knoxville.
Via Bleacher Report's Brad Shepard, McKenzie said the following on ESPNU when he announced he was a Vol on July 10: "It's just a second home. Everything about it I love. From top to bottom, everything about it is just a perfect fit for me."
Jordan Scarlett, RB
Committed to: Miami
Jordan Scarlett is a 4-star running back who decommitted from Florida Atlantic in June. He didn't stay uncommitted long, as the Florida native committed to Miami at The Opening.
The Hurricanes scored a dynamic player in Scarlett, who attends powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas in the Sunshine State. At 5'11" and 210 pounds, Scarlett possesses an elite combination of speed and power. There's no reason why he will not get a few carries as a true freshman in Coral Gables.
Scarlett told Bleacher Report's Tyler Donohue, "I really like the coaching staff at Miami. Al Golden is a great coach and it feels like home."
Andre James, OT
Committed to: UCLA
The Bruins have to be stoked to have the 4-star Utah native join their program. At 6'5" and 275 pounds, James has quick hands and good agility to play across the offensive front. He displays solid strength, plus he can also work his way up to linebackers in the running game.
It'll be interesting to see if James' future in Westwood is at tackle or inside at guard.
Stephen Johnson, ATH
Committed to: UCLA
UCLA received great news this week, as 3-star prospect Stephen Johnson pledged to the Bruins at The Opening. Johnson, who plays at San Leandro High School in California, can play several different positions.
The 5'11", 180-pounder has spent time at quarterback, but cornerback may be his best position going forward. He has impressive speed and movement skills, and he isn't afraid to compete with anyone.
With UCLA head coach Jim Mora a defensive backs coach by trade, Johnson should be coached up well in Westwood.
Xavier Lewis, CB
Committed to: LSU
Xavier Lewis opened up his recruitment in February but found his way back to LSU this week at The Opening. The Tigers re-secured the 4-star cornerback's commitment, which should stand this time.
At 6'0" and 175 pounds, Lewis is a Louisiana native with good instincts and loose hips. He's a quicker-than-fast athlete who has a chance to develop into an excellent nickel corner in Baton Rouge.
Josh Smith, LB
Committed to: Vanderbilt
Josh Smith chose to stay in his native state and commit to Vanderbilt. The 4-star Tennessee native automatically becomes the headliner of head coach Derek Mason's class.
Smith, who is 6'3.5" and 218 pounds, has the potential to be a three-down linebacker in Nashville. He can fill alleys quickly from the flanks and has the speed and agility to work well in coverage. Mason is a defensive-minded coach who'll make sure Smith becomes a good one for the Commodores.
Isaiah Langley, CB
Committed to: USC
USC added to its recruiting class this week by getting a commitment from 4-star cornerback Isaiah Langley.
From Foothill High School in California, Langley can also make his presence felt at receiver. The 5'11", 170-pounder has tremendous explosiveness and short-area quickness on the field. He skates around with a ton of confidence and flashes deceptive strength.
The Trojans have a potential multiyear starter in the fold in Langley.
Langley told Tyler Donohue: "I'm excited about the direction of the program. I'm ready to be a part of the Trojan family, and we have some special guys in this class. Hopefully we'll add some more soon."
Ross Bowers, QB
Committed to: California
Ross Bowers did what he was expected to do at The Opening when he committed to California. The Washington native gives the Bears another intriguing quarterback to develop.
At 6'2" and 185 pounds, Bowers has just average size. However, the 3-star passer distributes the ball to receivers with a solid stroke. With his vision, awareness and accuracy, Bowers should be able to put up some impressive numbers in Cal's offense.
Bowers told Tyler Donohue: "It's a good fit for me. The Pac-12 is going to be fun with all these quarterbacks committing."
AJ Turner, RB
Committed to: South Carolina
The Gamecocks will definitely devise ways to get Turner the ball in space, as the 5'11", 180-pounder can cut sharply and explode upfield. He'll also add some spice and electricity to South Carolina's return game.
Note: Special thanks to Bleacher Report's own Tyler Donohue, whose quotes were personally retrieved by him with permissible use for this piece.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
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