BEAVERTON, Ore. — The state of Texas is well represented at The Opening, with 14 of the 166 total players in attendance coming from the Lone Star State. The Longhorns are in hot pursuit of several of them and already hold commitments from two of them, safeties Caden Sterns and B.J. Foster.
Pool play of the 7-on-7 tournament began Sunday afternoon. Wide receiver Brennan Eagles participated only in a portion of Sunday’s event after suffering an ankle injury. The rest of the group represented the state well.
Here were the top five performers from Sunday.
1. Jalen Green, cornerback, Houston Heights
Fab 55 ranking: 9th
Green was the most impactful defensive player of the day from what I witnessed. In his teams’ final two games, he recorded five interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. Green is a physical specimen who has received rave reviews from former NFL defensive back Ryan Clark throughout the week. His length at 6-1 combined with his raw athleticism gives him more upside than any cornerback in Texas during the 2018 recruiting class. The Longhorns are heavily in the mix for Green, who was first offered by Tom Herman when Texas’ head coach was the head man at Houston.
2. D’Shawn Jamison, cornerback, Houston Lamar
Fab 55 ranking: 35th
Jamison’s high school teammate — cornerback Anthony Cook — gets a lot of attention for good reason. Cook is the No. 1-rated player in the state by numerous services and is a five-star talent. But Jamison is slowly becoming a household name with impressive showings at elite camps throughout the offseason. He was the defensive MVP at the Rivals.com national camp and was strong Sunday from multiple positions. Jamison can cover the slot, play outside cornerback and roam the middle as a safety. He doesn’t have the height of Cook and Green, but he’s one of a handful of elite cornerbacks in the state. He said earlier in the week that Texas and TCU are his current top two.
3. Caden Sterns, safety, Cibolo Steele
Fab 55 ranking: 4th
One of three Texas commits in attendance at The Opening, Sterns was paired next to Foster in the secondary of team Mach Speed and the duo showed multiple glimpses of the future. Sterns gets the nod on the list because of a pick-six against the country’s No. 1-ranked quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. Sterns patrols the safety with as much confidence as any player in attendance and covers a ton of ground when he’s not in man-coverage. He’s lived up to his billing as a top-five player in the state during the week.
4. Jalen Preston, wide receiver, Manvel
Fab 55 ranking: 5th
Preston was the best offensive player from Texas during Sunday’s 7-on-7 pool play. Eagles sat out with an injury for much of the day, while Al’Vonte Woodard was solid throughout. Preston made a few highlight catches for his team and looks the part with an impressive blend of size and athleticism. Preston looks like he’s slimmed down since his junior season, and it’s helping him move with more freedom as a receiver. He looked more like a linebacker earlier this year due to his ability to add bulk. Texas A&M is considered the leader.
5. Leon O’Neal, safety, Houston Cypress Springs
Fab 55 ranking: 29th
Texas A&M commit Leon O’Neal was a consistent standout Sunday. He brings an infectious personality and competitiveness to the field each time out and that continued in a setting with the best talent from around the nation. O’Neal played covered slot receivers most of the day, crowding the line of scrimmage and excelling in man-to-man coverage. He’ll play more in space at the collegiate level.