The Opening: Top Longhorn Targets On Hand

When The Opening kicks off in full force this week, Longhorn fans should keep their eyes and ears trained on what's going on in Oregon.

Because not only do the Longhorns have two commitments in attendance in quarterback Jerrod Heard and wide receiver Lorenzo Joe, but six other top Texas targets will take part in the annual camp that pits the country's best players against each other.

Heard has earned some nice reviews for his play at Elite 11 this past weekend, displaying better-than-advertised passing skills and getting labeled as a surprise player by top Elite 11 coach Trent Dilfer. How will that translate to the 7-on-7 gauntlet at The Opening? It's probably best not to put too much stock into the results … much like last year with Tyrone Swoopes, the 7-on-7 format doesn't play to Heard's greatest strength: his ability to use his legs.

Joe will be interesting for a different reason. He plays quarterback for Abilene Cooper, meaning that almost all of the time he's spent developing his wide receiver skill set has come in his off time. Joe was excellent at Texas's June 2 camp against some pretty good cornerbacks, but now he'll be going up against the best the nation has to offer. How will he hold up?

Of course, one of the cornerbacks who defended Joe on June 2 was San Antonio Roosevelt product Arrion Springs, one of the state's top cornerbacks. And Springs will not only take part in The Opening, but he's expected to announce his college decision, picking between home state Texas and the home state of The Opening, Oregon. The Ducks were thought to have a sizable lead for Springs heading into last week, but Springs took a final visit to Texas on Friday where the Longhorns really rolled out the red carpet.

But Springs is just one of four Texas defensive back targets tasked with shutting down the country's top receivers. Jamal Adams, John Bonney and Tony Brown are also slated to take part. Adams and Bonney both visited Texas's June 2 camp, though neither participated. Brown didn't attend any Texas camps, and while many think the Longhorns aren't one of his top schools, they're still in that mix.

Coppell defensive end Solomon Thomas and La Mirada (Calif.) tight end Tyler Luatua round out the 2014 Longhorn recruits in Oregon. Texas is one of Thomas's top schools, and should be in his recruitment to the end. Luatua also likes the 'Horns and is trying to set up a visit.

Several national recruiting analysts will be in Oregon to evaluate this week's events. You can follow their stories and reports on a special premium board created specifically for The Opening below.


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