The Opening 2012: What to Watch For

The Opening 2012: What to Watch For

Peter Ariz
What is The Opening?

This is the second annual event of its kind, which takes place out in Oregon at the Nike headquarters. In these three days, some of the top high school football players in the country compete in SPARQ training, then a 7-on-7 tournament. Last year, several Miami commits and targets participated in the event, which was televised on ESPNU. This year is no different.

Miami Commits

The ‘Canes only have one commit out in Oregon and that happens to be their most recent addition to the class, TE Travis Johnson from Tampa. Johnson is a versatile threat, who will shine in this setting. Look for him to create mismatch problems in the 7-on-7 play.

Miami Targets

Vernon Hargreaves III- “VH3”, as he also known, is one of the top players on the board for Miami. He is a pure corner with great cover skills and athleticism. Reports out of Oregon yesterday say that he suffered an ankle injury, so hopefully he will be good to go for 7-on-7s. Miami has made a recent push for his services. UF and USF are also big threats.

Matthew Thomas- The LB from Booker T has made waves in the past day, saying that Alabama and FSU are his top two schools. Miami coaches feel good about where they stand with him and I still see him winding up as a Cane. The draw of playing close to home should win out in the end. He will be an interesting prospect to watch over the next few days. He weighed in at 204 yesterday, which is lighter than he has been listed at.

Derrick Henry- The former Georgia commit is arguably the most dominating athlete in the SPARQ competition, as he finished in third in the event last year as a junior. Henry is thought to have higher upside on the defensive side of the ball, but is set on playing running back. He has been in contact with the Canes coaches since de-committing, but it is still unsure how real Miami’s chances are at this point.
Artie Burns- The Miami Northwestern safety, who was formerly committed to Alabama, is currently a heavy Miami lean. He is a track athlete and I will be interested to see how he performs in 7-on-7 play because his ball skills have been questioned by some. He has the frame and athleticism to be a great one.

Levonte Whitfield- “Kermit” was a former Miami commit, who re-opened his recruitment to explore all of his options. The speedster ran the second-fastest 40 at the event with a 4.37 (laser-timed). He is an ideal slot with great quickness. He is another prospect who should excel in this setting, as we saw Duke Johnson did last year.

Jermaine Grace- The LB from Miramar is another name on the list who is a big Miami lean. He has always been a Miami fan and the additions of Malcolm Lewis and Tracy Howard last year only helped their chances with him. FSU was thought to be a threat, but the ‘Noles have 4 LBs committed and are still in pursuit of Matthew Thomas. He needs to bulk up to play LB at the next level.

Jordan Sherit- Another Tampa product, Sherit may be the key to landing VH3. With another “Team Tampa” teammate, Travis Johnson, already in the fold, landing Sherit would give Miami two of Hargreaves’ best friends. On the field, he is relentless in pursuit and may be able to stand up as a rushing linebacker, as well as put his hand on the ground as an end.

Will Likely- The Glades Central CB is one of my personal favorite recruits in the class. While he is undersized, he is an incredible playmaker. As of right now, he does not hold a committable offer from Miami. He likes the Canes, but it doesn’t look like that interest is mutual.

Denver Kirkland- The second Booker T Washington Tornado on this list, Kirkland is yet another prospect who is rumored to have the Canes out in front. He will be visiting FSU this summer, and the ‘Noles are a threat. As of right now, expect him to be a Hurricane.

Where to Watch
7-on-7 play will be televised tonight on ESPNU from 8-10:30 PM.
 

Comments (10)

I just watched it on DVR. The only people they featured tonight that we were recruiting were Derrick Henry and Jordan Sherit. I didn't see it last year so I hope they show more throughout the weekend.
 
I just watched it on DVR. The only people they featured tonight that we were recruiting were Derrick Henry and Jordan Sherit. I didn't see it last year so I hope they show more throughout the weekend.
Yep tomorrow night it will be on and also on sunday on Espn3
 
Wow.

So it seems like some of the top prospects on Miami's board right now they have to be confident about in Thomas, VH3, Grace, and Burns.

With Sherit and Kermit holding steady.

Gotta like that
 
Wow.

So it seems like some of the top prospects on Miami's board right now they have to be confident about in Thomas, VH3, Grace, and Burns.

With Sherit and Kermit holding steady.

Gotta like that
There is still work to be done with Thomas, but in the end I think Miami wins out. As far as VH3, recent developments have been very positive for the Canes
 
Really hope we get thomas. Grew up a canes fan, he cant end up at free shoes.
 
Wow.

So it seems like some of the top prospects on Miami's board right now they have to be confident about in Thomas, VH3, Grace, and Burns.

With Sherit and Kermit holding steady.

Gotta like that
There is still work to be done with Thomas, but in the end I think Miami wins out. As far as VH3, recent developments have been very positive for the Canes

lawd.jpg
 
I'm no football guru so take this with a grain of salt. I watched Derrick Henry last night and came away thinking he would make a great OLB or weak side defensive end. What stood out - as someone who runs a lot - is that in the 40 yard dash he took really small steps for a young man his size. His stride is really compressed. I'm guessing that's good between the tackles, but in terms of hitting the next gear I don't see how you can do it if you run so tight. There was a defensive lineman out of Kentucky whose stride looked a lot more fluid than Henry's - very impressive, and some LB out of Texas who ran a 3.9 laser at 230 pounds. And to be clear, if Henry wanted in I'd take him because he is a superior athlete - I assume these are the best of the best, but he looked a lot more like a defender than an offensive juggernaut.

Also, Jordan was a better athlete than I expected. He looks the part. I guess I tempered some of my expectations about him because of the questions about him that have been raised here. There were better athletes, but he was no slouch. What the commentators kept saying about him was that he is relentless the kind of kid that's going to get after you all game long with out letting up and without quitting. We could use more guys with that mentality. They also said that he's been talking to other recruits about the schools they have committed to so that he can learn more about the programs that are recruiting him.
 
Last edited:
I'm no football guru so take this with a grain of salt. I watched Derrick Henry last night and came away thinking he would make a great OLB or weak side defensive end. What stood out - as someone who runs a lot - is that in the 40 yard dash he took really small steps for a young man his size. His stride is really compressed. I'm guessing that's good between the tackles, but in terms of hitting the next gear I don't see how you can do it if you run so tight. There was a defensive lineman out of Kentucky whose stride looked a lot more fluid than Henry's - very impressive, and some LB out of Texas who ran a 3.9 laser at 230 pounds. And to be clear, if Henry wanted in I'd take him because he is a superior athlete - I assume these are the best of the best, but he looked a lot more like a defender than an offensive juggernaut.

Also, Jordan was a better athlete than I expected. He looks the part. I guess I tempered some of my expectations about him because of the questions about him that have been raised here. There were better athletes, but he was no slouch. What the commentators kept saying about him was that he is relentless the kind of kid that's going to get after you all game long with out letting up and without quitting. We could use more guys with that mentality. They also said that he's been talking to other recruits about the schools they have committed to so that he can learn more about the programs that are recruiting him.
Umm, 3.9 laser???
 
I'm no football guru so take this with a grain of salt. I watched Derrick Henry last night and came away thinking he would make a great OLB or weak side defensive end. What stood out - as someone who runs a lot - is that in the 40 yard dash he took really small steps for a young man his size. His stride is really compressed. I'm guessing that's good between the tackles, but in terms of hitting the next gear I don't see how you can do it if you run so tight. There was a defensive lineman out of Kentucky whose stride looked a lot more fluid than Henry's - very impressive, and some LB out of Texas who ran a 3.9 laser at 230 pounds. And to be clear, if Henry wanted in I'd take him because he is a superior athlete - I assume these are the best of the best, but he looked a lot more like a defender than an offensive juggernaut.

Also, Jordan was a better athlete than I expected. He looks the part. I guess I tempered some of my expectations about him because of the questions about him that have been raised here. There were better athletes, but he was no slouch. What the commentators kept saying about him was that he is relentless the kind of kid that's going to get after you all game long with out letting up and without quitting. We could use more guys with that mentality. They also said that he's been talking to other recruits about the schools they have committed to so that he can learn more about the programs that are recruiting him.
Umm, 3.9 laser???
4.39. 6'4" 215lb LB out of Texas
 
I'm no football guru so take this with a grain of salt. I watched Derrick Henry last night and came away thinking he would make a great OLB or weak side defensive end. What stood out - as someone who runs a lot - is that in the 40 yard dash he took really small steps for a young man his size. His stride is really compressed. I'm guessing that's good between the tackles, but in terms of hitting the next gear I don't see how you can do it if you run so tight. There was a defensive lineman out of Kentucky whose stride looked a lot more fluid than Henry's - very impressive, and some LB out of Texas who ran a 3.9 laser at 230 pounds. And to be clear, if Henry wanted in I'd take him because he is a superior athlete - I assume these are the best of the best, but he looked a lot more like a defender than an offensive juggernaut.

Also, Jordan was a better athlete than I expected. He looks the part. I guess I tempered some of my expectations about him because of the questions about him that have been raised here. There were better athletes, but he was no slouch. What the commentators kept saying about him was that he is relentless the kind of kid that's going to get after you all game long with out letting up and without quitting. We could use more guys with that mentality. They also said that he's been talking to other recruits about the schools they have committed to so that he can learn more about the programs that are recruiting him.
Umm, 3.9 laser???
3.9 shuttle time
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
215
Hollywood, FL
OT
6'7"
255
Pompano Beach, FL
CB
5'10"
145
Miami, FL
TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
OLB
6'3"
205
Miami, FL
TE
6'5"
220
Miami, FL
K
5'11"
140
Hollywood, FL
OLB
6'2"
200
Homestead, FL

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