Nike The Opening Dallas Regional Is Best Ever

ARLINGTON, Texas - Quantity and quality are two variables that rarely come together but under the cloudy skies that later turned to blue at Craven Stadium on the Lamar High School campus those two Q's did come together with over 600 talented high school athletes and college football prospects at Nike's The Opening Dallas Regional.

If college coaches were allowed by NCAA rules to attend such events this would have been a one-stop recruiting shopping for some and there would have been fights breaking out over who was going to talk first to which prospects.

As it was, the event produced the most invitations to The Opening (held mid-summer at Nike headquarters in Oregon) since the current selection process started. There was a one-day record 13 invitations announced after the action at Lamar and more could follow.

Of the invitees, eight have either been offered by Oklahoma State or the Cowboys are actively recruiting those athletes. Scout had a video production team at the event, plus an Army of reporters and you will be seeing so much in the coming days from this event. Go Pokes interviewed over 20 players and will have so much more in the coming days.

The quarterback is always a spotlight as Elite 11 is now conducted in conjunction with The Nike Opening. Former NFL quarterback and Elite 11 head coach Trent Dilfer waited to announce quarterback last, making Oklahoma State offered signal caller Dillon Sterling-Cole (pictured above) of Houston Westfield the record 13th invitee to The Opening on the day.

Sterling-Cole was good all day and was the quarterback MVP for the day as well. His throws were crisp and accurate and he stood out in the pressure cooker at the end of huge day.

Of the quarterbacks that made the pressure cooker, three were tied to Oklahoma State. Nick Starkel of Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas told me he spent time Saturday working for this event and taking snaps from former teammate and current Cowboy center Brad Lundblade.

Starkel was impressive all day and may have been the next quarterback in line as he was 4-of-5 in the pressure cooker and scrambled on another play seeing no open receiver. Starkel said he will be in Stillwater for an OSU practice later in March.

Besides the top gun of the day in Sterling-Cole, Channelview quarterback Jalen Hurts also made the pressure cooker and performed well. An Oklahoma quarterback in Del City's Terry Wilson threw with the top group all day and just missed the pressure cooker.

There were close to 100 defensive backs at the event, the most of any position and the defensive backs coach confirmed to the group it was the best array of defensive backs he could ever remember at a camp ever.

Four invites went to defensive backs including one to the day's MVP at the position with a great name for playing in the secondary, Andraez "Greedy" Williams from Calvary Baptist in Shreveport, La. The other three invitees from the defensive backs were Oklahoma State offers in Eric Monroe of Galena Park North Shore, Eric Cuffee of Waco High, and Jared Mayden of Sachse.

Not drawing an invite to The Opening today but one of the MVP's was Damarea Crockett of Little Rock Christian as he took the top Nike Sparq testing rating of 128.22 in the nation so far this year. Crockett ran a 4.69 in the forty, a 4.0 in the shuttle, threw the power ball 39 feet, and vertical jumped 38.7 inches.

On Saturday, OSU commit Justice Hill of Booker T. Washington in Tulsa ran a 4.51 in the forty. He did not compete on Sunday. Also, Sachse receiver Devin Duvernay clocked a 4.38 in the forty on Sunday, and he did earn an invitation to The opening after performing so well today.

Texas A&M commit and Westfield wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland was invited as was Flower Mound Marcus tight end Kaden Smith. Another tight end and OSU recruit J.C. Chalk of Argyle had a good day as well.

Of the linemen there were two invitees in Allen offensive guard and Texas A&M pledge Greg Little. The talk of the big guys all day was Killeen Shoemaker's mammoth defensive tackle Kendell Jones, who I spoke with and he is a great young man. He is huge at 6-4 and close to 350 pounds but he moves outstanding.

There was also a lot of talk about an Oklahoma lineman in Heritage Hall product Luther Harris. Harris has lost weight, moves well, and performed strong in the one-on-one drills.

Two linebackers were picked to go to The Opening including Donatavious Jackson of Alief Elsik. Jackson was in Stillwater last Sunday on an unofficial visit with teammate and cornerback Chris Brown, who was having a good day before pulling his hamstring. The talented linebacker blazed a 4.59 in the forty during testing.

It was a great day watching some really talented players. You will find so much more on the event throughout the next couple of weeks here on GoPokes.com and on scout.com.


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