Hello again, recruiting fans. I’m back, and it’s time to talk some ‘Crootin’.
The next event on the horizon is Nike’s The Opening, a premier recruiting camp featuring many of the top players in America. The event, hosted annually at Nike HQ in Beaverton, OR, is the premier non-university sponsored camp of the summer.
This event will have a number of different components to it. There's SPARQ athleticism testing, Position drills, media events, a 7-on-7 tournament, a padded lineman competition, and more. 166 of the Nation's top players will compete with and against each other in this 4 day event, which kicks off on June 30th. The Elite11 finals begin on June 28th, and those QBs compete in the main Opening event through the rest of the week as well. As has been the case in the past, various events will be televised on ESPNU, with this year’s schedule to be released later this week.
The past few years had a low number of Canes commits in attendance at The Opening. This year, there are 10 (!!!!) Miami commits heading to The Opening, which you can see in the cover image to this piece as well as the UM recruiting edit included below
Not only are there commits — and lots of them — but there are several top end targets for the Canes who will be attending The Opening. Let’s meet them.
As indicated in the picture above, all 10 of Miami’s commits heading to The Opening are on the same team: Savage Pro. So, that’ll make for easy watching when things are on TV.
RB Lorenzo Lingard (6’0”, 190lbs), University HS, Orange City, FL
The crown jewel of Miami’s 2018 recruiting class, Lingard is an elite, 5-star player for good reason. He is advanced physically, has great athleticism and skill, and dominates every time he steps on a football field. A champion hurdler in addition to his prodigious talents on the gridiron, Lingard is a prototype at RB. If you’re a Canes fan and you haven’t seen Lingard play yet, you’re in for a treat.
RB Cam’Ron Davis (5’9”, 190lbs), Carol City HS, Miami, FL
A VERY local player (Carol City HS is only a 20 minute WALK from Hard Rock Stadium — it’s down on 183rd street, next to the Popeye’s), Davis is a supremely talented player. He will form a dynamic duo with Lingard at RB (both at The Opening and on Miami’s roster in years to come) and can impact the game as a runner or receiver. He’s fast, shifty, and has great hands. He’s the kind of player who should excel in the 7v7 portion of The Opening.
WR Mark Pope (6’1” 170lbs), Southridge HS, Miami, FL
One of the top WRs in this class (ESPN’s low ranking of him has his 247 composite score much, MUCH lower than it should be), Pope is the total package at WR. He’s got great feet, moves on moves, enough speed to run by you, the athleticism to jump over you, and that intangible quality of that “dog” in him.
And, if you want to win, put Noodles (Pope’s nickname) in.
For the win, put Noodles in! @TheStateOfTheU— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) March 27, 2017
Star WR Mark Pope (@markpop10517405) commits to Miami. #Canes _https://t.co/jOBYY5DMXz pic.twitter.com/mkF9FcMYVU
Mark Pope doing Mark Pope things. pic.twitter.com/ZU8id6jXwo— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) June 17, 2017
Want to win? Put Mark Pope in. pic.twitter.com/4Yum7Ml6dx— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) June 17, 2017
Some parent told me Mark Pope is all hype. Just lol. pic.twitter.com/sTlAH1h2H6— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) June 18, 2017
WR Brian Hightower (6’3” 202lbs), IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Hightower has a great combination of size and speed at WR. He’s great at creating separation in his routes, and catches everything thrown his way. Hightower’s numbers aren’t the best around, but IMG Academy is L-O-A-D-E-D across the board so players subjugate themselves to the team at times. But don’t let that fool you into thinking Hightower is anything other than elite. You’ll see what I mean this weekend.
TE Brevin Jordan (6’3”, 250lbs), Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV
One of 2 players in this class who doesn’t play HSFB in Florida (K Bubba Baxa from TX being the other), Jordan is the top TE in the country and was at the top of the list for Miami at this position in this class. The Bishop Gorman star hasn’t lost a game in 3 years, and makes plays all over the field. Expect to see him moved around both at The Opening, and in Miami’s offense in the years to come.
TE Will Mallory (6’5” 207lbs), Providence HS, Jacksonville, FL
A Michigan legacy, Mallory is a great compliment to Jordan at the TE position. He plays WR in HS, but has the frame to add weight and move inside to TE on a full-time basis. Like Lingard, Mallory is a standout track athlete for his HS, so don’t think he’s some plodding, blocking type. He can move, and he can make some seriously acrobatic catches. He’s good, you guys.
OL Delone Scaife (6’3”, 305lbs), Southridge HS, Miami, FL
The lowest rated of the Miami commits heading to The Opening, Scaife has simply been dominant on the camp circuit this spring. He also dominated in Southridge’s spring game, so this isn’t a case of a camp all-star who can’t play when the pads come on. Recently, 247sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons named Scaife as a player to watch who will likely get a rating bump after The Opening. Just a case of the industry catching up with what we’ve known down here for a while: Scaife can seriously play.
DT Nesta Silvera (6’2”, 308lbs), American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL
One of what will hopefully be multiple commits from American Heritage, Silvera is a bully at DT who just does his job and makes plays. He’s well coached, got a great motor, and uses leverage to great success. Scaife vs Silvera in the lineman finals? I’m here for it.
DB Josh Jobe (6’1”, 180lbs), Columbus HS, Miami, FL
As physically developed as any DB in this class, Jobe is a baller, plain and simple. He can play corner or safety, and has plus athleticism to be a dynamic player at either spot. Already 19 years old and having aged out of HS eligibility in Florida, Jobe will reportedly transfer to a prep school in Connecticut for his senior season. Regardless of where he plays, this kid is an All-American talent and will showcase his many talents this week at The Opening.
DB Al Blades Jr. (6’0”, 170lbs), St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The latest player to commit to the Hurricanes, Blades Jr. is a talented DB who takes every rep personally. While he plays CB in HS, I think he will make a better Safety at the next level. Either way, Blades Jr. is damn good, which he’s proven many times, including at a recent recruiting event (the other player referenced in the below tweet is 5-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown)
DB Al Blades the only one to shut down WR Amon-Ra St. Brown on a rep so far #RivalsChallenge— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) June 10, 2017
Here are some of the other players who will be at The Opening that Miami is actively recruiting:
- DE Micah Parsons - Harrisburg (PA) 5-star talent who has spent the spring showcasing his athleticism by playing WR and CB at 7v7 tournaments. Decommitted from Penn State earlier this spring. Says he’s interested in Miami. Needs to visit for this to be a real possibility.
- CB Patrick Surtain Jr. - American Heritage star. Teammate of commit Nesta Silvera. Son of NFL CB of the same name. Miami likely on the outside looking in, but Canes still trying to be involved with Surtain Jr’s connection to CB coach Mike Rumph (his former HS coach). LSU leads.
- WR Terrace Marshall - Bossier City (LA) native. Elite playmaker at WR. Has visited Miami previously with his 7v7 team, and says he wants to return to Coral Gables for an Official Visit later this year. He can do it all at WR.
- CB Tyson Campbell - Another American Heritage player. Teammate of Silvera and Surtain Jr. 6’3” with elite speed (state champion sprinter in 100 and 200). May be a better prospect than Surtain Jr. Miami battling OSU and Clemson here.
- DT Michael Thompson - St. Louis (MO) standout. One of several out of state DTs Miami is trying to gain traction with. Top 50 national player.
- WR Xavier Williams - Chaminade (Hollywood, FL) standout. Alabama commit. Miami has been high on Williams for some time. Several recruiting analysts believe Williams will sign somewhere other than Alabama.
- DT Rick Sandidge - Concord (NC) player. Yet another out of state DT Miami has contacted in this cycle. Probably a low chance he comes to Miami, if any.
- WR Kevin Austin - Local player from North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, FL). One of my favorite WR prospects in this class. Plays low tier comp in HS, so The Opening will be very interesting for him. Miami fighting with Notre Dame, Duke, Tennessee, and Clemson here.
- OT Daniel Faalele - Massive Australian attending IMG Academy. Has yet to play a snap in a game, but is 6’8” 400lbs and moves well for his size. Teams all across America are recruiting Faalele due to his perceived potential.
- LB David Reese - Vero Beach (FL) standout. Has grown from S to LB over the last year. Very athletic player. Miami battling others here. Brother Stewart plays OG for Mississippi State.
- DT Dennis Briggs - Kissimmee (FL) player. Miami thought to lead this recruitment. Top in-state DT target.
Other players such as WR Elijah Moore, WR Anthony Schwartz, OT William Barnes, S Tyreke Johnson, LB Amari Gainer, and DE Andrew Chatfield have Canes offers and will be in attendance at The Opening. None of these players figure to end up at Miami, but I said that about Kai-Leon Herbert last year, and we know how that worked out. Recruiting is strange sometimes, man.
For the full list of players attending The Opening, click this link.
That’s it for today. Get ready to watch Savage Pro put on a show later this week!