The Opening: First Day Notes's experts provide evaluations and recruiting info on many of UCLA's prospects after the first day of The Opening...'s complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
The first day of The Opening kicked off on Monday with the SPARQ Prelims and sandwiched in there, the Nike Football Training Camp.

NFTC Notes

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco offensive tackle Damien Mama is the top lineman in California, but he's making a case as one of the premier linemen in the nation.  Mama was dominant in the 1on1s, his first punch being lights out against the defender.  Former NFL All-Pro LeCharles Bentley, who is the lead offensive line coach, said Mama is one of two players here he feels is a sure-fire NFL lineman.  Mama is making a major push for five-stars.

Some of the best one-on-one's were between Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive back Iman Marshall and Fresno (Calif.) Central receiver Michiah Quick.  The five-star Quick got Marshall twice, but Marshall was with him stride-for-stride.  Both are pretty spirited players and enjoyed going against each other.

Another good one-on-one to watch was between the No. 3-ranked receiver Malachi Dupre, from River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian and Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star cornerback Adoree Jackson.  Dupre got the best of Jackson, using his height and leaping ability to snag the ball over Jackson.

Lewisville (Texas) Hebron safety Jamal Adams has easily some of the best closing speed we've seen from any safety in this class.  Adams rarely gets beat at the line of scrimmage, and the one time he did, he closed quickly and batted the ball away with ease.

The West had three tight ends working out, and all got the upper hand on the linebackers consistently, especially Dalton Schultz, the nation's top-ranked tight end from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham, who twice left a linebacker slipping and grabbing passes.  Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) tight end Chase Blakley and Portland (Ore.) Jesuit tight end Henry Mondeaux also had very good days.

The most consistent quarterback was Carrollton (Texas) Creek View passer David Blough, the Purdue verbal, who has such a flawless release and can spin it.  Palo Alto (Calif.) quarterback Keller Chryst, who's committed to Stanford, also had another great day throwing, and probably the best pass we saw all day was a deep ball from West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade's Brad Kaaya to North Little Rock (Ark.) receiver Kavin Alexander.

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro 2015 receiver Christian Kirk and Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp receiver Josh Malone both looked great in the early drills and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly five-star safety Juju Smith, who was playing receiver, also looked good working on offense.

Recruiting Notebook

  • Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco cornerback Jaleel Wadood will announce his decision on Tuesday evening.  Wadood said he will be choosing from Arizona State, California, UCLA and USC.  "It's been tough this week, coaches inboxing me on Facebook.  I'll talk it over with my dad, pray on my decision then come out with my decision.  All four are great schools."

  • El Cerrito (Calif.) linebacker D.J. Calhoun will announce his decision on Wednesday night.  Calhoun has five schools he'll be choosing from.  "My top five are USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Miami and Cal.  When I commit, I will be done.  I just want to get it over with, focus on my year and school.

  • Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2015 defensive back Iman Marshall is one of the select underclassmen at The Opening.  And with nearly 20 offers, Marshall already has a good crop to choose from, but is in no rush.  "The two hometown schools, USC and UCLA, are recruiting me real hard and really want me.  I went up to the Rising Stars Camp at USC and was up at the UCLA Elite Camp too.  Florida State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Wisconsin are some of the national offers I like.  But no rush."

  • Corona (Calif.) Centennial cornerback John Plattenburg was thinking about announcing his decision this week at The Opening, but the four-star has decided to wait things out for a while, with plans to trim to a top five in the next couple weeks, though he'll still announce his decision before the season.  Plattenburg said a few schools are standing out.  "Of course Washington, I just came from there and it was a good visit, UCLA, Baylor, Oregon a little bit, depending on their numbers, and then I'm thinking a trip to Vanderbilt and Cal, I'm talking to Coach Dykes today."

  • Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei cornerback Jonathan Lockett committed to Washington on Saturday and was thrilled to make his decision.  "I went up there twice and after I visited this last time, I felt home.  Coach (Keith) Heyward is a great guy and I just felt it."

  • Bellevue (Wash.) defensive tackle Marcus Griffin has been committed to Washington State for a couple months and said he was glad to be repping the Cougars at The Opening.  "I'm trying to do some recruiting for Washington State.  It's hard with these guys with SEC offers.  It's cool and a big deal to be the first Washington State commit to be here."

  • Novato (Calif.) San Marin quarterback Manny Wilkins committed to Arizona State last month and plans to recruit some players at The Opening.  "Michiah Quick of course, I'm going to work on him.  There are some that might not end up at Arizona State with me.  But I'm trying still with Jaleel (Wadood)."

  • San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels has been committed to Vanderbilt for almost a year and is using The Opening to recruit other Vandy targets.  "There are three dudes on my team this week that Vandy is recruiting, Monte Nicholson, Nyles Morgan and Travis Rudolph, and that will be cool, so I can interact with them and see where they are with Vandy."

  • West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade quarterback Brad Kaaya committed to Miami in May and hasn't wavered despite the two Los Angeles schools checking in on him frequently.  "A lot of schools, USC and UCLA, they recently contacted me and invited me to their camp, but I can't go to another camp.  I'm solid to Miami."

    First-Day Notes from Chad Simmons:

    -- Five-star running back Racean Thomas was extremely impressive on Monday. During my time watching the running backs, Thomas and Joe Mixon stood out as much as anyone. Both have quick feet, each can change direction well, and both showed that they can catch the football. Thomas likes schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, and Oregon. Odds look to be high that Mixon stays in state at California, UCLA, or USC.

    Five-star wide receiver Malachi Dupre showed why he is one of the best again today. He got off the line well, ran great routes, and adjusted to the ball very good as well. He is close to 6-feet, 4-inches tall and he had a vertical leap of over 40-inches today. Florida State, LSU, and UCLA are three schools on Dupre's list. He should be releasing his first list of favorites soon.

    Offensive tackles Cameron Robinson and Damien Mama were both extremely impressive today during the 1on1 session. Robinson is a true left tackle and he played with a little attitude today while dominating the competition. Mama is a tackle/guard prospect with very good feet for someone close to 350 pounds. Robinson is down to Alabama and LSU and Mama lists Alabama, UCLA, and USC as his top three. Both can play for anyone in the country.

    From Jamie Newberg:

    -- I have to admit that the running backs that I was most anxious to see at this event were players like Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine), Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala. ), Joseph Yearby (Miami, Fla./Central) and Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla./Central).

    But the one guy that really caught my attention was Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif.). He's a rocked up 6-foot-1 and 227-pounds. Freeman is powerfully built, drawing the looks comparisons to Adrian Peterson at the same stage.

    Freeman showed a lot of agility and athletic ability in the drills. For his size he's light on his feet and has a good burst and speed. He was one of the more impressive recruits in attendance.

    Freeman favors Oregon, UCLA and Florida right now.

    The others mentioned above all looked impressive today. Fournette is built very similar to Freeman just not quite as big. Thomas is quite the athlete, with exceptional feet and quickness for a 200-plus pound back. Yearby never disappoints and he didn't again today. He was impressive early in the drills and looked outstanding running routes in half-skelly.

    -- As good as Freeman looked during the Camp session Adoree Jackson was even more impressive… and dominating. This Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra star was very good at cornerback and even better at wide receiver. In fact, he was un-touchable playing offense. Jackson is so quick off the line, runs good routes, has very good speed and quickness and super ball skills.. It's almost as if he toys with defenders. Jackson just makes it look so easy even against this competition. But it's also the position he most comfortable playing.

    Jackson, 5-foot-10 and 170-pounds, is a five-star recruit and the nation's No. 3 cornerback prospect. On this side of the ball he performed almost as well, showcasing very good cover skills.

    Jackson is wide open and seems in no hurry to make up his mind with his decision. Schools to watch for with him are USC, UCLA, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, LSU and others.

    Another west coast defensive back that had a very good day is four-star cornerback Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei). Lockett just committed to Washington. Other standouts who did some nice things on day one were corners Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./MLK), Jalen Tabor (Washington D.C./Edison-Friendship), and safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite).

    -- One of the defensive prospects that shined in half-skelly was Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Junipero-Serra). On back to back plays he had an interception and pass breakup.

  • Brandon is in his ninth year with and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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