The Opening: Top Five Offensive Surprises
J.C. Hassenauer
J.C. Hassenauer
Northeast Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 8, 2013

There are always surprises as an event like "The Opening," and this year's event was no different. The team picked its Top Five offensive surprises.

1. J.C. Hassenauer, C (6’3, 292) – Woodbury (Minn.) East Ridge
Everyone outside of the midwest wanted to get a look at the Minnesota kid going to Alabama, and to see what the hubbub was all about, and he didn’t disappoint. Hassenaur was consistently good. He was quick off the snap of the ball, he played with a strong base, a low pad level and quick feet. His performance was so good he left town with an extra star (he’s now a four-star prospect) and is the top-rated center in the nation.

2. Toa Lobendahn, OL (6’3, 293) – La Habra (Calif.)
The USC commit was already a four-star by Scout, but how well well he performed in the lineman challenge, especially at new positions, was an added bonus. He's a tackle by trade and likely projects to guard in college, but he played some center during the week and took to it well. He's one of the more fundamentally sound linemen in the West and looked stronger and more agile than he had during his junior season or in the spring.

3. Sean White, QB (6’1, 195) – Fort Launderdale (Fla.) University School
White, who is uncommitted, came into the competition as the 59th-rated quarterback in the nation and left as the MVP of The Opening after leading his team to the title. He was accurate and poised. He was quick and decisive in his decisions, and he performed well under pressure in leading the Field Generals to the championship. He also showed good arm strength and teammates said he had a strong presence throughout the event.

4. Henry Mondeaux, TE (6’5, 252) – Portland (Ore.) Jesuit
Mondeaux, who is not committed, didn’t have to travel far but he made quite an impression. He used his body to shield defenders and gave quarterbacks an inviting target for shot and mid-range passes. He also showed strong hands, and he caught basically everything thrown his way. Tight ends don’t usually shine in these events, but Mondeaux found his niche and did a wonderful job becoming a real threat.

5. Curtis Samuel, WR (5’11, 186) – Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall
Samuel was a bit of an unknown before the event, but that changed quickly when ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds during the Sparq testing. Samuel showed he belonged with the elite during the 7-on-7 competition when he caught the ball and showed acceleration and speed to pull away from cornerbacks in short space. He has a top five of Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, Miami and Rutgers.

Greg Biggins, Greg Powers, Brandon Huffman, Scott Kenndey, Jamie Newberg, Allen Trieu, and Chad Simmons contributed to this feature.

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C J.C. Hassenauer (profile)
OT Toa Lobendahn (profile)
RB Curtis Samuel (profile)
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