Oakland NIKE: Eifler Accomplishes Mission

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- Camilo Eifler came to Sunday's The Opening Oakland Regional on a mission: To Get Open. He accomplished that, and much more, earning SPARQ MVP and linebacker MVP.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. -- Before Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd linebacker Camilo Eifler came to The Opening Oakland Regional on Sunday, he had one mission: Earn his invite to The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore. Get open.

For starters, Eifler wound up earning the SPARQ testing MVP, with a 116.85 mark, including a 42.8-inch vertical leap, a 4.73-second 40time and a 37-foot power ball throw. He won the linebacker group MVP. Finally, he earned that coveted invite to The Opening.

“I really came in with a mission,” Eifler said. “I was working with my strength and conditioning coach, coach Beito, and really working this past week on my start time and agility and power ball. Vertical, it was in my mind today: I’ve got to jump higher. Last year I jumped 39, and this year, it was 42, which is a big improvement. I’d like to thank my legs.”

Eifler was in a playful mood after the event, thanking his gams like an actor thanks his makeup artist, and flashing big shades and an audacious chapeau.

“It was a great experience out here with the guys, competing,” Eifler said. “There were a lot of good running backs like Najee Harris and other guys. Going up against Devin Asiasi was pretty fun, and local guys like Caleb Kelly and Boss Tagaloa, all those guys are really, really good. I’m just thankful that I finally got Open.”

Eifler – who was adopted as an infant by a UC Berkeley professor – made it a goal to earn his spot in Beaverton later this summer, and said that it meant “a little bit more exposure,” though the four-star linebacker already has plenty.

He already holds offers from Michigan, Oregon (his latest), UCLA, California, Utah, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Duke. Louisville, Vanderbilt and Colorado.

“Coach Don Pellum came down, and later that night, he tweeted me, and we talked, and he told me I’d received an offer from Oregon,” Eifler said. “That was big. I went to their camp last year, and didn’t really hear from them, then. They were coming off a national championship, so everything was delayed. That was fun. I was in a car when he told me. I was with my dad, and I was like, ‘Ahhh!’ and he was like, ‘Woah!’ That was a great experience. Right now, going into next season, I want to make a decision before then.”

The Wolverines, the Ducks, the Bears, the Bruins and the Huskies are Eifler’s de facto top five.

“I don’t really need [more attention], but it’s more validation, I guess,” Eifler said. “Coming form Bishop O’Dowd, I really want to put Bishop O’Dowd on the map, and that’s what I came here to do. I got my receiver Damani [Ballard] in, and he did his thing. He was playing slot receiver. Coming to The Opening is just a blessing. I was hanging out with Stevie [UCLA signee Stephen Johnson III] a lot, and he told me how great it was. I’m always over at his house, always watching the replays of the 7-on-7 stuff, and I’m like, ‘Dang, I wish I was there,’ and now, I’m finally going to be on TV, on ESPN. It’s great.”

Eifler had plenty of highlights on Sunday, but he’s the first one to point out the low points.

“The lows, I could have done a little bit better in the cat-and-mouse drill, really shuffled my feet,” he said. “I’ve got to keep my feet moving and really get to the ball. After that, in the pass rush and one-on-ones and seven-on-sevens, I was dominating. I really felt that. That really put me up there. Going up against the top players, getting great reps, that was the goal.”

Eifler will take visits over the next two months, but says once he’s committed, he’ll take an official visit to the school of his choice, but, after that, “That’s it. I’m shutting it down. That’s what coach [Napoleon] Kaufman told me to do. I feel like it’s smart, because you’re not getting all hyped up. I love when I get followers from around the country, but that’s just icing on the cake. I’ll take a visit because I’m going there, not because, ‘Oh, my best friend committed, will Camilo Eifler be joining him?’ No. I really am going to stay true to my word, go to the next level and compete.”

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