The Opening 2016: Results, Rankings, Highlights and Reaction from Friday

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 9, 2016

Source: 247Sports

Friday's action at The Opening was the first look at most of the prospects invited after the first two days were dedicated to quarterbacks.

The main event of the day was Nike's athleticism testing, which used to be known as the SPARQ test and includes measurements in key categories such as the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and 20-yard shuttle run. 

With most of the players getting their first moments in the spotlight, here are the biggest stories to come from Beaverton, Oregon, on Friday. 


Athleticism Testing Rankings

2016 The Opening Nike+ Football Ratings
RankPlayerPositionCollege CommitmentScore
1J.K.DobbinsAthleteOhio State146.76
2Jeffrey OkudahSafetyN/A142.56
3Cam AkersRunning BackN/A140.13
4Devon HunterAthleteN/A139.53
5Darrian FelixRunning BackN/A138.38
Source: Scout.com



There was no shortage of talent on display throughout the day, but running back Cam Akers from Clinton High School in Mississippi was one of the biggest winners. 

Akers' day got off to a great start when he dazzled in the athleticism testing to earn an elusive 5-star rating from 247Sports, with Barton Simmons explaining why in detail:

On Friday morning, the 5-foot-11.5, 212-pounder ran a 4.41 in the 40, jumped 38.6 inches in the vertical, ran a 4.18 in the short shuttle and threw a 41 foot power ball. That score was good for the third best combine score of the entire event. The performance is good enough to bump Akers above that five-star threshold and he's now the No. 14 player in the nation according to 247Sports.

Simmons added that Akers, who has played quarterback in high school, ran for over 1,400 yards last year and threw for over 2,000 yards.

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Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports tweeted out video footage of Akers showing off his speed and receiving skills in one drill:

Keith Niebuhr @Keith247Sports

5-star RB Cam Akers at #TheOpening https://t.co/F2ZoZZciFM

Akers was terrific Friday, but he wasn't the only running back dazzling scouts. Najee Harris, who is 247Sports' top-ranked player in the 2017 class, made defenders look silly, via Andrew Nemec of the Oregonian:

Andrew Nemec @AndrewNemec

Alabama RB commit Najee Harris, nation's top prospect, just shook a LB w/ 90 scholarship offers https://t.co/oLiVohSxxO

Harris has already committed to Alabama, where head coach Nick Saban has mentored two Heisman Trophy winners at the position, Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry, since 2009.

Sticking with Alabama, which seems to be doing well in the 2017 recruiting cycle, wide receiver Jeff Thomas put on a show in the 40-yard dash.

Bleacher Report's Tyler Donohue shared the highlight:

Tyler Donohue @TDsTake

Jeff Thomas registered a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. Here's his 2nd attempt. Another WR #Bama is in good shape with. https://t.co/OP06xjS8Ex

If that wasn't enough, Thomas also finished first in the race between the five players who clocked 40 times under 4.4 seconds, which also included Salvon Ahmed, Darnay Holmes, Donovan Johnson and C.J. Henderson.

Another standout in the athleticism testing was J.K. Dobbins, who led all players with a total score of 146.76. The Ohio State commit also earned bragging rights against Michigan linebacker commit Josh Ross in one-on-one drills, via Land of 10's Jeremy Birmingham:

Jeremy Birmingham @Birm

Buckeyes commit JK Dobbins gets two of three versus Michigan linebacker commit Josh Ross https://t.co/ffziaeuxgI

Dobbins doesn't rank as highly as Akers or Harris, though he's hardly a slouch. The Texas native is a 4-star prospect and the third-ranked all-purpose back in the class, per 247Sports. His ability to run and catch passes out of the backfield will be a nice fit in head coach Urban Meyer's offense.

Moving to the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Dylan Moses lived up to his hype. The top-ranked defensive player in the class earned high marks from EJ Holland of 247Sports:

The nation’s No. 2 overall prospect, Moses showed off why he is elite as he won almost every rep against some of the best running backs in the country. Moses was dominant in the 1-on-1 portion, making a statement by winning every rep against Najee Harris in the regular phase of the camp. Moses is a freak athlete that has yet to reach his potential — and that’s scary.

Moses has the potential to do it all on the football field as an outside linebacker. He has the size and speed to disrupt opposing quarterbacks as a pass-rusher, but his quickness will allow him to get after running backs or drop into coverage as well.

Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson lived up to his billing, dominating offensive linemen Jack Anderson and Xavier Newman in one-on-one drills and showing his strength in the bench press, per Daniel Seahorn of Horn Sports:

Daniel Seahorn @CoachSeahorn

Marvin Wilson with 24 reps of 225 in the bench press competition.

For perspective, only 24 defensive linemen at this year's NFL Scouting Combine completed more than 24 reps.

The first full day of participation at The Opening provided what scouts needed to see, especially from the marquee players. There will be a lot of movement in the rankings over the fall as the season unfolds, but Friday offered a terrific look at the bright future of college football.

It's important, though, that these recruits don't put all of their eggs in this basket. Being great in an environment with the nation's top players helps, but the key to success is making sure those skills are on display when the games count.

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