Highlights and Analysis from the Opening Los Angeles Regional

Damon SaylesNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 28, 2016

Of the 10 athletes to earn invitations to The Opening finals this summer in Oregon, four were defensive backs. Pictured, from left, are Darnay Holmes, Thomas Graham Jr., Deommodore Lenoir and Bubba Bolden.
Of the 10 athletes to earn invitations to The Opening finals this summer in Oregon, four were defensive backs. Pictured, from left, are Darnay Holmes, Thomas Graham Jr., Deommodore Lenoir and Bubba Bolden.Damon Sayles/Bleacher Report

REDONDO BEACH, California — Redondo Union High School was the home of The Opening and Elite 11 Los Angeles on Sunday. More than 400 athletes from California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and several other states—including Hawaii and Alaska—competed in multiple drills for the right to earn a spot in one of the most prestigious events for high school football athletes and college football recruits.

In all, 12 athletes were selected for The Opening and Elite 11 finals. Tate Martell, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, and Chase Garbers, a rising 3-star, pro-style quarterback, were selected to the Elite 11 finals, which focus on the nation's top quarterbacks.

Here's an update on the athletes who will compete in The Opening finals this summer in Beaverton, Oregon.


Quartet of DBs earns tickets to Oregon

Ten athletes walked away with invitations to The Opening finals. Of the 10, four were defensive backs.

The tandem of Las Vegas safety Bubba Bolden and California cornerbacks Darnay Holmes, Thomas Graham Jr. and Deommodore Lenoir all punched their tickets to Oregon with impressive showings. Holmes was the first of the four names to be called, and as the nation's top-ranked cornerback, he knew he'd have a target on his back Sunday.

"I want to go against the best every day. Today was a day where everyone called me out, and they got that guy," Holmes said. "It was a great day. I competed with some great guys and great friends out here. It was a great showcase."

Holmes, who also is the nation's No. 7 overall in the 2017 class, considers himself an athlete. When he's not playing as a shutdown cornerback, he's honing his skills as a wide receiver.

Holmes will join Graham, the nation's No. 6 cornerback and No. 39 overall player, and Lenoir, the No. 8 cornerback, in Oregon. Together, they have 33 reported offers. Add in Bolden, a USC safety commit since Dec. 14, and The Opening will welcome four talented defensive backs from the West Coast.


Hybrid DE/OLB makes right choice at DE

The minute he first arrived at Redondo Union, Jaelan Phillips looked like a player who fit the part.

The 6'5", 240-pound defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid didn't disappoint, as he was impressive competing as a defensive end. Prior to the start of the event, Phillips said he was unsure if he wanted to compete as a defensive end or outside linebacker.

He chose right, and he was rewarded for his play.

"It's incredible. To get out here and compete, I was really excited to showcase my abilities and meet other recruits," Phillips said. "I'm really excited."


WRs Lindsey, Lewis earn spots

Two wide receivers, Tyjon Lindsey and Joseph Lewis, were part of the group to make The Opening finals, and both athletes showed their worth from start to finish.

Lindsey, in addition to showcasing his pass-catching and route-running skills, performed well in combine drills. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, finished the 20-yard shuttle in blazing 3.9 seconds, threw the power ball 37 feet and recorded a vertical jump of 39.3 inches. 

Lewis used his size and strength to muscle defenders and also used his quickness to make life difficult for defenders en route to earning a ticket to Oregon. At 6'2" and 190 pounds, Lewis was a dominant receiver and someone very hard to contain in one-on-one packages.

"It was very surprising. I was speechless," Lewis said of his invitation to The Opening. "I'm just very thankful for this opportunity."


USC RB commit makes a statement

Running back Stephen Carr was fun to watch on Sunday, as he earned a ticket to The Opening finals with the help of a quality performance in "Cat and Mouse"—the one-on-one drill pitting a running back against a linebacker.

The object of the game for a linebacker: tackle the running back via two-hand touch. The object of the game for a running back: avoid being touched.

Carr won this battle.

A USC commit, Carr was great in all running back drills, and he showed his route-running and catching abilities in passing situations.


Quick hitters

Sometimes, all that's needed to make a point are videos. Here's running back Jared Adelman making one of the most talked-about plays on social media.

And here's tight end/wide receiver Grant Calcaterra adding to his personal highlight-reel collection with an outstanding catch.

Ohio State fans will be pleased with Haskell Garrett. The defensive tackle, who committed to the Buckeyes on Feb. 9, earned his ticket to The Opening finals with consistent play, quick feet and excellent pad level.

Only one offensive lineman earned a trip to Oregon, but that lineman, offensive tackle Wyatt Davis, was solid throughout the day. Davis can play either tackle or guard at the next level, and he showed his ability to protect the quarterback on Sunday.


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles.