BEAVERTON, Ore. – The 2013 edition of The Opening is shaping up to be maybe the most talented in the history of the event. Eye-popping numbers were the norm in the morning SPARQ testing session on Monday and the afternoon Nike Training Camp had a seemingly endless supply of top performers.
Cameron Robinson lived up to the hype in a big way.
While we’re fully aware that there are numerous prospects that had great days that won’t be found on this list, the names below are the prospects that caught our eyes the most.
This list does not include the quarterbacks who we were able to focus on over the previous two days. It also omits the top ten SPARQ performers, all of whom sat out the Nike Camp to rest up for the SPARQ national championship. Those ten consist of: Speedy Noil, Nick Chubb, Terry McLaurin, Tony Brown, Elijah Hood, Braxton Berrios, Joey Alfieri, Edward Paris, Lorenzo Carter, Trey Marshall.
1. Cameron Robinson, OT, Monroe (La.) West Monroe – Maybe the best overall performer of the day on Monday, Robinson has the size to engulf defensive linemen but the reactive quickness to the point that he dominated an athlete like Jalyn Holmes.
2. Damien Mama, OT, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco – Weight remains the concern with Mama but his punch is unparalleled and he continues to show feet that are rare for that size.
3. Viane Talamaivao, OG, Coronoa (Calif.) Centennial – Offensive line coach LeCharles Bentley called Talamaivao one of the most natural offensive linemen he’s seen in high school. His hand strength and body quickness is as good as anyone in the country.
4. Demetrius Knox, OG, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal – Though they weren’t wearing pads, Knox had no hesitation getting physical on Monday. Among all the offensive linemen in attendance, Knox seems to embrace the physical side of the position as much as anybody.
5. Brian Allen, OC, Hinsdale (Ill.) Central – One of several quality centers in Oregon, Allen moves extremely well laterally, showed nice balance and tremendous toughness against some very physical defensive linemen.
6. JC Hassenauer, OC, Saint Paul (Minn.) East Ridge – In interior hand-to-hand combat there may not be a better lineman in Oregon than Hassenauer. He had a couple of very good reps against Josh Frazier during one-on-ones and continues to be a standout in every setting that he competes.
1. Andrew Brown, DT, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith – Brown is special because not only is he quick with his feet but he’s quick and powerful with his hands. Corey Martinez found that out the hard way when a quick rip move put Brown at the quarterback seemingly before Martinez had gotten out of his stance.
2. Solomon Thomas, DE, Coppell (Texas) Coppell – As an edge rusher, Thomas showed the most quickness of any defensive end. Thomas was able to get offensive tackles on their heels immediately and take control.
3. Ainuu Taua, DT, Lompoc (Calif.) Lompoc – At under 6-feet tall, Taua always has something to prove at elite events but he left no doubt that he belongs on Monday. He was extremely quick and physical getting to the backfield and will only get better when the pads come on.
1. Racean Thomas, RB, Oxford (Ala.) High School – In a camp-type setting, pass-catching skills is at a premium and Thomas has that in bunches. At one point, Thomas high-pointed a football over a linebacker in the end zone and looked as good as any receiver doing it.
2. Joseph Yearby, RB, Miami (Calif.) Central – This is a setting made for Yearby as he was extremely shifty, beating defenders on double moves, making plas deep down the field and showing outstanding quickness in space.
3. Jeff Jones, RB, Minneapolis (Minn.) Washburn – Jones is as complete as any back in attendance as he shows a powerful frame but is still very fluid in the pass game changing direction, adjusting to the football and catching naturally with his hands.
1. Dwight Williams, LB, Junipero (Calif.) Gardena Serra – Always effective in events like this Williams is so good not only from an athletic standpoint in space but in his understanding of pass drops and what’s going on behind him. He had an interception and a spectacular pass breakup in back to back plays at one point on Monday.
2. Christian Miller, LB, Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley – Only 206 pounds currently, Miller is extremely long with a wing-span that allows him to defend passing lanes that he shouldn’t be able to affect. At 6-4, Miller was very difficult to shake on Monday.
3. Clifton Garrett, LB, Plainfield (Ill.) South – Though he is extremely physical, Garrett was a smooth glider in space, defended tight ends extremely well and can flip his hips with ease.
1. Justin Brent, WR, Indianapolis (Ind.) Speedway – A rangy, wiry wide receiver, Brent flashed all afternoon on Monday with his ability to stab the football with his hands. He also showed suddenness and separating ability upfield and the size to finish over smaller defenders.
2. Chase Blakley, TE, Coeur D’Alene (Idaho) High School – Maybe the most sure hands at the entire event, Blakely caught every ball he touched and despite a big body, really moved and changed directions with ease.
3. Christian Kirk, WR, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro (class of 2015) – He’s young, he’s undersized but he’s talented. Kirk is great in space and he transitions from stop to go as well as anybody.
4. Ermon Lane, WR, Homestead (Fla.) High School – Size-speed combination is the key with Lane. For a player that big, he is a fast glider that can wipe out defensive cushion and then out-body defenders to the football.
5. Travis Rudolph, WR, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman – Crisp and precise as a route-runner, Rudolph showed light darting feet and natural hands when the ball arrives.
6. Malachi Dupre, WR, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis – One of the most uniquely athletic wide receivers in the 2014 class, Dupre isn’t always natural catching the football but he has as much upside down the field as any prospect in the country.
1. Adoree Jackson, CB/WR, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra – He’s listed under the defensive backs but Jackson could easily be listed within the wide receivers too. He was dominant in both and displayed eye-popping athleticism.
2. Iman Marshall, S/CB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (Class of 2015) – Marshall was playing with a chip on his shoulder, fighting for reps and locking down nearly everyone that was put in front of him. Despite his age, Marshall is elite with regards to instincts and feel for the position.
3. Quin Blanding, S, Virginia Beach (Fla.) Bayside – Though he’s a big, overpowering type of safety body, Blanding is natural in coverage and doesn’t play tight or high.
4. Jonathan Lockett, CB, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei – A recent Washington commit, Lockett was quick out of his backpedal and drives on the football with authority. He was very competitive and though he doesn’t test through the roof, he is a big-time player where it counts.
5. Damon Webb, CB, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech – Webb may have the best feet at the event among defensive backs. He mirrors wide receivers at the line of scrimmage with ease and he gets out of his breaks quickly, allowing him to find the football and limit separation.