The National Select 7-on-7 tournament kicked off on Thursday in Hoover, Alabama and 32 teams showed up geared to compete. When the dust was settled after day one, several players stood out to the FOX Sports NEXT crew at the event.
When the No. 1 player in America is in attendance along with the No. 2 wide receiver and several top-notch signal callers, the offenses will likely rule the day at any event. That was the case in Hoover, Alabama for the National Select 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday.
FOX Sports NEXT tracked the biggest names and performances from day one.
High Profile Bits
Jeremy Johnson was the best player on any field, and it wasn't close. The Auburn QB commit had a certain sense of calm no matter the situation as he led Montgomery (Ala.) Carver to an undefeated Thursday. Whether short, intermediate or over the top, Johnson picked defenses apart with his unmatched accuracy.
While he didn't get many targets on Thursday as a running back, FOX Sports NEXT's top prospect and Clemson commit Robert Nkemdiche was busy with reporters throughout the day. Before the event began, he told me his is thinking about taking visits – but wouldn't name names.
Nkemdiche's teammate at Grayson (Ga.) High was arguably the best defensive player in attendance. David Kamara, who is also a Clemson verbal, talked the talk in the morning and he backed it up with physical play at the line to go along with solid ball skills when tested.
Though he got off to a slow start, five-star Central Valley (Pa.) WR Robert Foster elevated his game as the event progressed. The smooth route-runner played a bit angrier than normally and made some big plays as a result. He and his teammates visited Alabama prior to participating in pool play.
Spanish Fort (Ala.) WR Deon Johnson, an Alabama commit, was consistent throughout the day. He ran good routes and flashed speed out of his breaks to frustrate defenders.
Fayetteville (Ark.) QB Austin Allen had a disappointing day, microcosmic at the end by a poor final performance against Johnson and Carver. Still, he has all the tools to rebound on day two. Fellow Arkansas commits Brooks Ellis and Alex Brignoni held their own on defense more times than not – though Carver was too much.
Brandon Moore, a 2013 wideout from Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville High, made some spectacular grabs throughout the day. But the most impressive haul of the afternoon was Grayson's Clavin Mapp, who scored the first point of the tournament on a full-extension lay-out that he somehow managed to tuck away without the ball moving after traveling about 45 yards in the air.
The most impressive tailback Thursday was Travis Custis. The Georgia Tech pledge is built like a brick house, but moves as fluid as a defensive back. He also displayed some soft hands and above-average route-running ability out of the backfield.
2014 running back Kamryn Pettway, who is now with the Prattville (Ala.) program, is a load. 7-on-7s aren't made for big backs, but he made a name for himself by hitting the seams with ease against linebackers and safeties. Florida State, Alabama and Tennessee are showing interest in him.
Carver (Ala.) WR Landy Capetillo, a rising junior, may have the best hands in the entire field. He is nicknamed "golden fingers" by his teammates and possesses solid speed and quick cuts to go along with his mitts. The 6-foot-1 talent should see his first offer sooner than later.
2015 WR Preston Williams already stands 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and he demands the ball. He reports early interest from SEC schools, but is raw in his ability despite making some head-turning plays. Given another year of polish and a few more lbs, and Williams may end up being the sleeper of the event.
Fellow rising sophomore Tyler Queen had a decent day throwing the ball. He is still reliant on his natural arm strength, which is common with most young quarterbacks before mechanics are fine-tuned. The North Cobb (Ga.) standout does have command of the huddle and shows plenty of poise with his teammates.
Khalen Whitlow, a 2014 QB and the younger brother of incoming Kentucky freshman Jalen Whitlow, got better as the day went on ala Foster. His targets were more off-the-cuff at the end of the day, resulting in some "wow" throws on a somewhat consistent basis after a spotty start.
FOX Sports NEXT's Jason Caldwell contributed to this report