The Opening Finals is essentially one big opportunity for top prospects all around the country to go up against players of a similar or greater talent level and prove themselves on a stage where the recruiting world is watching. Which young guns of interest to Miami stepped up and impressed and which fell behind? (Note: The 247Composite was used to determine where a player's stock was at present.)
Here are the guys that helped themselves the most with outstanding weeks and should be receiving a bump in the next recruiting update.
From where he is ranked right now at #171 overall, I believe Battle helped himself the most out of anyone at the event this weekend, which I predicted would happen beforehand. He was the leader of a suffocating Team Impact secondary and was constantly making life difficult for opposing receivers. Battle had too many pass breakups to count, along with multiple interceptions, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him push for top 100 status.
Even though he did not win OL MVP, Neal was absolutely the best offensive lineman at this event. The reason he is being held back from his fifth star is because many were concerned about his ability to stick at LT at 390 pounds. Those concerns should finally be put to bed now because he was handling some of the best D-Linemen in the nation on the edge all week.
Unfortunately, Payton was unable to return after an ankle injury on Monday, but he did more than enough in his time on the field to raise his profile. The Canes commit was a clear stand out in the receiver group and spent his week leaving the top DB’s in the nation in the dust. Payton created separation with ease and was also a terror underneath for Team Impact in finding gaps in the defense. It says a lot how much Impact’s offense struggled when Payton went out.
McIntosh surprised me most by how elusive he is with his build at 6’1” 205. He constantly made people miss and was a terror in the Cat and Mouse Challenge on Sunday at the Showcase. McIntosh also played some receiver in drills, and that was a precursor to how awesome he would look as a receiver out of the backfield for Team Overdrive, as he secured double-digit receptions and multiple touchdowns on Overdrive’s run to the title.
Stevenson tested extremely well across the board in the combine portion of the event, then went out and backed it up in 7-on-7 play during Overdrive’s championship performance. While his two picks were a nice stat, I was most impressed on how he helped shut down Team Boomin’s passing attack in the finals, as they were the best offensive unit up until that point. He’s simply better than #78 overall.
Fuller was a player I had never seen before this week, and his pure athleticism really grabbed my attention. I just wasn’t expecting that from an overgrown defensive end and he could easily still play on the outside. On Monday though, he didn’t lose a rep on the inside at tackle and looked like a budding star at the position with the top-tier speed and hands to give larger offensive guards fits.
Sorrells has the dominant strength you’re looking for at defensive tackle and he had it on display throughout the week. Most impressive was him bowling over Darnell Wright (working at guard) right off the snap and putting a consensus top 5 prospect in the nation right on his back. Sorrells’ work got him on to the Final Five D-Linemen list and he deserves a bump in the next rankings.
It was only 4 days, but these players may be a little overvalued right now based on what they showed against the best of the best in Frisco.
The biggest knock on Ladson has always been his tendency to disappear far too often for someone of his talent level. He did not change that perception this week and was far outshined by multiple receivers on his own team.
I honestly forgot Walker was even at the Opening until I started to make this list and I watched the majority of all the linemen drills this week. He was that invisible. Someone that carries a fifth star on their name just has to make more of an impact.
I feel bad placing him here after an injury, but the reality was that Sanguinetti needed a big Opening performance more that anyone on this list to help his stock, which has been in free-fall for months now. Bowing out with a shoulder injury before he could really get going is just another missed opportunity and is going to hurt him, fair or not.
I believe these players did enough over the week to justify their current place in the rankings.
Great work. Stevenson will be the best DB in the country when its all said and done. Its hard to believe that he is 77 he is top 10. Anyone who has seen him play would agree. He is usually one of the bigger and more athletically talented guys on the field.
I don't think Stefan was saying g his current weight. He was saying that he wasn't a 5* because there were questions about his ability to play OT at 390lbs. But this week he weighed in at like 360lbs and dominated the best DLineman in the nation.