Who Got Open and Who Could be Next?

Mar. 9 -- At Sunday's The Opening Los Angeles event (formerly known as Nike Football Training Camp), six players made it to The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Oregon, and more athletes who were participated Sunday will get locked in down the line...

Of the six players who Got Open, four were on the defensive side of the ball. Here's a closer look as well as a few recruiting notes on some other standout players today.

WR, Tyler Vaughns La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat:

Vaughns had a solid day although it wasn't the best we've ever seen him. He's a silky smooth wide out, very fluid in his movement and despite not being hyper athletic, always finds a way to get open. He's very polished, has great body control and catches the ball as well as anyone you'll see.

On the recruiting front, not much has changed with Vaughns. USC remains a solid leader and is recruiting him harder than anyone. He'll likely make his decision at the Army AA Game in January but will take as many official visits as he can get in before. Georgia is one schools he's hoping to visit and if they offer, Michigan is another he mentioned as a possible destination.

Who Could Be Next?

Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita's Dylan Crawford was actually the WR MVP today as selected by the camp coaches. He tested well, clocking a 4.62-40, 4.09 shuttle and jumped 34" in the vertical. It's important to understand The Opening invites aren't given out on camp performance alone but a combination of camp showing plus tape evaluation, which is where Vaughns had the edge. Still with several WR spots open, it's tough to imagine Crawford not landing one at some point. USC is on Crawford hard and will be tough to beat in this one.

San Diego (Calif.) Mira Mesa's Steffon McKnight really jumped out to us during the 'routes on air' portion of the camp. He might have been the most explosive WR we saw getting in and out of his breaks. He wasn't as dominant during the one on ones and needs to fill out and get stronger but there is some upside there for sure. The WR said USC and Washington are recruiting him hardest right now.

Fontana (Calif.) Summit's Damian Alloway also had a good day and had no problems getting open. He showed his speed during the testing phase of the camp running a 4.50-40 and was running past some of the better defensive backs in the camp during the one one ones. UCLA, California, Washington and Utah top his early list.

OL Michael Eletise, Honolulu (Hawaii) Kaiser:

We heard great things about Eletise following the The Opening event in Hawaii and had a feeling another strong showing would lock in his spot for the elite event in Beaverton. The lineman looked the part, strong in his lower body on a rock solid 6-4 frame. He's a powerful kid, highly competitive and of all the lineman we saw, Eletise might be the one most ready to play early in college.

Eletise visited USC Saturday and UCLA prior to the camp on Sunday. He'll check out Arizona and Arizona State this coming Monday and Tuesday (he didn't remember who was on what day) and could potentially make a commitment sometime late in the summer before his senior year.

Who Could Be Next?

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's Frank Martin had a very good day and we thought deserved a spot following his performance. Physically, this was the best we've ever seen Martin look. He has slimmed down, lost some bad weight and showed improved lateral mobility and foot speed. He worked out at right tackle and although we still think guard might be his best college position, he did show enough athleticism to be given a shot at right tackle at the next level.

Martin visited UCLA on Friday and USC on Saturday and although the big lineman said he's open and not close to narrowing things down, it's tough to see him getting out of SoCal to play his college ball.

LB Krys Barnes, Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty:

Barnes earned LB MVP honors and definitely deserved his spot at The Opening. Every time we see him, we like him a lot more as Barnes has the size, toughness and athleticism to play strongside or middle 'backer in college. He moves very well for a big man and has a solid frame. He's going to have no problems adding weight in college without losing any of his speed or athleticism.

Barnes will visit UCLA this coming week and you can expect the Bruins to offer. He's also planning visits to Oregon and Boise State in April. He said he wants to go through the process and take his visits before making his decision.

LB Mique Juarez, North Torrance (Calif.):

Juarez was also deserving of his TO invite and is one of the more athletic 'backers in the region. In fact, physically, he looks like he could play some safety but has the frame to pack on some good weight and be an ideal fit as a weakside 'backer in college. He's just as impressive on film and has tremendous upside.

Juarez gave an early commitment to USC but said he still wants to keep his options open and said Notre Dame and UCLA are coming after him hard.

Who Could Be Next?

Heading in to the event, one player we thought had a great shot to get locked in for TO was Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's Curtis Robinson. His elite level athleticism and football IQ was tailor made for an event like this where the 'backers are graded heavily on how they look in one on one coverage and playing in space. The coaches liked Robinson quite a bit and there's a strong chance he gets the call sooner than later.

On the recruiting side, Robinson said Ohio State and UCLA are two of the offers that stand out and he's still hoping Stanford comes through with an offer as well. He'll visit the Cardinal in the spring and plans to take his official visits before making a decision.

Rialto (Calif.) Carter's Lokeni Toailoa is another player we think could punch his ticket to TO down the road. He's a pure inside 'backer who shows up best with the pads on. He has worked very hard on his overall athleticism and his cover skills, playing in a ton of 7v7 action and his film speaks for itself. Toailoa said he'll visit UCLA, Oregon and Boise State with his Ground Zero 7v7 team later in the spring.

DB Jack Jones, LB Poly (Calif.):

If there was an overall MVP of the camp, it would have gone to Jones. Simply put, no one was more dominant at their position than Jones. The interesting thing is we talked with Jones just a few nights ago and he planned to work out with the receivers. After being told early in the event he would have a better shot to make The Opening at corner, Jones took on the challenge of lining up against every top WR in the camp and shut them all down.

On the recruiting front, Jones recently moved UCLA to the top of his leader board but added that Notre Dame, Washington, Arizona State and USC were on him hard as well and he plans to wait until Signing Day before he makes his decision.

DB C.J. Pollard, Gardena (Calif.) Serra:

No one works harder than Pollard and it was very rewarding to see him earn the Golden Ticket to The Opening. He has made rapid improvement in every area of his game and it was all on display on Sunday. Pollard clocked a 4.58-40, jumped 33" in the vertical and showed excellent cover skills, especially for a safety, in the one on ones. He has a long, lean frame with long arms and projects as a prototype free safety in college.

On the recruiting front, Pollard has upcoming visits to Utah and Arizona State and plans to take an official visit to Michigan. USC, where his father Marvin played, remains the team to beat.

Who Could Be Next?

The No. 3 DB of the day, in the eyes of the NIKE coaches, was Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco corner Traveon Beck. We've said it numerous times before but it's one of the most baffling story lines of the early spring that Beck is still waiting for his first offer. He's easily among the top corners in the region and had another strong day Sunday.

He measured in at 5-10, 171 pounds, which was a definite win for him as some have said he's too small to play at the next level. He clocked a 4.54-40, jumped nearly 39" in the vertical and showed the quick feet, top end speed and pure cover skills that should make him a BCS level prospect.

La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat athlete Trevon Sidney worked out with the DBs early on before switching to receiver and looked good at both spots. His heart is set on receiver but his skill set could translate better to corner in college. He's more quick than fast but has excellent body control and hands and is just a very good all around football player.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola athlete David Long might have had the best feet of any of the DBs during the early footwork drills. He's a talented receiver but looks like a natural corner and like Sidney and Jones, has the skill set to be a standout on either side of the ball. He said Washington, Michigan, Arizona State and UCLA are recruiting him the hardest right now and all have offered.

Heading in to the event, if you had asked what safety from Serra would have earned an invite to The Opening, many would have guessed Brandon Burton. Burton has really stepped up his game this winter on both sides of the ball but worked out solely with the DBs on Sunday. At his best, Burton is a ballhawking safety with great ball skills and football instincts. He struggled at times in coverage but that's not really his game and his overall skill set is definitely worthy of a trip to Oregon.

There weren't any quarterbacks selected to The Opening but you can probably expect at least 2-3 signal callers to make the cut.

The two players garnering the most looks were Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita's K.J. Costello and Glendora's (Calif.) Matt Fink. Both players have solid tools but neither had their best day on Sunday.

Costello has next level arm strength but wasn't as consistent as we've seen him in the past. Fink has great film and shows dual threat ability but didn't show off the arm strength to consistently cut through the windy conditions.

On the recruiting front, Costello could be closing in on his decision. He's mainly focusing on Stanford and USC and it sounds like he could pull the trigger as soon as this week.

Fink will visit USC on Monday and UCLA Tuesday. Word is, there is a good chance UCLA will offer and that could put the Bruins at the top of his list. Washington is his current leader but Fink said he would like to stay close to home an an in-state offer would be tough to turn down.

Hamilton (Ariz.) DL MVP Garrett Rand had an incredible showing at this same event a year ago and it was thought he was close to a lock to punch his ticket to Oregon. While Rand earned MVP honors, he actually lost a few one on one reps and wasn't quite as dominant as expected. He still has very good film and a nice upside to him and we would be surprised if he doesn't get invited at some point this spring.

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