South Florida will invade Oregon this week – and the athletes that are headed to the west coast will turn heads.
Over this next few days, the top 166 high school football players in the nation as selected by Student Sports after film evaluation and/or in-person evaluation at one of The Opening Regionals or Rating Days.
In that group of prospects will be 15 standouts from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, who are easily among the nation’s best.
The Opening Finals, presented by Nike Football, is four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition for the country’s most elite high school football players. Every position and every aspect of the game will be highlighted over the course of the three-day program.
The Opening Finals is undoubtedly the most high profile high school football event in the nation. Last year it drew media coverage from Bleacher Report, ESPN.com, Scout.com, 247sports.com, Rivals.com, NFL Network, USA Today and every other major recruiting website, as well as being featured with eight hours of broadcast on ESPNU.
LOCALS ARE READY
This year there are 14 prospects from Broward and Miami-Dade that are currently on the west coast – showcasing their skills.
Here is the group that made their way out there:
2018 – Kevin Austin, WR, North Broward Prep. One of the major recruits who we have followed since his days at Western. Elite prospect who does it all – and the more people watch him, they are that much more impressed.
2018 – Al Blades, Jr. DB, St. Thomas Aquinas. We have watched this impressive University of Miami commitment since he started playing – and his progress has been impressive. This is a quality talent who loves the game and will never back down from any competition.
2018 – Tyson Campbell, DB, American Heritage. This three year varsity starter has answered every question that college coaches had about his ability to play this game. Also a standout track athlete, who has a very bright future.
2018 – Andrew Chatfield, DL, American Heritage. From the youth football fields all the way to high school, this is a prospect who got better and better – and after committing to Ohio State – the nation is now watching this elite football player.
2018 – James Cook, RB, Miami Central. The younger brother of Minnesota Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook, this is a talented, fast and elusive running back who continues to get better and more impressive. Committed to FSU last year, but colleges keeping their eye on this big time football player.
2018 – Camron Davis, RB, Miami Carol City. Easily one of the state’s best and most dependable football players, Camron committed early on to Miami, but college coaches are still following his every move. Great speed and outstanding hands out of the backfield. The complete package. Carried this team to the 6A state title game.
2018 – Joshua Jobe, DB, 6-1, 180, Miami Christopher Columbus. Another of the top prospects, headed to the University of Miami, who will also be in the mix this weekend. Big time talent who is also in that impressive Class of 2018. Because of his age, Jobe is scheduled to be playing his final year at Cheshire Academy, a prep school in Connecticut.
2018 – Elijah Moore, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas. From his days at Western High to looking forward to his final season with the Raiders, this is indeed a difference maker. Has tremendous hands, gets open and has had plenty of experience, going against major college defensive backs in his own practices.
2018 – Mark Pope, WR, Miami Southridge. Ever since he was in youth football, this is an athlete who was always the center of attention. His catch in last year’s 8A state title game gave his Spartans a title that many had predicted. This is easily one of the best in the country – no matter what anyone will tell you.
2018 – Asante Samuel, Jr., DB, St. Thomas Aquinas. For the past three years, all this FSU commitment has done is silence his critics and turned heads. One of the best defensive secondary performers in the state – and with a glowing endorsement by “Prime Time” – Deion Sanders, himself, said this is the kind of football player that every team needs to have.
2018 – Delone Scaife, OL, Miami Southridge. From the time he stepped on Miami Killian’s campus, this University of Miami commitment has gotten better and better – and as he worked against some of the best this week – you can guarantee that everyone will know this name.
2018 – Anthony Schwartz, WR, American Heritage. One of the fastest football players in the country is one of those quality prospects who will light it up. His blazing speed and size has made this tremendous young man someone who is expected to have a huge senior season. Everyone knows his name.
2018 – Nesta Silvera, DL, Amerian Heritage. From his days as a young phenom at Cypress Bay to an emerging star, we have followed his path to this point in his career. Headed to the University of Miami with that outstanding 2018 Class, here is another football player who has the chance to watch his stock rise in Oregon.
2018 – Patrick Surtain, Jr., CB, American Heritage. The best in Florida – and easily top 3 nationally, this is a tremendous football player who brings everything to the table. Can run, jump, read plays, return kicks and punts and is as athletic as you will ever find. Have watched this impressive talent since before he arrived at American Heritage.
2018 – Xavier Williams, WR, Chaminade-Madonna. Was one of the key prospects when the Lions brought in a tremendous Class of 2018 group a few years back. This Alabama commitment has always entertained and has proven that he can play this game at a high level. Will also have the opportunity to showcase his many abilities at Nike World Headquarters!
The Opening Finals 2017 are held at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
PLENTY OF ELITE ALUMNI OF THE OPENING
There has been some very impressive alumni of this event. Among those who have moved on to the next level include: Duke Johnson, Nelson Agholor, Landon Collins, Derrick Henry, Jalen Ramsey, Deforest Buckner, Ezekiel Elliott, Laquon Treadwell, Cory Coleman and Miami Dolphins’ Laremy Tunsil to name a few.
Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!