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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Georgia Top 5: The Opening standouts

By Radi Nabulsi

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia fans tuned into The Opening coverage on ESPNU last week to see how the Bulldogs committed recruits were faring and to watch the performances of some of Geogia’s top targets. They were not disappointed as a number of prospects being recruited by the Bulldogs’ coaching staff had impressive outings. Here are five that saw their stock raised.

QB Jacob Park (Goose Creek, S.C./Stratford)
6-4, 206 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 182

Jacob Park
Jacob Park performed well under the glare of The Opening.
While most Georgia fans were hopeful the recruitment of Deshaun Watson would eventually turn their way, the coaching staff offered Park and took his commitment last month after he spent time throwing for Mike Bobo. The ESPN 300 quarterback was not nearly as well known as Peach State record holder Watson, but by the end of the Elite 11, fans were excited about Park. He showed out on a day when most of the other quarterbacks were struggling and received rave reviews from Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer. Park admitted that he struggled early but when the competition moved to the 7-on-7 portion of the camp, he scored early and often.

RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown)
5-11, 217 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 142

Chubb wasn’t quite reaching Rodney Dangerfield levels of no respect coming into The Opening. He was in the ESPN 300, at least. But Chubb had question marks regarding the level of competition he played against and it is tough to be thought of as the premier back when Sony Michel is also in your commitment class. What critics don’t realize is gaining 2,721 yards in only 10 games is tough, no matter where you play. Chubb saw eight-man fronts as a matter of course. At The Opening, he stood out as he lit up the SPARQ competition, coming in second out of the 161 athletes in attendance in the morning session with a score of 143.91. He competed in the evening competition as well, placing third as Georgia fans watched with glee.

DE Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)
6-5, 234 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 10

First, we will agree it is a stretch to say a five-star prospect could do much to help himself. Carter is already ranked the No. 10 prospect in the nation. That said, he cemented his position as a freak athlete while at The Opening. Carter was the first lineman in the event’s history to make the final 10 contestants in the SPARQ national championship. That is unreal. At one point he posted a vertical jump of more than 43 inches and ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash against the laser timer. While he didn’t get to compete in the Linemen Challenge because of an injury, his gaudy numbers make a case for Carter to inch even higher in the rankings.

WR Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp)
6-2, 191 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 126

Malone is a quiet guy who eschews the limelight that some prospects crave. His presence on the field at The Opening spoke volumes, though. The ESPN 300 receiver was repeatedly praised for his big plays and good hands. Malone caught just about everything thrown his way and quickly became a favored target with his ability to get open. He also showed he was faster than previously thought and made several top-10 performers lists.

OG Isaiah Wynn (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood)
6-2, 274 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 115

Wynn plays tackle for his high school team but will play guard when he enrolls in college. The four-star prospect spent his time at The Opening showing he would roll right into his new position, impressing onlookers with his versatility. Guards don’t receive as much attention at tackles, but Wynn made sure that he would not be overlooked. He also is knocked for being a shade under 6-foot-2, but then that didn’t seem to matter to Alabama’s Chance Warmack.