The Opening: 7on7 Pool Play
The 18 quarterbacks competing for the top prize at the Elite 11 finally got the opportunity to display their abilities in competitive play as 7ON pool play at The Opening kicked off Tuesday afternoon.
Heading into the day, Purdue commit David Blough ranked first in the Elite 11 standings and was placed on Team Superbad along with quarterbacks Stephen Collier and David Cornwell. Joining the signal callers on Superbad are SPARQ champion Speedy Noil, speedster Johnnie Dixon, Jalen Tabor, recent Cal commit Jaleel Wadood and many more D1 bound ballers.
Adoree' Jackson: The Opening Highlights
Without question, the most impressive squad on Tuesday was Team Apocalypse featuring quarterbacks Kyle Allen, Brad Kaaya and Jacob Park. The Apocalypse squad is comprised of several standouts from California and Florida that include Joe Mixon, D.J. Calhoun, Michiah Quick, John Plattenburg, Royce Freeman, Quincy WIlson and recent Clemson commit Artavis Scott.
Joe Mixon: The Opening Highlights
Other standout performers for Team Apocalypse Tuesday included receiver Trevion Thompson, safety John Bonney, cornerback Kavin Alexander and athlete Budda Baker. Team Apocalypse finished the afternoon 3-0 and earned a first round bye for Wednesday's finals.
The other bye went to the Field Generals squad who shook off an opening blowout defeat to Apocalypse to finish the day strong with consecutive victories. The Field Generals are led by quarterbacks Sean White, Morgan Mahalak and Luke Rubenzer.
The Field Generals squad is led on defense by Gardena Serra teammates Adoree' Jackson and Dwight Williams as well as Adarius Pickett, Jamal Adams and recent Florida State commit Trey Marshall.
Lineman Challenge Championships
The final day of action at The Opening featured the conclusion of the Lineman Challenge. The standout offensive and defensive linemen got another chance to go heads up in 1on1 drills and test their abilities against the best in the nation.
When it was all said and done, Alabama commit J.C. Hassenauer won the overall MVP for offensive linemen while Chad Thomas from B.T. Washington in Miami took home the overall MVP for the defensive line. Thomas already has offers from Florida State, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
In the 1on1 drills, the MVP for the offensive line went to Cam Robinson from West Monroe, LA while Lompoc's Ainuu Taua was named MVP for defensive linemen. Both Robinson and Taua have offers from several big time programs and will flourish at the next level.
The Opening: 7ON Finals
After a dominating performance in group play, Team Apocalypse came out a bit sluggish and was eliminated from contention after losses to Superbad and Alpha Pro. Purdue commit QB David Blough led the way for Superbad while Florida commit Will Grier shined at quarterback all day for Alpha Pro.
The Field Generals impressed Wednesday thanks to the stellar play of quarterback Sean White. Despite being the only Elite 11 finalist yet to commit, the gun-slinger from the U School in Fort Lauderdale, FL was throwing darts all day to his talented arsenal of weapons that included Notre Dame commit RB Elijah Hood, recent Washington commit standout wideout Erik Brown, explosive playmaker Braxton Berrios from Raleigh, NC, and the virtually unguardable Malachi Dupre from River Ridge, LA, who balled out and made big plays all tournament and has 35 scholarship offers.
On defense, Adoree' Jackson set the tone early in the day with a pick six where he high-stepped up the sidelines and capped it off displaying his long jump abilities leaping by marveled media members viewing the linemen challenge. Behind the strong play of White and their stifling defense, the Field Generals advanced to the championship game.
The Land Sharks, led by Kentucky commit Drew Barker out dueled David Blough and Superbad in a back and forth battle. Iowa State commit receiver Allen Lazard made several big catches on the day as did Travis Rudolph, Montae Nicholson and Jojo Robinson. Dalvin Cook impressed out of the backfield. Both quarterbacks impressed with their decision making and progressions, finding their third and fourth options on several occasions.
On defense, the Land Sharks were led by the stellar play of defensive back Tony Brown from Beaumont, TX and recent Washington commit Jonathan Lockett.
The Land Sharks faced off against Alpha Pro with a trip to the championship game on the line. The Alpha Pro squad was loaded with weapons that include highly coveted wideout Ermon Lane from Homestead, FL, Long Bech Poly playmaker Juju Smith and big tight end Henry Mondeaux from Jesuit in Portland.
The Alpha Pro defense is led by Long Beach Poly cornerback Iman Marshall, linebacker Richard Yeargin III from the U School, Florida commit defensive back Duke Dawson, Cass Tech (MI) defensive back Damon Webb and Jesuit linebacker Joey Alfieri.
Alpha Pro quarterback Will Grier showed great command of the offense, making good reads and keeping the secondary honest with his eyes.
In a tight contest that came down the to the wire, Alpha Pro defeated the Land Sharks and advance to the finals.
The championship game was a classic battle between two great teams loaded with D1 bound talent. The Field Generals jumped out to 13-0 lead with quarterback Sean White picking apart the defense in the first half.
Alpha Pro quarterback Will Grier engineered an impressive comeback and led his squad to 14-13 advantage with a few minutes to play.
With the game on the line, White led the Field Generals down the field and found Braxton Berrios in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. White and Berrios connected on the two-point conversion as well to give the Field Generals a 21-14. Alpha Pro's final drive ended when Grier was intercepted by Trey Marshall to secure the victory and championship for the Field Generals.
For his efforts, Sean White was named MVP.
Elite 11 Quarterbacks
At the end of competition, Trent Dilfer and his team of coaches convened to determine which of the 18 quarterbacks attending would make the Elite 11.
Led by MVP Sean White, the list of 11 also includes Texas A&M commit Kyle Allen, Kentucky commit Drew Barker, Purdue commit David Blough, Vanderbilt commit KJ Carta-Samuels, Florida commit Will Grier, Texas commit Jerrod Heard, Miami commit Brad Kaaya, Georgia commit Jacob Park, Cal commit Luke Rubenzer and Clemson commit Deshaun Watson.
This year's event marked the first time The Opening and Elite 11 were held at the same time and place. The Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon served as the perfect host and provided the players and those in attendance with premium facilities and an immaculate landscape. The Student Sports team, led by Brian Stumpf, are the standard bearers in producing quality football training camps like The Opening and Elite 11.
CLA was honored to attend such a prestigious event and looks forward to covering these D1 bound student athletes this upcoming high school football season.