There was a lot to think about when putting this feature together. So many prospects out of this region made their case to be on this list, but only five could make it.
Here are the top five performers out of the south.
1. CALVIN RIDLEY | CB | COCONUT CREEK (FLA.) MONARCH
Sparq numbers: 6-1/169/4.54
Need there be more said? Ridley worked out at wide receiver and he was the top performer at his position throughout the event. He made it look easy against some of the best corners in the country. He showed a great burst off the line, he got consistent separation, he high-pointed the ball well, and he showed great body control. The Alabama commitment did it all and will be a new five-star wide receiver on Scout in the near future.
2. DERWIN JAMES | S | HAINES CITY (FLA.)
Sparq numbers: 6-1.5/200/4.50
Ridley received a lot of praise and publicity for his performance, but the top spot was not an easy call. By the end of the event, schools were not throwing anywhere near James, the safety committed to Florida State. He was clearly one of the top overall performers at The Opening. He had his share of interceptions and defensive touchdowns, but the biggest compliment was quarterbacks staying away from him.
3. BYRON COWART | DE | SEFFNER (FLA.) ARMWOOD
Sparq numbers: 6-3.5/258/4.89
It was fun to watch the top offensive lineman (Ivey) and Cowart go head to head in Oregon. Both won most of their reps against others and they pretty much split against each other. Cowart was impressive again and he worked his quickness, strength, and hands against the top offensive linemen. He was consistently good.
4. DEON CAIN | WR | TAMPA (FLA.) TAMPA TECH
Sparq numbers: 6-1/187
A name that may not have drew as much public praise, but Cain was among the best at The Opening -- period. The only way corners were staying with Cain was when he allowed them to. He showed a great burst off the line and he is so athletic down the field. He catches the ball so naturally and his upside is high. Could this Clemson commit be the next Sammy Watkins? It may not be out of the question.
5. MARTEZ IVEY | OT | Apopka (FLA.)
Sparq numbers: 6-6/271/5.27
The No. 1 prospect overall on Scout was the top offensive lineman at The Opening. He struggled a little early on and he and Cowart had some epic battles, but he showed why he is the best in the country. He was impressive in his pass sets against the quick speed rush ends and he used his length to hold off the stronger ends. His ceiling is as high as anyone's in this country.
The Next Five:
6. ATH Donte Jackson | Jefferson (La.) Riverdale
7. CB Tarvarus McFadden | Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage
8. LB Roquan Smith | Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County
9. OG Lester Cotton | Tuscaloosa (Ga.) Central
10. ATH Ray-Ray McCloud | Tampa (Fla.) Sickles
Ridley's One-Handed Grab at The Opening: