Florida Gators: The Opening 2013



There were several Florida commits or targets who shined at The Opening in Beaverton (Ore.) last week. Here's a closer look at five players who helped themselves with their performances.

1. QB Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day)
ESPN 300 rank: 53

RN Top 10: Best of The Opening 

July, 4, 2013
7/04/13
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The RN Top 10 will appear throughout the camp and combine season and rank prospects based strictly on their on-field performance at that particular event. It does not reflect their overall prospect rankings.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Opening put 162 of the top prospects in the nation in one place to battle to see who really is the best. During individual drills, one-on-one matchups, 7-on-7 play and even tug-of-war, the elite recruits competed to beat the best.

Every player in attendance was a standout player, but there were some who stood out above the rest. RecruitingNation takes a look at the top players throughout The Opening.

10. Jacob Park
Goose Creek (S.C.) Stratford | QB-DT | 6-4, 206
While other quarterbacks saw their play go up and down through the Elite 11 and The Opening 7-on-7, Park, a Georgia commitment, stayed consistent. He was singled out by Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer time after time after time.

“He’s immensely talented,” Dilfer said. “And he gets stuff.”

The only time that Park got dinged by Dilfer was when he tried to force the ball into tight spots, but honestly that happened very little throughout the week. UGA fans will be excited the 6-4, 206-pound four-star quarterback is heading to Athens, because he’s got a pretty complete package. -- Jeremy Crabtree


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Opening has concluded and it did not disappoint. The top prospects in the nation were invited to Nike headquarters to display their ability and compete against the best of the best.

RecruitingNation was on hand for every event to take in the happenings throughout the week. Here are a few storylines:

Who committed

Florida State landed two in-state prospects during the final day of The Opening on Wednesday: four-star offensive tackle Corey Martinez (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) and three-star safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia). Marshall was a finalist for the SPARQ national championships where he posted a 40-yard-dash time of 4.34 seconds. ESPN 300 linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra), son of former Tennessee Volunteers and Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates, verbally committed to the Vols. Four-star linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) verbally committed to USC over UCLA.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- With five commitments participating, the Gators have been well represented at the Elite 11 and The Opening this week.

Seven-on-seven events aren't really geared for running backs, but four-star back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central) said he is just trying to make the most of his opportunities and spend time with the other Florida commits.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- There's a reason QB Deshaun Watson has been walking around this week at the Elite 11 and The Opening with a smile on his face. It's because the Clemson commit knew he was gaining a new weapon for the Tigers' offense.

Artavis Scott, a four-star receiver from Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake High School, has committed to Clemson, picking the Tigers over Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and others.

Scott ranks as the No. 89 player in the ESPN 300 and the No. 10 receiver in the nation, helping bolster an impressive offensive class for Clemson that already includes Watson, who is the nation’s No. 1 quarterback.

Early in the process, it seemed that Michigan would be the destination for Scott, but a recent unofficial visit to Clemson -- and a continued recruiting push from Watson -- helped lure him to the Tigers’ side.

"I liked it a lot when I visited,” Scott said earlier this week before making his decision. “I have fun every time I go there. I just like the atmosphere that they bring. Just knowing all the guys that have been there and what they've done and their history, just makes it even better. It's a great opportunity based on what they have produced over the years."

Watson admitted that he’s been talking to Scott a lot about playing together at Clemson.

“I take pride in trying to get the best players to be part of our class,” Watson said. “I’ve been talking a lot to Artavis, and I think we have a special opportunity to do some big things at Clemson.”

Scott, who is 5-foot-11 and 177 pounds, should help bolster Clemson’s class, which was ranked No. 11 in the RecruitingNation class rankings before his pledge. He is Clemson’s 13th known commitment for the class of 2014.

Buckeyes leap in race for WR Dixon 

July, 2, 2013
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Four-star wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) has always had Miami and Florida near the top of his list of schools, but after a recent visit to Ohio State, the Buckeyes and Canes are now his top two schools.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Offensive lineman Demetrius Knox has had an interesting recruitment thus far. The one-time Texas commit is now no longer considering the Longhorns and will likely head out of state.

The four-star lineman has a current top five of UCLA, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida and TCU and says he still needs to further evaluate these programs to see which is the best fit for him.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- With a score of 153.90, ESPN 300 athlete Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) won the SPARQ national championship on Monday evening.

Noil, the top-ranked athlete in the country, has always wanted to win this event.

"It was a big goal of mine," said Noil, who's ranked No. 8 overall. "Because I knew I had to push myself around these great athletes out here and try to become No. 1. I know what I can do, I know what my mom raised me to be and I know that I was going to come out here and become the best."

Ohio State commit Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral) placed second with a score of 149.88 and Georgia running back commit Nick Chubb placed third with a score of 142.59.

Noil is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the country, and he said after the event that several recruits are trying to persuade him to attend their schools.

"They want me to come to their school because they see that we are getting along out here," he said. "No one hates each other, we are just like brothers at home and everyone is pushing each other."

Noil has a top four of LSU, Florida, USC and Texas A&M but admits another school such as Miami could come in the picture because he'd like to take all five official visits. He will make his commitment at the Under Armour All-American game and said the reason he has picked those schools is because of the length of time they have been recruiting him.

"They have been looking at me since I was a sophomore," he said. "I had LSU and Alabama since I was a freshman, but LSU has been in there deep. A&M has been pushing me because of Noel Ellis that I played on the team with last year. USC, I've liked them since I was a sophomore. Florida, also, when I was a freshman."

The 6-foot, 176-pound athlete said he's heard the same message from all of his favorite schools, but he admits it's a powerful one.

"They want me to play wide receiver," he said. "They are saying they can give me the ball and they can help me win the Heisman and that I could help them win a national championship."
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Oklahoma is hoping to sneak back into the picture with ESPN 150 receiver Corey Holmes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) since he came out with his top two schools. Notre Dame and UCLA are the teams to beat for now, but Holmes said there is still a chance that can change.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Keeping top in-state players home is always a priority and that's most definitely the case with linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and Georgia. The No. 13-ranked player in the country says the Dawgs are in his top group, but Mark Richt and Co. might have some work to do.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- One of the first things that stands out at an event such as The Opening is how guys pass the eye test. While we have seen most of the prospects in attendance, some on multiple occasions, there are a few we haven't seen yet. The ability to confirm or assess, in person, a prospect's height, weight, flexibility and body composition is an important factor in the evaluation process.

Monday morning's SPARQ session gave us the opportunity to do just that, and here are a few players who caught our eye.


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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas./Hebron) was orginally planning to make a decision between his top six schools in August.

Jamal Adams
Tom Hauck for Student SportsNo. 24 recruit Jamal Adams has strong reasons to pick each of the final six schools on his list.
But now, the 6-foot, 199-pounder thinks he may delay his decision until after he has taken all five official visits.

"I'm at six right now," said Adams, who's the nation's No. 24 player. "I have a mindset of what I'm looking at and an idea of who I'm really looking at I just haven't released anything or told anyone yet. So really, before the season, I want to knock it down to probably about three. Originally I was going to announce in August, but sometimes you have second thoughts. I just want to make the right decision for myself -- I don't want to rush it."

His list of finalists include Texas A&M, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas, Ole Miss and Ohio State. Adams talks about each of final schools.


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Five-star CB Jackson to hit road 

July, 1, 2013
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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) is one of the most sought-after athletes in the country. The 5-foot-11, 171-pound athlete is attempting to visit five schools this summer, including two right after The Opening concludes on Wednesday.


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Hand ready to resume recruiting 

July, 1, 2013
7/01/13
12:37
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Defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) knows the lay of the land at The Opening. This is his second appearance at the prestigious event in as many years, and he's taking it all in as if it's his first.

The No. 4 player in the country says he has been on a break from recruiting in the past few weeks, but he will resume recruiting activities after The Opening.


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ESPN 300 WR Scott set to decide 

July, 1, 2013
7/01/13
9:00
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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore.-- ESPN 300 wide receiver Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) is closing in on his college decision. The four-star athlete will make his selection this week among Florida, Clemson and UCF.

Scott talked about each of his favorite schools.


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