The lineman challenge at The Opening pinned some great competition against each other to determine the best of the best. Despite the large number of top-level recruits, the lineman may have been the deepest position from top-to-bottom.
Chris Casher 'wowed' the crowd on Friday and Saturday with his tremendous athleticism.
There were a handful of lineman that made some great plays and made a name for themselves at the event. Here's a breakdown of how some of the defensive lineman fared all week.
DeForest Buckner- It's hard to miss Buckner in the crowd since he's a full 6-foot-7. His slender frame and long reach combined with his quickness make him a real threat on the edge. One element that was surprising was his power. Buckner looked great both days of the lineman challenge and proved he belong at the event. Oregon, UCLA and Washington are three schools to watch for Buckner.
Chris Casher- There was a stretch where Casher could have been labeled 'un-blockable' because he was. He's fast, he's strong and he's got moves. Some of the best battles at the event were watching Kyle Murphy and Casher go at it. Both are at the top of their game and the Noles certainly got a good one in Casher.
Torshiro Davis- Davis didn't make too many headlines on day one but on day two he picked things up. Slightly undersized compared to some of the other ends in attendance, Davis used his speed to his advantage and had a few good reps. Depending on his growth if Davis can be used in a stand up role he could be a great threat off the edge for LSU.
Sheldon Day- Day was a monster on day two. He was un-stoppable up the middle beating pretty much anyone that was in front of him, including Isaac Seumalo among others. He didn't have a bad day one in the challenge, but his second day was simply that impressive. His "get off" on the snap was second to none.
Quayvon Hicks- Hicks was the "spark plug" so to speak for the defensive lineman. The whole week he ran around screaming "bow, bow, bow" and just had everyone laughing. On day one he struggled with some of the bigger lineman. However on day two he made some key adjustments and used his speed to his advantage off the edge. Once he started getting into a rhythm you could see it all click for Hicks.
Luke Kaumatule- At 6-foot-7 Kaumatule was another one that was hard to miss. Kaumatule was a bit heftier than his close friend DeForest Buckner so the two were easy to separate. He certainly belonged however and on day one got the best of several of the lineman. On day two he seemed to be working in a few new moves and had a mixed result day. Kaumatule told me at the event he's leaning towards staying the Pac-12 with Stanford, Oregon, Cal and UCLA likely to get official visits.
Korren Kirven- Kirven was tough to stop on day one. He continuously beat his man up the middle in his reps. On day two he was not as dominant and seemed to take a back seat to Sheldon Day in terms of performance. Make no mistake about it, Kirven moves well for his size and will be a big impact at the next level.
Ellis McCarthy- McCarthy did not compete on day one due to a swollen ankle. On day two he wasn't sure how well he'd be able to compete. He dominated on day two. McCarthy flashed quickness and power off the ball all day long. Watching him and Sheldon Day line up almost automatically guaranteed the defense would win that rep on day two. McCarthy is the No. 28 ranked player on 247, and he earned every bit of that ranking on Saturday. Oregon, USC and Cal are on his short list for now.
Dan O'Brien- O'Brien was a bit of a sleeper at the event. It's hard to say that a four-star is a sleeper but out of the list of names he emerged on day two. He had a few good reps on day one, but had several on day two and really attacked his blocker. There were a few stunts up the gut he was barely touched on his reps.
Se'Von Pittman- Pittman was one of the few not able to compete in pads. However he went a few reps with Adam Bisnowaty and the burst is there. He's got great size and was eager to learn throughout the camp.
Aziz Shittu- Day one for Shittu was a day to forget by most accounts. He simply couldn't beat his man and was continually rode to the ground. However a new day on Saturday and he did a complete 180. In my recollection there were not many, if any, reps that Shittu lost and he was continually by his man. His recruitment will continue to be an enigma after backing away from Stanford. Cal and USC are two to watch for his commitment.
Pio Vatuvei- At 6-foot-2 he was one of the shorter interior lineman competing. However Vatuvei used every square inch of his body in his reps. His footwork is off the charts quick and his intensity level is second to none. Vatuvei may not be the big name like some of the other lineman, but he played big at the opening. USC is his dream school while Cal currently leads since they have offered.
Adolphus Washington- Washington was another player not allowed in pads at the event. He was constantly around Adam Bisnowaty who had the tall order of blocking Washington, Pittman and Odengibo. His first step and arm technique constantly had him in the backfield on both days.