Switzer Thrives at The Opening

North Carolina verbal commitment Ryan Switzer concluded his trip to Nike's The Opening event with a 7-on-7 championship and All-Tournament honors.

"It was a blast," Switzer said. "Just knowing that we succeeded against the best high school kids in the world is just unbelievable. I was just happy to be a part of it."

Switzer was more than just a part of it. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete from Charleston (W.Va) Washington teamed with fellow wide receiver Torii Hunter, Jr. and quarterback Cooper Bateman to help Team Super Bad win the title.

"The chemistry really progressed," Switzer said. "We played three games the first day and [Sunday] we ended up playing five. The game before the semi-finals, I scored three touchdowns and that really got us going and from there we just heated up. [Bateman] is a smart kid and he picked up how I run my routes."

The Opening, which is a four-day event at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, also included one-on-one competition and combine testing. Worn out by weeks of 7-on-7 contests with his high school team, Switzer elected not to participate in combine testing, but competed during one-on-one drills where he caught four of the five passes thrown to him.

"That's the best competition I've ever faced," Switzer said. "… You have to be crisp and sharp on everything you do. The competition there doesn't compare to anything I've ever seen."

Throughout the event, portions of which were televised Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights on ESPNU, Switzer promoted UNC in a unique way – with a haircut.

"They had three barbers in our players' lounge," Switzer explained. "So I went in and told them I wanted a UNC logo on my head and my last name, and he did it. So I represented."

Switzer wasn't the lone UNC verbal commitment representing the Tar Heels at the Opening. Korrin Wiggins, a safety from Durham (N.C.) Hillside, was also on hand.

"I met him previously, but this was the first time we actually really talked," Switzer said. "We have that UNC connection – and that's all you need. We're like brothers now."

Switzer has had a UNC connection with the Tar Heels' coaching staff for several months now. He frequently talks to Blake Anderson, UNC's offensive coordinator, and Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach, and speaks to Larry Fedora "from time to time."

"A lot of them are on the beach with their families, so it's relax time for them, but we're in constant contact," Switzer said. "It's just so comfortable. When I talk to them, it's like I'm talking to someone I've known my whole life. When I went up there for the camp, we ordered pizza and sat in the locker room and watched the [Miami] Heat game. It's all love."

Switzer is spending most of Monday traveling home to where much needed rest awaits him.

"I'm going to get some rest time, finally – maybe about a week or so," Switzer said. "I want to relax and get my body back."

Switzer doesn't have any definitive plans coming up. He was invited to the IMG Madden Football Academy and has considered participating in UNC's 7-on-7 passing tournament on July 20, but he has yet to finalize plans for either.

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