Texas A&M Aggies: The Opening 2013

RN Top 10: Best of The Opening 

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
11:30
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

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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 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."
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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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- At the Elite 11, throw the rankings out the window. It doesn't matter which quarterback is a five-star or which has a three-star grade entering the event. What matters most is what happens on the field, during chalk talk and from repetition by repetition.

After three days of competition, Elite 11 coach Trent Dilfer said that in no order Sean White, Kyle Carta-Samuels, Kyle Allen, Deshaun Watson, Brad Kaaya and David Blough have emerged as the best of the 18 at the event.

White, the four-star pocket passer from Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) University School of Nova South, continues to be one of the event's most pleasant surprises. Sure his offer list is quite long and includes Boston College, Cincinnati, USF, Syracuse, Wake Forest, West Virginia, as well as heavy attention from a number of SEC and ACC schools, but few expected him to steal headlines like he has.

"His accurate isn't just accurate," Dilfer said. "It's exact. It's an NFL type of ball. I'm stealing this from Steve Young, but he has an artistic ball. He paints a picture with his ball. He just doesn't throw a hinge. He throws the receiver open with the hinge. He just doesn't throw a skinny post. He sends a message with his skinny post.

"Johnny Manziel and Tajh Boyd had a 10-minute conversation about him today. His pass proficiency blows your mind."

While some of the other highly ranked passers haven't quite hit their stride yet, both Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) have.

Watson, the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and highest ranked player at the Elite 11, showed why Clemson made him its highest priority recruit for the 2014 class with a tremendous first three days. The same can be said about Allen, a Texas A&M commit who is the third-ranked pocket passer in the country.

"He's Mr. Consistency," Dilfer said. "He's got nothing working against him at this point. He does nothing bad. He does everything better than good. I'm going to challenge him to be great at The Opening."

Don't have to worry about that. With the lessons Allen is taking from the Elite 11, he's up for just about any challenge.

"This is not only improving me as a quarterback," Allen said. "It's improving every facet of my game and every facet of my life. They're giving us techniques on how to calm your breathing down. They have a psychological coach here. It's just the little things that give you the edge up on everyone else."

Watson, meanwhile, might have started slowly but picked up the pace quickly.

"Deshaun started a little sloppy, to be honest. He's an East Coast guy coming west, so I'm sensitive to that, especially the first day of the event. He lit everything up yesterday. He's a much better passer than he was in Atlanta. He is a sponge. For a highly touted kid that's had so many accolades for years, he embraces the journey of getting better with the best of them."

Miami commitment Brad Kaaya of West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Prep was one of the top six passers after Saturday's drills, and he carried it through to Sunday. The 6-foot-4, 213-pounder showed early and often throughout Sunday's practice why the Hurricanes ventured all the way across the country to snag his commitment.

"He makes the extremely difficult look really easy," Dilfer said. "When you're looking for greatness in any walk of life, you want to find somebody that makes extremely difficult look easy. And he makes everything look incredibly easy."

Carrollton (Texas) Creekview three-star quarterback David Blough continues to turn heads as one of the event's biggest surprises. The Purdue commitment ranks as the nation's No. 42 pocket passer, but here he's showing he belongs with the best of the best. The same can be said about Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep). The Vanderbilt commitment ranks as four-star prospect, but he has wowed with his intensity.

"David is so fiercely competitive," Dilfer said. "He's so determined to be the best he possibly can be. He doesn't let the pressure of that weigh him down.

"Much like David, Kyle's fiercely competitive. On a score of 1 to 5, he's a 6 on the competitive temperament. Trainability is another one of our evaluation points, and he'd be a 6 there again. His passing proficiency, which I thought would be in a 3, is probably 4-plus. He's hit the balance there."

Mitch Sherman contributed to this story.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Kyle Allen was so good this weekend at the Elite 11 finals that it almost worked against him.


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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Wide receiver Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) is one of only five 2015 prospects invited to The Opening. The standout prospect is honored by the accomplishment and is looking forward to experiencing the event firsthand.

"It's definitely super special. I remember watching it on TV and now knowing it's a big-time deal. It's the top seniors in the country, so to be invited as a junior is an honor," he said. "All week I was posting it on Facebook and Twitter, like check me out on ESPNU. My parents will be back home having a viewing party, so I have a lot of support."

Kirk will have his family and friends watching him on TV throughout the week, but he will likely have a lot of college coaches watching as well. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound receiver already holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Florida State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and more.

Those offers came in fast and while he doesn't yet have any favorites, there were a few offers that really caught his attention.


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QBs impress as Elite 11 begins 

June, 30, 2013
6/30/13
12:03
AM ET
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Through two days of competition at the Elite 11 finals, Trent Dilfer identified Deshaun Watson (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) as among the most impressive of the 18 quarterbacks in attendance at Nike headquarters.

No surprise there, as the Clemson commit is the nation's top-ranked quarterback, No. 15 overall in the ESPN 300.

Texas A&M pledge Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), the third-ranked pocket-passer QB and 99th overall prospect, also caught Dilfer’s eye.


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