6.) Deon Cain (Tampa Bay Tech)
Like Ridley, The Opening was a coming out national party for Clemson commitment Deon Cain. It’s extraordinary to think that he plays the wide receiver position part-time. In a mere few weeks he will suit up once again as the starting quarterback for Tampa Bay Tech.
Cain had a very good week out west and proved he belonged. Not only that, Cain has established himself as the probable No. 2 wide receiver prospect in the state behind Ridley. He’s so smooth and so effortless. You would never know that he’s really a newcomer to the wide receiver position. Cain’s only playing it because he couldn’t beat out Deiondre Porter (Tampa Jefferson) last spring for the starting quarterback position for the Unsigned Prep 7v7 team.
Life is amazing sometimes, especially when one door closes and another opens. That’s exactly what happened with Cain and losing out to Porter. Instead of sulking and whining, he learned pretty quickly to play the position and become one of the most coveted recruits in the nation. He has good size and speed. Cain gets off the line of scrimmage and into his route very quickly. He has terrific hands and a natural ball catcher. And once Cain catches the football he can make something happen. He has deep speed and is also dangerous in space.
The bottom line is this – Cain looks like he has played the position his entire life. This kid is just a player and the rest of the country saw what we have been seeing for two off-seasons now. He’a truly is a remarkable story.
7.) Ray Ray McCloud (Tampa Sickles)
Ray Ray is built for an event like The Opening and on many levels exceeded expectations. This is a young many blessed with the ability to run. I mean he has another gear and arguably the most explosive prospect in the state. His other major attribute is his versatility. McCloud can line up on either side of the ball at running back, wide receiver and at cornerback.
McCloud had a brilliant second day, making big play after big play. He’s transitioning more and more to the slot receiver position and that’s where he excelled. He possesses excellent hands and is tough to deal with because of his outstanding speed. And he’s also very quick and athletic.
McCloud is a perfect fit for a spread attack. But he may have even more upside at cornerback.
8.) Jordan Scarlett (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas)
At 5-foot-10.5,207 pounds, running back Jordan Scarlett ran a 4.30 [forty]. I was absolutely stunned at his time. He also had a vertical jump of 38.1. Those are two eye popping numbers for this recent Miami Hurricane commitment.
Scarlett looked in the drills [on Tuesday] as good as he tested. In one on ones against the linebackers in tight quarters, he showed the ability to shake and bake. I have always believed his game to be one of power and making that one-cut and going. But he clearly has more athleticism and agility than I ever gave him credit for. It’s not like Scarlett got lucky and did this once. He showed the ability to make guys miss on multiple occasions.
It’s a shame that these guys don’t get to put the pads on as well because it’s so difficult to gauge running backs at an event like this. But Scarlett was impressive in testing, the drills and he caught the ball with consistency. I really think he had a very good three days in Oregon.
9.) Deondre Francois (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy)
I could sensel last Wednesday after day two of The Opening that Francois was a little frustrated. He cited inconsistencies in the passing game with his 7v7 team. That’s too be expected at an event like this.
The bottom line is that this kid is a great competitor and he was frustrated. All in all I thought he threw the ball very well and made great decisions. This four-star dual-threat signal caller is really honing in on his quarterback skills under the watchful eye of his coach, Chris Weinke. You can already see the progress.
Francois was a top five performer during the first two days of the Elite 11. He finished 9th overall.
Kendrell McFadden was one of my question marks going into this event. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and plays bigger than that because of his enormous wing-span. McFadden prefers to play cornerback and he excels at the line of scrimmage. He just eats up every wide receiver in press coverage. But McFadden has some deficiencies in other areas of that position.
He’s much better suited to play safety and he played very well at The Opening. He showed instincts and range from the back end. I like his upside at safety.The Opening - Florida Top 10, 1-5