The Opening 2014: South Offense Preview

Over 70 prospects out of the South will travel to Oregon to compete at The Opening early in July and we take a look at those on the offensive side of the ball here...

The Opening 2014 is a five-day competition featuring the best football prospects in the nation, conducted at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

It features 7-on-7 and lineman competition, as well as the Elite 11 quarterback competition going on in tandem. This year it takes place July 5th through July 10, and it includes 73 prospects from the South.

Here is a look at those on the offensive side of the ball.


You have a good mix at quarterback out of the south. Florida State commit DeAndre Johnson is the highest ranked three-star quarterback on Scout and he is a strong passer and he really understands the game.

Gibson is a freak athlete.

The other two are not committed yet and both have different strengths. Deondre Francois, a four-star has a strong arm and a quick release. He is focused on Auburn, Florida State, and Oregon right now.

The wildcard in this trio is five-star Torrance Gibson. He may actually play wide receiver at this event and that could be his position longterm if quarterback does not workout. He is one of the top athletes in the country at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds. He has bi g play ability at any time from anywhere on the field. Tennessee is trending here.

Running back

What a crop of running backs this is.

All seven are four-star prospects on Scout and you have you mix of bigger backs and speedsters.

Oregon commit Taj Griffin is a blur on the football field and he should be very successful at The Opening. The 5-9, 168 pound athlete is the No. 7 back in the country. Bryce Love is very similar at 5-10, 180 pounds and he is just starting to narrow his list down.

Jacques Patrick is the biggest back in this group. He looks like a linebacker to many a 6-1 plus, 225 pounds. Alabama, Florida, Florida State among others are still in the hunt.

Dexter Williams (Miami commit, but looking), Jordan Scarlett (Recently decommitted from FAU), and Jordan Cronkite are three backs out of the Sunshine State like Patrick and all are solid four-star prospects. Scarlett is currently the No. 4 back on Scout.

LSU commit Nicholas Brossette is the top back in Louisiana and he is another bruising back (6-1, 210 pounds) with good quickness to the hole. He is still a Tiger, but keep an eye on Texas, he spent time in Austin recently.

Griffin is a perfect fit for the Oregon offense.

Wide receiver

Can you say playmakers?

Do you want big, tall wideouts who can go up and make plays over the smaller corners or do you want the quick wideouts who are better fits for the slot position?

You have them both.

Where do you start? How about Preston Williams, the No. 1 receiver in the country on Scout. He is a 6-4, 200 pounds and he has speed, body control, and big-play ability. He is currently committed to Tennessee.

Terry Godwin, the No. 18 overall prospect on Scout. He is actually ranked as a cornerback on Scout, but could easily be one of the top wideouts as well. Godwin is committed to Georgia, but still looking at Alabama and Auburn.

Calvin Ridley is similar to Godwin -- Scout has him as a Scout 100 cornerback but he is equally as good, if not better now at wide receiver. Great length and athleticism.

When talking receivers with size, George Campbell is one of those. He is 6-4 with long arms and very good speed down the field. Former Michigan commit that may be leaning towards Clemson and Florida at this time.

John Burt, Van Jefferson, K.J. Hill, Tyron Johnson, Da'vante Phillips, and Auden Tate all have size in one fashion or another. Burt is 6-4, Jefferson has good length, Hill is built like a running back, Johnson is strong and physical, Phillips is 6-2, and Tate could grow into a hybrid/tight end on the next level.

Johnson is the No. 49 overall prospect on Scout.

Clemson commit Deon Cain is in his own category. He plays quarterback in high school because of his ability with the ball in his hand. He is someone who could make a jump into the Scout 100 with another strong showing.

The guys who make the plays in space are Florida commit Derrick Dillon, Mississippi State commit Deddrick Thomas, super athlete Ray McCloud, former Florida commit Deondre Farrior, and West Virginia commit Jovon Durante.

McCloud could play running back on the next level and Durante could be an inside or outside receiver.

Tight end

At this position, you have two true tight ends who have the size of college tight ends already.

Will Gragg and Jackson Harris are both Scout 300 prospects. Gragg is 6-4, 247 pounds and Harris is 6-5, 250 pounds. Both could end up in the SEC. Harris is already committed to Georgia and Gragg likes Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Texas.

Offensive line

You have the No. 1, No.2, and No. 3 offensive tackles in the country in one place competing.

No. 3 is USC commit Chuma Edoga who was the most impressive at the NFTC where he earned his invite to The Opening. A little light still, but great feet. Georgia is hanging around, but he is strong to the Trojans.

Martez Ivey is No. 1 and No. 1 in the country entering this event. He has yet to commit. Auburn and Florida are the frontrunners right now. Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt (No. 2) is committed -- he was a Clemson lean from the beginning and he committed to the Tigers on signing day 2014. He is not going anywhere.

Does Edoga deserve a fifth star?

Other top tackles participating are Notre Dame commit Jerry Tillery, Clemson commit Noah Green, and Drew Richmond. Plenty of schools are still in the race for Richmond including Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.

The interior bunch is strong headlined by Alabama commits Lester Cotton and Dallas Warmack. Cotton projects as a strong guard and Warmack could play guard or center.

Javon Patterson is a Scout 100 guard and the Mississippi native is leaning towards staying in state. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are battling with Alabama and Auburn right there too.

Arguably the most impressive offensive lineman at the Birmingham NFTC was Darryl Williams. He is a top 10 center on Scout and is one to keep an eye on. Auburn is the favorite right now with Florida State in this as well. Others are still under consideration.

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