EDITOR’S NOTE: Saturday Down South will be on site covering The Opening in Oregon next week, recapping how the SEC kids performed, as well as what is on their minds. Check back all next week for updates!
Once upon a time, there were several big summer showcases and camps and combines, but there wasn’t a clear cut No. 1 destination. Well, those days are over.
In Beaverton (Ore.) at its worldwide headquarters, NIKE is hosting “The Opening” and the quarterbacking fan’s dream–The Elite 11 camp–from Sunday until next Thursday. It is the fourth year for the event. More than 160 of the best high school football players in the nation will be on hand, and 34 of those players are already committed to SEC schools. Also, dozens of other prime SEC targets will be there.
Nine Alabama commitments and seven Texas A&M pledges will be on hand, fitting because those are the No. 1 and No. 2 rated classes in the country.
SEC fans can catch their future stars on television Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Each evening–beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time–the camp will be recapped on ESPNU. Want to see future Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray test himself against SEC West rival Alabama’s future DB Minkah Fitzpatrick? This kind of matchup could and probably will happen.
Along with combine competitions and 7-on-7 competitions, there will also be a lineman challenge. So all positions will get their chance to shine.
“I’m just so excited about this week and everything that comes with it, from competing against the best to being in such a great place as the NIKE headquarters,” Alabama O-line commitment Richie Petitbon told Saturday Down South this week. “And I’m so excited to learn from all of the great coaches that will be with us all week and also excited to be with all my future teammates. I’m just so excited and honored to be invited to such a great event.”
Five-star Tennessee and Auburn quarterback/athlete target Torrance Gibson agreed.
“I’m very excited,” Gibson told Saturday Down South. “I’m just going to go out there, showcase my God-given talent and have fun.”
Below are two lists: The first one shows the 34 current SEC commitments who are participating, split up by their schools, and the next list has some of the top uncommitted SEC targets who will participate. Notably absent are the No. 1 player in the nation, DT Trent Thompson of Georgia, and the No. 4 player, heavy duty Florida Gator target CeCe Jefferson. However, No. 2 Josh Sweat and No. 5 Martez Ivey will be there and represent the top two uncommitted SEC targets at the camp.
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to recruiting rankings are to 247Sports.com industry composite ranking.
CURRENT SEC COMMITMENTS ATTENDING THE OPENING
|Minkah Fitzpatrick||Alabama||Jersey City, NJ||5||DB|
|Calvin Ridley||Alabama||Pompano Beach, FL||4||WR|
|Deionte Thompson||Alabama||Orange, TX||4||S|
|Shawn Burgess-Becker||Alabama||Pompano Beach, FL||4||ATH|
|Blake Barnett||Alabama||Corona, CA||4||QB|
|Richie Petitbon||Alabama||Washington, DC||4||OL|
|Lester Cotton||Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL||4||OL|
|Jonathan Ledbetter||Alabama||Tucker, GA||3||DT|
|Montrell Custis||Alabama||Hampton, GA||3||DB|
|Sheriron Jones||Florida||Moreno Valley, CA||4||QB|
|Deondre Farrier||Florida||Orlando, FL||3||WR|
|Terry Godwin||Georgia||Hogansville, GA||5||ATH|
|Natrez Patrick||Georgia||Atlanta, GA||4||DE|
|Rico McGraw||Georgia||Nashville, TN||4||DB|
|Chauncey Rivers||Georgia||Stone Mountain, GA||4||DE|
|Jackson Harris||Georgia||Columbia, TN||3||TE|
|C.J. Conrad||Kentucky||Lagrange, OH||4||TE|
|Kevin Toliver II||LSU||Jacksonville, FL||5||DB|
|Maea Teuhema||LSU||Keller, TX||5||OL|
|Nick Brossette||LSU||Baton Rouge, LA||4||RB|
|Kendell Jones||Miss. State||Pinson, AL||3||DE|
|Deddrick Thomas||Miss. State||Memphis, TN||3||ATH|
|Drew Lock||Mizzou||Lees Summit, MO||4||QB|
|Mark Fields||South Carolina||Cornelius, NC||4||DB|
|Sherrod Pittman||South Carolina||Jacksonville, FL||4||LB|
|Preston Williams||Tennessee||Hampton, GA||5||WR|
|Cecil Cherry||Tennessee||Frostproof, FL||4||LB|
|Daylon Mack||Texas A&M||Gladewater, TX||5||DT|
|Kyler Murray||Texas A&M||Allen, TX||5||QB|
|Damarkus Lodge||Texas A&M||Cedar Hill, TX||5||WR|
|Larry Pryor||Texas A&M||Sulphur Springs, TX||4||S|
|Jordan Davis||Texas A&M||Houston, TX||4||TE|
|Kemah Siverand||Texas A&M||Houston, TX||4||WR|
|Justin Dunning||Texas A&M||Whitehouse, TX||4||S|
UNCOMMITTED SEC FIVE-STAR TARGETS ATTENDING THE OPENING (with national rank)
|NAT. RK||ATHLETE||HOMETOWN||SEC LEADERS||POS|
|2||Josh Sweat||Chesapeake, VA||Tennessee||DE|
|5||Martez Ivey||Apopka, FL||Florida||OL|
|10||Kendall Sheffield||Missouri City, TX||Texas A&M||DB|
|11||Malik Jefferson||Mesquite, TX||Texas A&M||LB|
|14||Byron Cowart||Seffner, FL||Florida||DE|
|16||Torrance Gibson||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Tenn./Auburn||QB|
|17||Daron Payne||Birmingham, AL||Alabama||DT|
|22||Terry Beckner Jr.||East Saint Louis, IL||Mizzou||DE|
|23||Damien Harris||Berea, KY||Kentucky||RB|
|25||George Campbell||Tarpon Springs, FL||Florida||ATH|
|26||Tim Settle||Manassas, VA||Tennessee||DT|
|31||Kahlil McKenzie||Concord, CA||Tennessee||DT|
|33||Tyron Johnson||New Orleans, LA||LSU||WR|
|34||Tarvarus McFadden||Fort Lauderdale, FL||LSU||S|