Recap: The Opening Finals - Day 4

Recap: The Opening Finals - Day 4

Stefan Adams
The fourth and final day of the Opening Finals from Frisco, Texas brought us the championship rounds of the 7-on-7 Tournament, as well as the continuation of the OL/DL drills, which was capped off by a lineman Final Five.


**Team Overdrive, featuring South Florida stars Tyrique Stevenson, Kenny McIntosh, Josh Sanguinetti, and Frank Ladson, took home the championship trophy after knocking off Team Boomin, 26-8, in the finals. It was a dominating run to the title for Overdrive, with their quartet of Oklahoma commitments making play after play on offense. McIntosh and Stevenson were also integral for Overdrive to get the hardware.

**WR Frank Ladson was extremely quiet all weekend and took a backseat to all the Oklahoma receivers on Team Overdrive. His playing time was sporadic and when he did get on the field, he wasn’t really targeted much by Rattler or Brian Maurer.

**Canes DB commit Keontra Smith was pretty quiet this weekend too. He didn't look bad on any busted coverages, and Team Impact's secondary as a unit was strong besides their bad game against Boomin. Besides a pick early on, there just wasn't any big plays of note coming from Smith.

**ATH Mark-Antony Richards played a lot of safety on the last day for Impact. He had good coverage on a play here or there, but didn’t make any “wow” plays and it seemed he was thinking a bit too much out there. He looked much more comfortable at WR this weekend and made a lot of plays from that spot.

**The interview sessions were even more limited than in past days. Only a few linemen showed up for the linemen interview session after their drills, which I was only looking for Jaquaze Sorrells at that point and he didn't show. Most guys left the event to go home instead. After Overdrive won the title and the awards ceremony, a lot of kids had already left and many others were trying to catch flights, so I grabbed Kenny McIntosh quick and called it a day.

**Kenny McIntosh was excited to talk Canes and threw up the U. Miami is still in a very good spot with him. Notre Dame is out. Oklahoma the main competition right now, as he’s deciding whether to go to Paradise or an OU event the same weekend.

Top Performers

Just like any other camp, it’s impossible to see everything going on with games taking place on multiple fields at once and the media only able to view from one sidelines. Still here were the day’s top performers that stood out to me.

Spencer Rattler, QB, Phoenix, AZ (Pinnacle)

Early in the day, Rattler was switching off with Tennessee commit Brian Maurer and it looked like it would be Maurer that would lead a potential title run. However, Maurer threw a pick six, coach put Rattler back in, and the rest was history. Rattler was slinging it all over the field, going through his progressions quickly, moving his feet, and generally delivering an accurate pass with plenty of zip. He continually gave his future OU teammates Wease, Henderson, and Stogner chances to make plays, and they converted them all the way to the title.

Kenny McIntosh, RB, Fort Lauderdale, FL (University School)

Running backs generally get hidden in 7-on-7 play, and if you don’t have soft hands to make catches out of the backfield, it’s very tough to make an impact. McIntosh made sure people knew who he was, though, and seemed to always find an opening in the flats or middle of the field to help Overdrive keep moving the ball. McIntosh had two total touchdowns and even had a rare running play where he ripped off a big gain on the unsuspecting Team Hype, dashing his way 35 yards downfield.

Theo Wease, WR, Allen, TX (Allen)

Wease was dominating all day, but really took his game to the next level in the championship game, hauling in three touchdowns from Rattler. Wease doesn’t fight the ball and is able to trust his hands and make catches away from his body. His route running is very crisp and deliberate and he is able to set defenders up on moves where he’s clearly thinking one move ahead. An impressive performance by the OU commit and it was clear he had the connection working with future teammate Rattler.

Arjei Henderson, WR, Richmond, TX (Fort Bend Travis)

Henderson seemed to be trading catch for catch with Wease, and was right there until he went out with a minor back injury. Still Henderson’s explosiveness and the ease with which he was getting out of his breaks was giving defensive backs trouble all day.

Jadon Haselwood, WR, Ellenwood, GA (Cedar Grove)

Haselwood makes a return appearance on this list and he teamed with Pickens to make a dangerous duo at receiver for Boomin yesterday. Just the way he is able to elevate and sky above defenders to make a play is truly jaw-dropping.

George Pickens, WR, Hoover, AL (Hoover)

With Pickens, it’s all about his 6’5” frame and how easy he makes it look out there to run with that build. Pickens is very fluid and used that frame to make himself the Opening’s top red-zone target, grabbing a whopping 9 touchdowns over the two days.

Austin Stogner, TE, Plano, TX (Prestonwood Christian)

Stogner stands out physically with his huge frame and he used it well, walling off defenders that challenged him on contested balls. The OU commit made a spectacular catch in the championship game, showing the concentration on a bobbled ball to secure it in the back of the endzone as he was heading out of bounds, while also tapping his feet.

Harry Miller, C, Buford, GA (Buford)

Hailing from Jess Simpson’s old stomping grounds, Miller was a stalwart in the middle of the line at The Opening yesterday and took home OL MVP for his efforts. Most impressive was Miller completely standing up DL MVP Jacob Bandes, who barely pushed Miller off the line of scrimmage.

Wanya Morris, OT, Loganville, GA (Grayson)

Morris was probably the best offensive lineman to my eye on the last day. He worked mainly at left tackle and stoned almost everyone he faced, besides Karlaftis, and he was getting potential lineman MVP buzz. The Tennessee commit’s strong lower base and quick feet allow give him an advantage out on the edge.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Thousand Oaks, CA (Oaks Christian)

The only player to make this list all three days, what more is there to say about Thibodeaux? He dominated the only guy he struggled with on Day 3 in Evan Neal, first blowing by Neal untouched for a sack, then drawing a Neal jersey grab/takedown for a holding call. Many people in the media in the area were talking about him and most agreed: Thibodeaux is the best DE in the country.

George Karlaftis, DE, West Lafayette, IN (West Lafayette)

Karlaftis does not standout physically among his peers. However, the guy was just making plays out there. His most notable was a disgusting spin move on the top O-Lineman of the day Morris, setting his up to the outside and spinning quickly back inside. Before you knew it, Karlaftis was clutching the pylon.

Jaquaze Sorrells, DT, Largo, FL (Largo)

Sorrells was using his strength and rip move to just bully people yesterday and made it all the way to the Final Five D-Linemen. He also absolutely popped off the snap and bowled over Darnell Wright at guard on one rep with a complete pancake.

Erick Young, CB, Richmond, TX (Fort Bend Bush)

Young has outstanding measurables for a high school corner at 6’0" 205. He anticipated routes very well and was extremely physical with guys all day. 7-on-7 is definitely slanted towards the offense, but Young was rarely seen getting beat all week for Team Hype.

Tyrique Stevenson, S, Miami, FL (Southridge)

Stevenson was a ball hawk on Tuesday and any QB that went against him had to account for him on the field. The Southridge star made two inceptions on Overdrive’s championship run. However, what most impressed me was how well he helped to shut down a Boomin passing attack of Bo Nix, Jadon Haselwood, and George Pickens that had been the best offensive unit up until that point.


**Final Five OL Honorees: Darnell Wright, Evan Neal, Kenyon Green, Wanya Morris, and Harry Miller (OL MVP).

**Final Five DL Honorees: Nolan Smith, George Karlaftis, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jaquaze Sorrells, and Jacob Bandes (DL MVP).

**It doesn’t seem the Opening released their All-Opening Team to the public, at least as of yet. They were going pretty fast at the ceremony and the microphone wasn’t always clear, but here were the Miami names of note that made the team: RB John Emery Jr., WR Jadon Haselwood, and DB Jordan Battle.

**WR Jeremiah Payton continued to sit out with an ankle injury for Team Impact. Ditto for his teammate RB Noah Cain, who suffered an ankle sprain in the Rivals 5-Star Challenge last week and re-injured it. DB Josh Sanguinetti took to the bench again for Overdrive with a sling around his shoulder.

**More NFL stars were out at the Opening Finals again today. Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton was in the huddle and helping call plays for Team Boomin, while Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott did the coin flip before the championship game. After the finals, NFL Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson got up on stage to help Elliott hand out the hardware in the awards ceremony.

**I got to meet former NFL player and current NFL Network Analyst Bucky Brooks, who was coaching for Team Hype at the event. He’s been working with the Opening for about eight years now and said one of his favorite players he ever coached was Duke Johnson. Brooks also asked about how another one of his former players in Trajan Bandy was coming along and was happy to hear he was doing great at Miami.

Comments (18)

Im not sure exactly how the media was set up at the event but besides your interviews or other Miami based reporters was there alot of Miami buzz? Like amongst other media members, players, or people running the camp?
Im not sure exactly how the media was set up at the event but besides your interviews or other Miami based reporters was there alot of Miami buzz? Like amongst other media members, players, or people running the camp?

Not really. Way too national an event and it's tough with only two commits compared to last years 10. Payton got hurt after a strong start and Keontra was pretty quiet. The buzz was all about Oklahoma
Thanks for the great coverage Stefan!

Do you think staff will pick up contact with George Karlaftis or Sorrells?

There was a lot of media talk about Karlaftis because some were confused how he was going to Purdue. Those that seemed to have insight into his recruitment agreed he is 100% set on Purdue because it's close to home and the engineering program they have is top notch, which is what he wants to major in.

Don't see why the staff wouldn't continue to push Sorrells. Although, I didn't think they'd drop off contact with Rian Davis, Gant, and Elam either and we saw what happened there this weekend.
Good job on putting to pen what you heard and saw. It sounds like you had a decent time. Happy 4th.
Nice work, Mr Adams. ... Gotta hope that at least a couple of these guys come out of Paradise ready to commit to the U.
  • Frank Ladson sucks, LULZ Clemson. Hazelwood is better
  • MAR belongs on offense
  • RJs lil bro is the real deal.
  • Damn OU, lining up a new class.
  • TS is who we thought he was.
  • There is a reson Thibodeaux is #1 in the nation
Great job on coverage! question, though - why wasn't Bogle on the all DL team? Didn't he win DE opening MVP?
Ladson was very quiet. Didn't hear anything at all from the guy. Sheesh. Maybe hes not a camp warrior type.

McIntosh went up there and proved a lot of people wrong who were ready to throw him to the wolves.

MAR sounds like he will be this generations "Jason Geathers".
Great job on coverage! question, though - why wasn't Bogle on the all DL team? Didn't he win DE opening MVP?
Bogle didn't get invited to the Opening. He won the DE MVP at the rivals 5 star challenge a couple of days before the opening started.
**Canes DB commit Keontra Smith was pretty quiet this weekend too. He didn't look bad on any busted coverages, and Team Impact's secondary as a unit was strong besides their bad game against Boomin. There just wasn't any big plays of note coming from Smith.

He's not used to playing much in the secondary...he plays LB in high school...per his film

I wonder if we're pegging him for the Striker position

2021 Commits

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Miami, FL
Miami, FL
Miami, FL
Miami, FL
Miami, FL
Hollywood, FL
Frisco, TX
Melbourne, FL
Miami, FL

Latest Predictions

by underdogthakur
by Stylie
by whoopingcane
by whoopingcane
by whoopingcane

2020 Schedule

Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
Louisville, KY
W 47 - 34
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
W 52 - 10
Clemson, SC
Miami Gardens, FL
Miami Gardens, FL
NC State
Raleigh, NC
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL