Thursday, July 4, 2013
RN Top 10: Best of The Opening
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
All the top prospects are at The Opening and ESPNU is the place to see the action. Roster | Elite 11
Wednesday, July 3: 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU
For his name alone, the nation’s No. 1-rated athlete arrived at The Opening with a reputation to uphold. Speedy, No. 8 in the ESPN 300, wasted no time, topping 45 inches in the vertical leap during the first round of SPARQ testing on Monday. He came back later that night and won the SPARQ championship, capped by a 4.46 40-yard dash in the Oregon heat. His SPARQ score ranked second all-time to the figure posted last year by Ohio State-bound linebacker Mike Mitchell. Crowned the best high school athlete in the nation, Noil followed his SPARQ performance with an impressive showing in 7-on-7 play with Superbad. -- Mitch Sherman
8. J.C. Hassenauer Woodberry (Minn.) East Ridge | C | 6-3, 292 The three-star center could potentially move up in the rankings after an impressive performance during the linemen challenge. The Alabama commit dominated a majority of his one-on-one matchups and at one point drew some applause from the crowd after a pancake block against a defensive tackle. -- Derek Tyson
7. Ermon Lane Homestead (Fla.) High School | WR | 6-2, 196 The 6-foot-2, 175-pound receiver had several acrobatic catches throughout the week. During the afternoon game, Lane was matched up against five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson when quarterback Will Grier threw a fade route in the end zone. Lane went up, turned his body back to the ball and made the difficult catch over the top of Jackson. Lane certainly lived up to the billing of being the No. 1-ranked receiver in the country. -- Derek Tyson
6. Kyle Allen Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain | QB-PP | 6-3, 200 The Texas A&M commit seemed very consistent throughout the week. He is fundamentally sound and does all the little things right. Allen played well in 7-on-7s and took to the coaching in the Elite 11 drills early in the week. His ability to perform under the stressful scenarios landed him in the top overall group for the week. -- Tom VanHaaren
5. Bishard "Budda" Baker Bellevue (Wash.) High | S | 5-9, 174 Baker isn’t going to blow you away with his size -- he measured in at 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds. Baker is also not going to blow you away with his testing numbers -- 4.51 40-yard dash, 4.15 shuttle, 35-inch vertical leap. But where he did blow the competition away at The Opening was with his on-field play. Baker, the nation’s No. 141 player, made the difficult catches look easy all week long. Routine short passes often turned into long gainers. Passes that were overthrown turned into acrobatic diving catches. He even took to the air and laid his entire body out on one touchdown grab during Tuesday’s 7-on-7 pool play. He took a cameraman out in the process but still managed to come up with the catch. -- Jeremy Crabtree
4. Quin Blanding Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside | S | 6-2, 209 The No. 1 safety in the country looked dominant at times in 7-on-7 play. Blanding had three interceptions on the first day of tournament play and was a leader of his defense. At 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, Blanding looked like a monster in the secondary. -- Tom VanHaaren
3. Damien Mama Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco | OG | 6-4, 370
Damien Mama let no one get through him during one-on-one drills.
Mama, the massive 6-foot-4, 370-pound four-star offensive guard, has some of the most devastating run-blocking film of anybody in the country. And he carried that devastation through to all of the drills at The Opening. Coaches couldn’t stop raving about how Mama performed during drill work and then he took it to another level during one-on-ones. Mama took on anybody who wanted a challenge Tuesday and Wednesday, including five-star De’Shawn Hand, and he beat them handily on almost every single rep with a powerful leg drive and finishing ability that few other linemen displayed at the event. -- Jeremy Crabtree
2. Adoree' Jackson Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra | CB | 5-10, 182 Jackson has speed to burn and it stood out in the 7-on-7s. The No. 5 player in the country took an interception to the house, and like a jet, had to use the next field as a runway to slow down. He covered receivers well all week and proved he is one of the top prospects in the country. -- Tom VanHaaren
1. Cameron Robinson West Monroe (La.) High |OT| 6-5, 330 The big bookend entered The Opening as the top tackle nationally and No. 7 prospect overall. And he may have increased his value to primary suitors Alabama and LSU – even without slipping on the shoulder pads. Robinson is that impressive of a prospect. Tide commit David Cornwell prioritized Robinson as the quarterback’s No. 1 recruiting target at this event – above prized running back Leonard Fournette, who sits No. 1 in the ESPN 300. While Fournette lived up to the hype, Robinson is equally as rare a prospect, perhaps more so. His value as a protector of the quarterback is difficult to calculate. The ex-NFL players in attendance at The Opening the drooled over Robinson. It won’t be long before he’s the anchor of an SEC O-line. -- Mitch Sherman