Over the last four years, Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon has become the unofficial center of the recruiting universe for one week every summer. As the trend of scouting combines continues to grow, The Opening presented by Nike Football has emerged as the preeminent camp for aspiring FBS football players.
Invitations are required to attend the camp – they’re earned at satellite Nike Football Training Camps throughout the spring. And once again the state of Texas is very well represented at the country’s top recruiting event.
In all, 21 Texans made the trek to Oregon. They range from blue-chippers like Malik Jefferson, Kyler Murray and Kendall Sheffield, who were slam dunks to make it, to under-the-radar players like Midway quarterback Ben Hicks, a verbal pledge to Houston. Only Florida (30) and California (24) can claim more.
The majority of the Texas high school products in attendance this week have already made their verbal commitments. And, not surprisingly given the recent recruiting momentum, Texas A&M is way out in front of the pack with seven. No other school has more than one.
The Longhorns, with ten total pledges in their 2015 class, have zero commitments in Oregon this week. Euless Trinity offensive lineman Patrick Vahe was invited but is not attending.
Four uncommitted Texans are considering Texas, including Jefferson, defensive backs Kris Boyd and Holton Hill, and receiver Ryan Newsome. 247Sports’ Crystal Ball feature favors Texas to land Boyd, Hill, Newsome and four-star Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln receiver John Burt.
LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Houston each have one verbal pledge taking part in the camp, rounding out the 14 committed Texans.
The event is divided into three parts:
- The Elite 11 (July 5-6) – A quarterback-only “campetition”
- SPARQ championship (July 8) – All The Opening participants are put through football combine drills to test speed and agility
- Seven-on-seven tournament (July 9-10) – Players are divided into six teams
While at the camp, the prep stars will have an opportunity to learn from some of the sport’s biggest names. ESPN analyst and Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer leads the coaching for the Elite 11. He’s joined every year by current and former players. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel have been among the player-coaches in attendance this week.
In previous years, Ndamukong Suh, Darrelle Revis and Jerry Rice as well as several other high-profile NFL players have come back to work as position coaches.
— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) July 7, 2014
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