Top 10 Offensive Players from The Opening:
Cooper Bateman, QB, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood -- Alabama
Bateman was surprisingly left off the all-tournament team despite being arguably the top quarterback of the day during Sunday’s magical run for team Super Bad. He struggled a bit on Saturday, saying the difference in speed from the players in Utah was pretty overwhelming. Things definitely slowed down for him Sunday as he was on point and threw with confidence. He made quicker decisions, got the ball down the field with accuracy and made some big throws in crucial, clutch situations.
It wasn't just offense on display last weekend in Beaverton. Check out our breakdown of the top 10 defensive performers from The Opening.
Max Browne, QB, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline -- USC
Browne was his usual efficient self, putting the ball where it needed to be, and he just doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s so far advanced in his decision making and in his ability to make the right reads, putting the ball where only his receiver can get it. He has no problem checking down and taking what the defense gives and then he’ll go over the top when the safeties or ‘backers creep up. He’s a true field general (ironically, Field Generals was his team name) and about as smart and heady of a quarterback as you’ll see at the high school level.
Ira Denson, OL, Madison (Fla.) Madison County -- Florida State
The dominant guard prospect picked up right where he left off from the Orlando NIKE Camp and was the top offensive lineman in attendance. Denson is incredibly strong and powerful but what makes him special is his quickness and how he comes off the ball. He’s able to get his feet set right off the snap and can deliver a huge punch to an opposing tackle. His one-on-one battles with top defensive line prospect A’Shawn Robinson were some of the true highlights of the entire event.
O.J. Howard, TE, Prattville (Ala.) Autauga Academy -- Alabama
Howard might have been the biggest athletic freak in the event and probably drew more oohs and aahs than any other player. He’s all of 6-5, 225 pounds and clocked a 4.44 40 and threw the power ball a combine-best 48 feet. He showed great hands and body control all weekend long and was running away from linebackers and even cornerbacks as well. It’s obviously a long ways away and Howard hasn’t even played his senior year of football yet, but if there was one player in this group you might want to predict will be an NFL player someday, many would have chosen the athletic tight end.
Torii Hunter, WR, Prosper (Texas) -- Uncommitted
Hunter earned 7-on-7 MVP honors after his incredible performance in the championship game for his Super Bad squad. He made a pair of acrobatic, Lynn Swann-esque catches where he simply jumped over a pair of defenders and came down with the football. He showed the speed to get deep and run past corners, great athleticism and very soft hands. Hunter didn’t get a lot of mention prior to the event as a national recruit but he should definitely be in the discussion now.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Norcross (Ga.) -- Uncommitted
If used properly, running backs can have a big impact in 7-on-7 play and Kamara caught a ton of balls over the weekend. He was easily among the most explosive players in the event and ran a wide variety of routes. Kamara not only caught balls out in the flat but he was getting down the field making plays and has natural pass-catching hands and was very dangerous in the open field as well.
Denver Kirkland, OL, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington -- Uncommitted
In terms of pure domination, Denson was the guy but Kirkland was just as impressive in terms of his win rate. Kirkland has to also get bonus points for playing tackle and having to deal with some of the speed rushers lining up against him and playing in space. Kirkland is just a massive kid but showed surprising feet and agility. He’s a tough, competitive kid who took on all comers and got better as the camp went on, which is saying something because he was pretty dominant from the get-go.
We had The Opening covered from start to finish, with daily analysis, player interviews, top performers by position and much more. Check it out.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, Sealy (Texas) -- Uncommitted
Seals-Jones is just a physical beast at receiver and close to an impossible cover at the high school level. He’s a big body with strong hands, leaping ability and he understands how to get open. He had a couple of games early on where he just dominated the action. With his size, Seals-Jones is one of those receivers that is never really covered, simply because you can just throw the ball up for grabs and he’ll likely come down with it. He has better than average speed as well and should make an early impact at the college level.
Ryan Switzer, WR, Charleston (W.V.) George Washington -- North Carolina
If they took official stats at The Opening, Switzer would have likely led the tournament in catches, and it probably wasn’t close. The receiver worked out of the slot and was just too quick and elusive for anyone to check. He’s an explosive kid who runs well after the catch, has great hands and made a ton of big plays for the winning Super Bad squad. Expect to hear a lot of Wes Welker comparisons over the coming years.
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Crete-Monee (Ill.) -- Uncommitted
Played alongside Seals-Jones to create some serious match-up problems for opposing defenses due to their sheer size and athleticism. Treadwell was probably the most impressive offensive player during Saturday’s pool play round. It’s not just his size. Treadwell can also jump out of the gym and showed the speed to get deep as well. He catches everything with his hands, away from his body and probably had the best body control in jump ball situations in the event.
Others who just missed the cut:
Ryan Green, Taquan Mizzell, Altee Tenpenny
Steven Mitchell, Alvin Bailey
Marcus Baugh, Jake Butt
Alex Redmond, Cameron Hunt, Tyler Lancaster, Shamire DeVine
Greg Powers, Brandon Huffman, Chad Simmons, Jake Worthen, Allen Trieu and Scott Kennedy all contributed to this report