Ohio State Buckeyes: Duke Blue Devils


The Opening presented by Nike Football will take place July 7-10 at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, with 162 of the nation's top high school football prospects set to compete. With four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition among the best of the best, The Opening is the perfect chance for recruits in the Class of 2015 to make big jumps and shine on the national stage.

Here are five prospects with the most to gain at the prestigious event:

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The state of Georgia has quickly risen to be considered the fourth most-talented state in the country in terms of producing high school football talent behind Florida, California and Texas. While the state has churned out several big-time defensive linemen and skill players in the last two classes, there were only three Georgia offensive linemen in the ESPN 300 in the 2013 and 2014 combined.

In the Class of 2015, the offensive line has become the position of strength in the Peach State, with 10 big uglies among the top 300 prospects in the country:

No. 7 Mitch Hyatt: The five-star Hyatt was a "must get" for Clemson in the 2015 class with family ties strong in the Tigers' favor, along with proximity to home. Clemson wrapped up its highest-ranked offensive line commit in recent memory on Feb. 5, holding off Ohio State, Auburn and Georgia. While Hyatt has some maturing to do physically, he is blessed with every athletic quality that can’t be coached.


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#CampusConnection: Primetime Live

December, 7, 2013
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The college football regular season has come down to this. Plenty is on the line tonight as the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten hold their title games and we’ll be here with you every step of the way.

So head on over to Campus Connection at 7:45 ET and follow the action along with several of our on-site reporters, including Ted Miller (Pac-12), Andrea Adelson (ACC), David Hale (ACC), Brian Bennett (Big Ten) and Adam Rittenberg (Big Ten). Post your comments and questions and we’ll include as many of them as possible.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Plenty of elite talent will be on hand for Saturday’s Florida-Miami game, but Will Muschamp knows it’ll take more than one Saturday to make a difference; Virginia, Virginia Tech and Ohio State recruits showcased on national broadcast, and 2016 running back target Robert Washington taking a national tour this fall.

Sunshine State showdown
Everybody who is anybody in the Florida recruiting world will be at Saturday’s Florida-Miami game. Miami is going to have a large group of visitors, including ESPN 300 prospects Dalvin Cook, Joe Yearby, Travis Rudolph, KC McDermott and Anthony Moten. The Canes will also be hosting four-star receiver Braxton Berrios on an official visit. Berrios was at Oregon this past weekend, and UM is right in the thick of things with him. Miami will also host Torrance Gibson, Jordan Scarlett, Devante Peete, Devonarie Clarington and CeCe Jefferson, who all rank in the top 10 of Florida for the 2015 class. While the game and atmosphere certainly will make an impression, Florida coach Will Muschamp knows it will take more than that to reel in the elite players. “I would hope that a recruit isn’t making a decision about where they go to school on who wins a specific game,” Muschamp said. “While a recruit might have an emotional swing, based on the outcome of any game, they should consider what the best fit is for them academically, athletically, socially and for their future. We feel strongly that what we have to offer there is bigger than just one Saturday.”

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Myles TurnerCourtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourNo. 10 recruit Myles Turner is down to eight finalists: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville and Ohio State.
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) was unknown and anonymous just a few months ago, heading into the April recruiting period. A broken ankle kept him off the summer circuit last season and kept him off the radar for most of the elite college programs.

But it has all changed in a hurry for the 6-foot-11, 225-pound Texan, who has made an Anthony Davis-esque rise up the rankings, elevating himself from outside the ESPN 100 to No. 10 overall in the Class of 2014 to now potentially challenging fellow big men Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) and Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) for the No. 1 spot. While Okafor is polished and skilled, no one in the 2014 class may have as much upside as Turner.

Turner recently cut his college list to eight and has set just one official visit thus far, to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness on Oct. 4. Turner’s father, David, told ESPN.com that the family has also already set up in-home visits with Texas and Kentucky.

Here’s handicapping the race for Turner, ranking his finalists from 1-8 after talking to those involved in the recruitment:

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Five-star center Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity) has confirmed that he has trimmed his list to eight schools. In no particular order, the finalists for high school basketball’s hottest prospect are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas.


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- While bigger-name prospects come and go on unofficial visits to Florida's summer camp, 2014 defensive end Justus Reed (Clearwater, Fla./Central Catholic) stood out on Thursday by actually participating.

Reed showed up for the afternoon session, warmed up with a couple hundred other campers and did position drills under the watchful eyes of Florida head coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Brad Lawing.


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The nation's top-ranked Class of 2014 recruit, Jahlil Okafor, cut his list to eight schools Wednesday, with Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State remaining in the mix for the ridiculously talented center. But like every other great post, Okafor will be dependent on a player -- primarily the point guard -- to deliver the post feed or drop-off pass on time and on target for him to be in the best position to score.

Let’s take a look at how the eight finalists may sell Okafor on how he’ll receive the ball in their half-court sets.

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Last weekend in Minneapolis at the fourth and final session of the Nike EYBL, No. 1 junior Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) spent a lot of his free time with two friends and fellow top-10 prospects in the 2014 class: Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley) and Justise Winslow (Houston/St. John’s).

There has been a lot of talk that those three elite recruits could choose to play together in college. On Wednesday night, Okafor tweeted that his final eight consists of -- in no particular order -- Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State.

[+] EnlargeJahlil Okafor
Scott Powers for ESPNChicago.comJahlil Okafor, the No. 1 recruit in the 2014 class, narrowed his list of finalists to eight schools on Wednesday.
Why did he decide to narrow his list now? What were the factors in determining the finalists? Which programs were the toughest ones to leave off? How serious is the talk of a possible package deal with Jones and Winslow? And what exactly makes Okafor such a special, highly sought after prospect? Let’s examine.

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Okafor names final eight schools

May, 29, 2013
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The nation's top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2014 narrowed his list to eight schools on Wednesday.

Center Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) tweeted out his list of finalists by declaring, "In no particular order: My final 8 Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State."

This past season, Okafor helped Whitney Young to the Class 4A sectional finals, where the Dolphins fell to Chicago power Simeon in March.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Defensive end Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) looked forward to a meeting this offseason with Drew Richmond (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University School).

After all, Richmond’s team ended the season for Barnett last November with a one-point win the state-playoff semifinal round.

Barnett said he thought he earned a victory over Richmond on Sunday at the Nike Football Training Camp on the home turf of the coveted 2015 offensive tackle.

“I want to go up against the best,” Barnett said, “so I was like, ‘Come on, let’s battle.’ It went well. I got the best of him. He got me a few times, but I think I won that one.”


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Telep's Top 10: Sweet 16 recruiting stories 

March, 27, 2013
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This year’s NCAA tournament has been full of great stories, from Florida Gulf Coast’s Cinderella run to La Salle going from First Four to Sweet 16 to the Big Ten placing four teams in the final 16.

But what about the stories behind the stories -- the tales of how some of this year’s March Madness stars ended up at their eventual schools and helped shape this year’s tourney? To delve into those, this week’s top 10 looks at the 10 best recruiting stories from players and teams in the Sweet 16.

Top 10 Recruiting Stories From the Sweet 16


1. Trey Burke, Michigan
Mick Cronin is not going to want to hear this again, but it’s true. Burke was going to Cincinnati. It was nearly a done deal. But one last call to Michigan’s staff changed the fate of two programs. According to recruiting lore, Burke’s father called a final time asking Michigan if it was interested in Burke. If the answer was no, then Burke was going to Cincinnati. This was in late July of Burke’s pre-senior summer. Remember, it wasn’t like the now All-American was hot stuff then. He was good -- a late top-100 player -- but he wasn’t the player then that he has become. Ultimately, Michigan said it wanted Burke and the Wolverines landed him a few days later.

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When Ole Miss offered Watch List offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) on Monday, the Rebels became the 29th team to extend a scholarship. As of now, all of them are technically in contention for Nelson’s commitment.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- For most high school players, the end of practice means they get a break from the incessant nagging and ceaseless instruction of their coaches. They go home, eat dinner, study and enjoy the respite until the whistles start blowing next time. For ESPN Watch List safety Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), that is not the case.

Wilson’s father is the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach at the University School, so Wilson jokes that he gets no respite.

“Oh no, there’s no break, there’s no break,” Wilson said. “Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, I get it at practice, before practice, after practice, in the car, at the dinner table ...”

The talented junior laughed about the nonstop instruction but he also credited his father with making him the player he is today -- one of the most coveted safeties in Florida.


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Telep's Top 10: Wooden replacements 

March, 13, 2013
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Recruiting is a tricky deal to figure out sometimes.

There’s Duke, which knew it had to replace seniors Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly with a stud frontcourt player in this recruiting class. But conversely, did the thought of potentially having to replace sophomore Shane Larkin even enter Jim Larranaga’s mind at the beginning of the season? I know Larkin is not likely going anywhere, but still, the point is that it can be hard to know exactly what you’re going to need to replace in recruiting.

To that point, Tom Crean knew Victor Oladipo was good, but no one saw this type of year coming from the now projected lottery pick.

Once the afterglow of this season wears off, many Wooden Award finalists will need replacing -- and that’s not an easy task. So while not every player on this list will turn pro, the point of this top 10 is to rate how well each team prepared for the contingency going forward in recruiting.

Top 10 Recruiting Replacements for Wooden Award Finalists


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The latest from Gustin at The Opening
ESPN 300 athlete Porter Gustin (Salem, Utah/Salem Hills) took time out to talk recruiting and more with WeAreSC's Garry Paskwietz on Tuesday at The Opening.
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