Oregon Ducks: The Opening

RN Top 10: Best of The Opening 

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
9:30
PM ET
video 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

The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
After a strong performance at The Opening, center Scott Quessenberry (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) received another honor to add to his resume, as he earned an invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game. The country's No. 2 center knew he was on the short list of players being scouted for the event and a strong showing at The Opening meant he had a good shot at receiving an invitation.

"It's unbelievable," Quessenberry said of accepting a spot in the all-star game. "There are all-star games in your area, but to play in a national game against top players, it's going to be great -- especially the Under Armour game. It's incredible."

The 6-foot-4, 269-pound lineman said he'll show up ready to play, but is looking forward to taking in everything the experience will offer.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

One of the biggest USC recruiting targets at The Opening -- literally and figuratively -- has been defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes from Auburn (Calif.) Placer.

Vanderdoes (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) is a player who is athletic enough to also star as a baseball pitcher in addition to being one of the most highly touted d-line prospects in the nation and he is a huge priority on the wish list for Trojans coaches.

USC would like to add two more bodies on the D-line for this class and Vanderdoes is showing a lot of mutual interest in the Trojans.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Oregon commits, targets at The Opening 

July, 5, 2012
7/05/12
3:30
PM ET
The premier high school football event of the the summer began Thursday at Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

While schools such as Georgia and USC have even larger contingents on hand, three Oregon Ducks commits and several Ducks targets are a couple hours north of Eugene this week. Oregon's top three skill-position commits are on hand to compete among the nation's best.

RB Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), WR Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon Christian) and Alex Redmond (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos) are in Beaverton to represent the Ducks and help recruit some other Ducks targets.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

TIGARD, Ore. -- Want to know how important The Opening is to ESPN 150 running back Derrick Green? So important that the Richmond (Va.) Hermitage High School standout was in the weight room at the players’ host hotel Wednesday afternoon -- a full day before the event officially kicks off.

Green, the nation’s No. 6 running back and No. 58 overall player in the 2013 class, was the first player to check into the host hotel on Wednesday, and he is entering Thursday’s action with the goal of leaving Oregon as the top running back. Since the Nike Football Training Camp in Baltimore in May, Green has lost 20 pounds and is now 6 foot and 215 pounds.

“[The Opening] is definitely a blessing, and I’m taking it seriously,” said Green, who was 5-11 and 235 pounds in Baltimore. “I’ve been getting ready and getting my mind focused on going out and winning.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
It might be enough for some recruits from a small school to be satisfied with scholarship offers from 16 schools, including Michigan, Boise State and California.

For wide receiver Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon Christian), satisfaction is nothing more than an excuse to keep from working hard. While Carrington has made a habit of making goals and achieving them with ease, one goal took a little longer than normal. From the time he was a freshman at Horizon Christian, the No. 38 player in the state of California had two words written on the mirror in his bedroom. It has been more than three years since the words, 'Oregon Ducks' appeared on his mirror. He did it so that every time he looked at himself in the mirror he knew he still had something to strive for.

After an unofficial visit to Eugene for the Oregon football camp, Carrington knew it was time to find a new goal. After a dominating performance in Eugene, Carrington finally earned the offer he had been longing for since the marker met his bedroom mirror.

"It's a dream come true. Oregon has always been my dream school and it just didn't make any sense not to jump on something I have been waiting on my whole life," Carrington said.

Oregon might have taken its time in offering Carrington, giving him the latest of his 17 offers. The staff's patience and due diligence didn't push Carrington away, it actually worked in its favor. In fact, it was something that gave Carrington and his father, former NFL player Darren Carrington Sr, a level of comfort.

"Oregon was the very first school to be in touch with us way back when. The approach they took is something that a parent should be very comfortable with. I wanted to see Darren get his dream offer but Oregon was up front and honest with us from the get go," the elder Carrington said. "They did their due diligence. They spoke with his coaches, his teachers and even spent 30 minutes on the phone with his guidance counselor. That is something unique to the Oregon staff. Some kids these days have a sense of entitlement and get offended if a school doesn't smother them from the beginning of their high school careers. Darren knows it takes hard work to get what you want in life and he's not afraid of that."

If anyone knows about hard work, patience and perseverance, it is Darren Carrington Sr. Coming out of the basketball-crazed Bronx, Carrington Sr. took a long and winding route to Northern Arizona University before becoming an NFL player.

"My son knows my story and he knows the hard work it took me to get to where I was able to get. He understands the physical gifts he has," Carrington Sr. said. "Athletically, things just come easy to him. If you were to try and compare him to where I was at his age, there's really no comparison. He is bigger and more talented, but he also knows that nothing comes easy and he never stops working."


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Darnold talks on Day 2 at the Elite 11
Sam Darnold (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) took time out to talk to WeAreSC on Day 2 of the Elite 11 Finals about what the experience has been like so far, and what he believes he brings to the table at the quarterback position.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 8/28
Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30