The Opening 2014: Breaking Down Each Top-25 Team's Commits, Targets in Beaverton
Perhaps the biggest event of the offseason for a recruit is The Opening. Set to take place July 7-10 in Oregon, 162 of the nation's top prospects will compete for several days in Beaverton.
Some recruits will come into the event already committed, while others will be top targets for programs. Looking at the final Top 25 AP Poll from last season, many schools have either a commitment or target who will be at The Opening.
Alabama has several future players scheduled to attend the event, while USC will likely be interested in hearing how a few of its targets fared. Plus, Michigan State has a quarterback commitment participating in the Elite 11 Finals.
None of Washington's three commitments are scheduled to appear at The Opening. However, the Huskies do have a few targets who will be working out at the event.
Keisean Lucier-South, a 5-star defensive end, will be coming to Beaverton to punish opposing offensive linemen with his speed. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, the California native has an ideal frame for a young pass-rusher.
The next target for U-Dub at The Opening is 5-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green, who is coveted by many schools. Washington also is in on 4-star center Fred Ulu-Perry and 4-star linebacker/receiver Ben Humphreys.
Vanderbilt doesn't have a commitment or target at the The Opening. However, one recruit who deserves to be there who is considering the Commodores is 4-star defensive lineman Canton Kaumatule.
The Hawaiian weighs 275 pounds and is nearly 6'7". His size, strength and motor help him menace offensive linemen down after down. He warrants an invitation to the event.
Although Duke is another school without a connection to The Opening, it is big-game hunting in this recruiting cycle.
All four prospects are good enough to have been invited.
Wisconsin's coaching staff likely will not pay much attention to what shakes out at The Opening. The Badgers lack a commitment participating in the event, plus none of their top targets appear to have been invited.
21. Arizona State
Brady White is an Arizona State pledge who will be at The Opening. The 4-star quarterback will be looking to showcase his skills in the Elite 11 Finals, plus wow observers during seven-on-seven games.
His teammate at Hart High School in California is 4-star receiver Trent Irwin, who also will be on hand. Both players are 6'2" and 190 pounds, and they'll be looking to connect on passing plays throughout their time in Beaverton.
20. Notre Dame
With several top targets at the event, Notre Dame's coaching staff should have a keen interest in what unfolds at The Opening.
Cornerbacks Iman Marshall and Kendall Sheffield and defensive end Keisean Lucier-South are 5-star targets for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame also is in on 4-star quarterback Travis Waller, 4-star receiver Cordell Broadus, 4-star offensive lineman Matthew Burrell and 4-star cornerback Frank Buncom IV.
Jerry Tillery, a 4-star offensive tackle, is a Notre Dame commitment who has been invited.
USC has top targets such as 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall, 5-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green, 5-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-South, 5-star linebacker John Houston, 5-star defensive back Tarvarus McFadden and 4-star receiver Christian Kirk all headed to The Opening.
18. Texas A&M
However, they will not be alone in Beaverton. Fellow pledges such as 4-star safety Larry Pryor, 4-star defensive back Justin Dunning and 4-star tight end Jordan Davis will also be with Murray and Mack.
They will all be in Beaverton next month.
17. Oklahoma State
Jaylon Lane is an Oklahoma State commitment who will be at The Opening. The 4-star defensive back will likely be recruiting for the Cowboys when he is not working on his game.
He will definitely speak with 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson in Beaverton, as the Louisiana native could do some serious damage in Stillwater.
The recruit who will be carrying the flag for UCLA at The Opening is 5-star quarterback Josh Rosen. The California native pledged to the Bruins earlier this spring, plus he's capable of recruiting like a coach.
He'll be getting in the ears of 5-star defensive lineman Rasheem Green, 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall, 5-star linebacker John Houston, 4-star safety Marvell Tell, 4-star defensive back DeChaun Holiday and 4-star cornerback Frank Buncom IV.
Rosen will also be looking to win the Elite 11 quarterback MVP.
Louisville doesn't have a commitment who will be at The Opening. However, the Cardinals have offered a few prospects who will be in attendance.
All of them will be working out July 7-10 in Beaverton.
Nick Brossette, a 4-star running back, will represent the Tigers at the event.
LSU is not without big targets at the event, as 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, 5-star cornerbacks Iman Marshall and Kendall Sheffield, 5-star receivers Tyron Johnson and Damarkus Lodge and 5-star defensive back Tarvarus McFadden will all be there.
A ton of elite targets for Baylor will be attending The Opening. For starters, the 5-star trio of receiver Damarkus Lodge, linebacker Malik Jefferson and cornerback Kendall Sheffield will be tracked by the Bears through next February.
12. Ohio State
Just because Ohio State doesn't have a commitment going to The Opening doesn't mean its presence won't be felt in Beaverton.
The Buckeyes are in on several prime prospects who are scheduled to attend the event. Defensive end Josh Sweat, linebacker Malik Jefferson and defensive back Tarvarus McFadden are 5-star prospects that Ohio State likes.
The Buckeyes are also hunting 4-star talents such as receiver Christian Kirk, offensive lineman Drew Richmond, receiver Van Jefferson, safety Will Sunderland, offensive lineman Matthew Burrell and running back Soso Jamabo.
No Stanford pledges will be working out at The Opening. However, several targets will be on hand.
Receiver Trent Irwin and cornerback Frank Buncom IV are 4-star prospects who could line up against each other at some point. Rasheem Green is a 5-star defensive lineman who can play end or tackle, while 4-star running back Soso Jamabo is already 6'3" and 210 pounds.
Central Florida isn't usually in the mix for elite prospects. However, the Knights do have a few connections to The Opening.
UCF would love to land 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, while it is trying to hold the attention of 5-star athlete/receiver George Campbell. Another player in attendance who is on Central Florida's radar is 5-star defensive back Tarvarus McFadden.
Taj Griffin, a speedy 4-star running back from Georgia, is the lone Oregon commitment headed to The Opening.
The Ducks, however, do have many targets coming to the event. Byron Cowart and Rasheem Green are 5-star defensive linemen who are looking to impress, while 4-star receiver Ryan Newsome and 4-star running back Soso Jamabo are also considering playing in Eugene.
For Alabama, it's more about which commitments have not been invited to The Opening. That's how many commitments are attending.
It starts with 5-star cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is the top player in the Crimson Tide's class.
He will be joined by 4-star guard Lester Cotton, defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter, safety Deionte Thompson, receiver Calvin Ridley, tackle/guard Richie Petitbon and guard Dallas Warmack. Montrell Custis, a 3-star cornerback, is also headed to The Opening.
Top targets for Alabama who will be at the event include 5-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey, 5-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, 5-star defensive lineman Daron Payne, 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield and 5-star defensive tackle Tim Settle.
Plus, 4-star quarterback Travis Waller is also a wanted man in Tuscaloosa.
Oklahoma's lone commitment at The Opening will be 4-star cornerback PJ Mbanasor. The Sooners also have their eyes on 5-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield, 5-star receiver Tyron Johnson and 4-star running back Soso Jamabo.
It'll be up to Mbanasor to make sure OU has a big presence at the event.
Representing Missouri will be 4-star quarterback Drew Lock. At 6'5" and 195 pounds, Lock's strong arm is sure to wow observers each time he launches passes in Beaverton.
The Tigers do not appear to have any top targets slated to be in attendance. However, Lock is talented enough to carry Mizzou's flag all by himself for a few days.
4. South Carolina
Fields is a solid cornerback, while Pittman is a linebacker with good range. Among the Gamecocks' biggest targets in attendance will be 5-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey, 5-star cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, 4-star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell and 4-star defensive back Jaquan Johnson.
3. Michigan State
For Michigan State, The Opening will be centered on one commitment and one target. Brian Lewerke is a 3-star quarterback who pledged to the Spartans in April.
Should the Arizona native spin it well in Beaverton, he could see another star added by his name. Chris Clark is an uncommitted 4-star tight end who can block like an offensive lineman. He needs to make sure he makes a big impact in the seven-on-seven portion of the event.
Auburn likely will not have any commitments at The Opening, but it still will be talked about at the event.
The Tigers are a key suitor for several players who will be in attendance, such as 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, 5-star defensive lineman Daron Payne, 5-star offensive lineman Martez Ivey and 4-star linebacker Roquan Smith.
1. Florida State
The Seminoles also are in the mix for 5-star defensive end Josh Sweat, 5-star defensive back Tarvarus McFadden, 5-star defensive tackle Tim Settle, 4-star receiver Da'Vante Phillips, 4-star running back Jacques Patrick, 4-star defensive end Austin Bryant and 4-star receiver John Burt.
James told the following to Adam Krohn of Rivals.com (subscription required) on June 16: "FSU is automatic. It's my dream school no matter what."
All invitations to The Opening are per this list at StudentSports.com.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.