BEAVERTON, Ore.- Saturday’s action at The Opening on the Nike Campus featured opening round play of the Nike 7on. Here’s a look at the top skill position performers on the offensive side of the ball.
Michigan quarterback commit Shane Morris was the top performer at his position on Saturday at The Opening.
1- Shane Morris- The Michigan commit had the most consistent day. In a setting where quarterbacks tend to settle for the checkdowns and short, safe passes, he was able to consistently throw the ball down the field successfully. We have seen Morris in this setting throw the ball inconsistently in the past, but today, he was on the money.
2- Max Browne- Browne did not have a bad game during the 7on competition. He’s got a big arm, good leadership ability/intangibles and of course, size/height. Browne, playing for former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, had the most command of his team in this setting. He is a USC commit.
3- Christian Hackenberg- The Penn State commit had the best release of any of the quarterbacks there and is the smoothest, most natural quarterback prospect of any in attendance. That being said, he also was the most turnover-prone in this setting and had threw more than 15 picks as a high school junior last year. His skill set is such that he could be the best quarterback prospect in this class.
-The three prospects at the top, Morris, Browne and Hackenberg were very, very close performance-wise on Saturday.
Four-star running back Taquan Mizzell continued to impress on Saturday at The Opening.
1-Ryan Green- Green was quick and explosive in everything he did. Any routes where there was change-of-direction, he created instant separation. He caught the ball naturally and with ease and showed the ability to make people miss in space, even in this setting. Green is committed to Florida State.
2- Taquan Mizzell- Speaking of making people miss in space, Mizzell has been one of the best we’ve seen in multiple events this spring/summer and Saturday was no exception. He goes by the nickname “Smoke” and he certainly smoked his share of linebackers and other defenders on Saturday. Mizzell is expected to pick either Virginia (the favorite) or West Virginia later this summer.
3- Alvin Kamara- Kamara lined up at both running back and in the slot throughout the day, which could also be his role in college. Like Green, he showed exceptional ability after the catch in space and vertical burst up the field. Kamara said Saturday he’s basically down to Georgia, Alabama and Clemson and should decide this month. Give an edge to the Bulldogs.
-Four-star running back Ty Isaac displayed some of the best hands of any running back at the event, catching multiple touchdowns and becoming a target for Hackenberg. One catch in particular, one-handed in traffic, stood out in particular. Isaac is committed to USC.
-There is little doubt that this is not the setting where the nation’s No. 1 running back prospect according to 247Sports, Kelvin Taylor, is going to shine. That being said, he displayed one of the best moves after the catch of any running back in the field. Taylor is committed to Florida.
-Like Kamara and others, Ohio State commit Ezekiel Elliott lined up just as often in the slot as he did at running back and performed well at that spot. He has legitimate speed and good hands and will be a versatile weapon for Urban Meyer and company in Columbus.
-Alabama commit Altee Tenpenny is showing very little signs of not being fully-recovered from his knee injury. Tenpenny is extremely fluid and seemed to glide at times. At 211 pounds with a 4.4 40-yard dash, you can expect him to be a star for the Crimson Tide provided he shows that he’s recovered this well when the pads come on and he has to stick his foot in the ground and cut in live contact.
USC commit Steven Mitchell showed great explosiveness on Saturday at The Opening.
1- Steven Mitchell- Mitchell looked like a scalded dog running away from defenders throughout the day and showed the ability to even break free from the fastest defenders. Simply put, he was fantastic in the open field with multiple touchdowns of 40-plus yards that were catch-and-run touchdowns. His elusiveness in this setting, where the defender only has to tag you down, was impressive. Mitchell is committed to USC.
2- Laquon Treadwell- Treadwell has impressed for two days and on Saturday, there was no better receiver on throws down the field. He showed the ability to get off the line quickly for a bigger receiver and has a bounce in athleticism with the way he moves. Anything thrown that was a high point ball, a skinny post or a similar route was very good to Treadwell. He has to work on getting back to the ball and getting his arms extended, but his stock is definitely on the rise. Treadwell is uncommitted, but Michigan is the team to beat.
3- Ricky Seals-Jones- After struggling Friday, Seals-Jones turned in a terrific Saturday at receiver. His ability to push through the ground at 230 pounds immediately catches your eye. When the ball is in the air in a high point situation, he comes down with it every time. He also caught a skinny post and ran away from a pair of defensive backs for a 40-plus yard touchdown. While he could project to either side of the ball at the next level, he continues to prefer offense. Seals-Jones is expected to end up at LSU, Texas A&M or Texas. He once was committed to the Longhorns.
-Georgia commit Tramel Terry is one of the more thickly-built receiver prospects in the country and he’s rare in the sense that even though he’s that thickly-built, he has excellent quickness, speed, footwork and route running ability. Terry had multiple acrobatic catches from his future UGA teammate Ramsey during the games.
-Wide receiver Levonte Whitfield has plenty of speed and had a couple of long touchdown receptions where he ran by people with ease. Whitfield was once committed to Miami (Fla.), but he decommitted and now his college choice is up in the air.
-LSU commit Jeryl Brazil has played cornerback for most of the event, but had a highlight reel touchdown reception on an over-the-top deep ball along the right sideline during a game and followed it up with a game-winning 2-point conversion reception. One of the fastest players in the country, Brazil has shown playmaking ability on both sides.
1- O.J. Howard- Howard tested off the charts on Friday, running a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 221 pounds and on Saturday, the Alabama commit showed excellent hands and route running ability during the 7on. Howard was the top pick of his team and judging by his performance, it was for good reason.
2- Marcus Baugh- Baugh, who is committed to Ohio State, caught seemingly everything and displayed plus athleticism. Baugh made multiple difficult catches in traffic, many times while he was covered.
-Like Baugh, Miami (Fla.) commit Travis Johnson displayed excellent hands and the ability to make tough catches in traffic. He plays wide receiver for his high school team, but projects as a tight end or flex tight end in college.
-Auburn commit Arshad Jackson was up and down with his hands, displaying outstanding ability in some games and then having a case of the drops. Jackson is raw, but has very good potential.
Gerry Hamilton and Barton Simmons contributed to this report