UM at The Opening (Defense)

Nike's The Opening is taking place in Oregon this weekend. 150 of the nation's top prospects will compete in a variety of different settings throughout the weekend. Several Hurricane prospects are there so lets take a closer look.

DE Joe Mathis -- At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Mathis is one of the top defensive end prospects in the state of California. He could end up playing tackle in college. It's going to be tough for the Canes, who offered him in the spring, to get him away from the West Coast but they're one of the schools he keeps mentioning as being considered.

DE Jordan Sherit -- At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Sherit grew up a Miami fan and has been to the school a few times. He's friends with Anthony Chickillo. The Canes are recruiting him but haven't offered yet. Florida has, however, and they seem to have the edge right now. Miami seems to be still evaluating him and a great performance at this event could really help.

LB Matthew Thomas -- Widely considered the state's top overall prospect, Thomas is a premier outside linebacker prospect. He's a tremendous football player with ideal size (6-4/210) and elite level athleticism. The Booker T. Washington High standout has been to the school a few times and has a good relationship with the coaches. Alabama seems to be the toughest competition right now and it could go down to the wire.

LB Jermaine Grace -- At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Grace lacks ideal size for a major college linebacker prospect but he's a tremendous player at Miramar High and he's very fast and athletic. He should do well at this type of event, too. Miami is actively recruiting him and he grew up a big fan and has been to the school a few times to build a relationship with the coaches. Like Sherit, he could earn his way into this class at some point.

CB Vernon Hargreaves -- At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Hargreaves is the state's top cornerback prospect. He is very fast, very athletic, and has outstanding cover skills. He seems like the total package as a prospect and is the top-rated cornerback, nationally, on Scout. His father once coached at Miami but is now on USF's staff. He visited here recently and has the Canes and Bulls, along with Florida State, at the top of his list.

S Artie Burns -- At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, there isn't a more talented safety prospect anywhere in the state. He plays both corner and safety in high school but projects as a premier free safety in college. The Miami Northwestern standout was a one-time Alabama commitment but has backed off that decision and now seems to be focusing on the Canes, the Tide, and Florida State. He's definitely a player to keep a close eye on for Miami fans.

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