The Opening: Top Skill Guys We Want to See

July 6 -- The Scout recruiting experts look at the the top skill players they're looking forward to watching compete at The Opening this week, including some UCLA targets...

The Scout.com national recruiting analysts will be in Beaverton, Oregon, all week for The Opening at the Nike Headquarters.

Leading up to The Opening, a gathering of 160 of the top prospects from all across the country, they are focusing on some of the key things to watch in the summer's biggest event.


Which prospect at a skill position from your region are you most excited to see on the big stage at The Opening?

Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst (South)

Loganville (Ga.) Grayson athlete DeAngelo Gibbs seems to always rise to the occasion when he is on the big stage. Some feel he takes plays off, that he doesn't always play his hardest, but he simply may be bored at times — he may just that good. There is no question, Gibbs does need to play hard consistently, he needs to stay healthy, but when the bright lights come on, he seems to always step his game up to show why he is considered one of the best in America. He was at The Opening Finals a year ago, and he was one of the top cover corners. Not many look like him that can move like him, so I want to see if Gibbs can show again why he is a top five prospect in America.

Brian Dohn, National Recruiting Analyst (East)

Scout always had Cherry Hill (N.J.) West cornerback Harrison Hand rated well, and he is the No. 3 cornerback in the East. He was exceptional at The Opening Regional, but he low-key about the camp circuit since then. He did attend a satellite camp hosted by Rutgers and Ohio State, but this will be his first exposure to a consistent high level of talent, and a strong performance could mean more summer offers. Rutgers is recruiting him the hardest, but Virginia Tech and Ohio State continue to show a lot of interest. A big showing means a fourth star.

Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst (Midwest)

I could go with an easy answer and pick a more high profile guy but actually, the one I'm most excited to see is Iowa City (Iowa) West wide receiver Oliver Martin. At the time of his selection to the finals, he did not have any power-five offers. Now he has several. He's very skilled and I could see him being a big surprise this week for people outside the Midwest who haven't heard of him yet.

http://www.scout.com/player/194556-oliver-martin

John Garcia, South Recruiting Analyst

Four-star Deerfield Beach (Fla.) wide receiver Jerry Jeudy intrigues me because he's an up-and-down guy depending on the event we've attended. Sometimes he looks like a sure fire top five wideout in the class with great size, footwork and body control while other times he blends in with the group he's competing against with routine drops and a lack of the ability to separate. I'm excited to see how Jeudy performs against the best for several days to gather a more accurate read on his game and ability to impact a college roster the moment he sets foot on campus. Boom or bust, here.

Greg Powers, National Recruiting Analyst (Midlands)

We recently put Tyrell Shavers on the five-star watch list, and he burst onto the national radar in a big way when he clocked a 4.38 40 at The Opening Dallas. He also had a 138.00 Nike+ Football Rating which will put him in the mix to possibly capture the top overall rating following the competitions during the testing portion of the finals. At 6-foot-6 the Lewisville (Texas) standout is one of the more physically imposing targets. Shavers recently made his commitment to Alabama.

http://www.scout.com/player/199971-tyrell-shavers

Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst (West)

Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins athlete Joseph Lewis is rated the nation's No. 1 wide receiver prospect although some have questioned if he's really the top guy in the country. There's no bigger stage to prove that than The Opening where Lewis will have a chance to line up against the top cover corners in the nation. Lewis has all the physical tools you're looking for in an elite receiver prospect including a college body right now, high level athleticism and body control with strong hands and the ability to make plays down the field. UCLA is involved with Lewis. 

Blair Angulo, Mountain Region Recruiting Analyst

Tua Tagovailoa an Alabama commit and the No. 3-rated quarterback in the Scout 300, was fantastic in The Opening Regional in Oakland this past spring and then shined at the Elite 11 Finals in Redondo Beach to punch his ticket to Beaverton. He has one of the strongest arms in the country but has also shown a feel for putting the appropriate touch on his throws, making him a threat at all levels on offense. The lefty is a true dual-threat on tape, extending plays with his legs and taking off down field when he sees an opening, and we'll continue to get a look at how he has progressed as a passer in the 7-on-7 setting this week.

Brandon Huffman, National Director of Recruiting

It would be easy to say Najee Harris, he's the No. 1 prospect in the West and also the No. 1 prospect in the country.  But we've been watching him for three years and know what he can do- he's the No. 1 overall recruit in 2017 for a reason.  So my pick is actually Darnay Holmes, who is another player we've been watching for three years.  Yes, we know what Holmes is able to do as a corner, he's ranked No. 1 in the 2017 class nationally, but he's also one of the most electric athletes in this class and knowing what he's capable of doing with the ball in his hands, we would be shocked if Holmes doesn't end up playing some offense throughout the week.  Holmes is currently looking closely at Nebraska, Ohio State and UCLA the closest but is also keeping Stanford, Washington and Arizona in the mix. UCLA, of course, is deeply involved in the recruitment of both Harris and Holmes. 

http://www.scout.com/player/183790-darnay-holmes


For complete coverage of The Opening Finals, check out The Opening Coverage Central on Scout.


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