The Opening: Best by Position (South)

Who were the best of the best out of the South? Scout breaks them down by position right here...

All positions had stars at it at The Opening and we break down the best of the best out of the South here.

Quarterback
Deondre Francois was the guy here from day one. He was a top five performer the first two days at the Elite 11 and he had continued success during The Opening.

Next: DeAndre Johnson


Running back
Ray Ray McCloud lined up all over the field and he was tough to match up with. He showed great speed and soft hands making play after play against top athletes.

Next: Mark Walton


Wide receiver
Calvin Ridley stole the show from day one. He was named MVP of the event and rightfully so. He is an elite athlete who could be one of the top corners or receivers in the country.

Next: Deon Cain


Tight end
This is not his natural position, but Auden Tate lined up at tight end and he took advantage of that. He is a natural wide receiver, so linebackers could not stay with him. His length and quickness were too much.

Next: Will Gragg


Offensive tackle
All eyes were on Martez Ivey due to him being the No. 1 prospect in the country on Scout. He did not disappoint. He had some tough battles, but he won much more than he lost. Ivey has as much upside as anyone in the country.

Next: Mitch Hyatt


Interior offensive lineman
Lester Cotton was not allowed to wear pads, but he was able to compete against those who were suited up like he was -- he was impressive. He worked at all three positions and although guard may be his best fit, tackle is not out of the question.

Next: Darryl Williams


Defensive end
Byron Cowart did it again. He was successful at a very high rate from the first rep he took on day one. He showed great quickness off the ball, power, and the ability to work his hands. He was not only impressive on the outside, but when he moved inside too.

Next: Natrez Patrick


Defensive tackle
Like fellow Alabama prospect Cotton, Daron Payne couldn't go all out in pads, but through the drills and one-on-one reps, Payne cemented his five stars beside his name. He was in good shape, he continued to show the strength Scout loves, and he was one of the top defensive line performers there.

Next: Byron Cowart


Linebacker
It was almost unfair with Roquan Smith running around at linebacker. He was clearly one of the better athletes on the field and he was picking passes off and closing windows for quarterbacks all week.

Next: Sherrod Pittman


Cornerback
He used his size effectively and Tarvarus McFadden really shined against top wideouts and top quarterbacks last week. He picked passes off on a regular basis and he returned a few for touchdowns.

Next: Kevin Toliver


Safety
It was the same for the second year in a row at this position -- Derwin James was the man. He is a ball hawk back there and eventually quarterbacks quit throwing his way. He is a special talent and he will play right away at Florida State.

Next: Jaquan Johnson


Athlete
If he wasn't breaking up a pass o defense, then Donte Jackson was scoring a touchdown on offense. The speedster out of Louisiana was all over the field at The Opening showcasing his athleticism.

Next: Terry Godwin

Cowart Clips from The Opening:

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