The Opening 2013: Recruits Who Are Standing Out Early at Nike Camp

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJuly 2, 2013

Speedy Noil via 247Sports
Speedy Noil via 247Sports

Standing out among the elite group of college football recruits at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., is a tough task, but according to reports from experts at the camp, several already have done so.

Though a camp setting doesn't provide an opportunity for a full evaluation like a game or film session would, there's still plenty to look at with these recruits.

For one, they're competing against other players with elite talent. Seeing how they respond to those matchups can tell you a lot about a recruit. 

Agility, speed and pure skill can also be measured at a camp or combine. Events such as 7-on-7s and SPARQ competitions are a great way to measure athleticism. 

Nothing replaces throwing on pads and turning on those bright Friday night lights for an evaluator, but The Opening comes pretty close.


JC Hassenauer, 3-star OC, East Ridge High School (Minn.), Alabama Commitment

Hassenauer is only a 3-star center, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but according to a report from Barton Simmons of 247Sports, he's been impressive at The Opening.

In interior hand-to-hand combat there may not be a better lineman in Oregon than Hassenauer. He had a couple of very good reps against Josh Frazier during one-on-ones and continues to be a standout in every setting that he competes.

That's high praise for Hassenauer, who came into this event as an under-the-radar commitment. Factoring in his tie to Alabama, though, and his good play so far, look for him to start gaining some attention.


DeAndre Thompkins, 4-star ATH, Swansboro High School (N.C), Penn State Commitment

Considering the recruiting sanctions against Penn State, quality rather than quantity has become the priority. Bill O'Brien may not have many scholarships, but he's been certainly making the most of them.

That trend continues, as Penn State commit DeAndre Thompkins has been a standout, according to a report from Tom VanHaaren of

Thompkins, who is No. 54 in the ESPN 300, impressed on the day and seemed to take well to the coaching given to him. The nation's No. 5 athlete put his talents on display, and it didn't go unnoticed. 

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Thompkins is the No. 16 athlete in the 2014 class. He's 6'0'', 170 pounds and runs a 4.46 40, per 247Sports.


Racean Thomas, 5-star RB, Oxford High School (Ala.), Uncommitted

Thomas is one of the best running back recruits in the nation, and he's reportedly standing out at The Opening. Thomas is a shifty, quick and athletic runner who projects to be a game-changer at the college level. According to Simmons' report, he's also showcasing his ability as a pass receiver.

In a camp-type setting, pass-catching skills ares at a premium and Thomas has that in bunches. At one point, Thomas high-pointed a football over a linebacker in the end zone and looked as good as any receiver doing it.

Thomas is the No. 6 running back in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite, but he has unlimited potential. Alabama and Auburn are on top of his 247Sports interest list, followed by Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Oregon. 


Speedy Noil, 4-star WR, Edna Karr High School (La.), Uncommitted 

Edna Karr receiver Speedy Noil ran a 4.4 40-yard dash and posted a SPARQ score of 153.51, the second highest of all time, according to a report from JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.

Noil is a 5-star receiver, according to the 247Sports exclusive rankings. Times are unofficial, per Shurburtt.

As it stands, LSU and Texas lead on his 247Sports interest list. Florida and USC check in behind them as well.