As the nation’s consensus No. 1 high school football recruit, St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette doesn’t need an opening to help him earn scholarship offers from coast to coast. But he will be at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., this week for The Opening, a skills challenge for more than 100 of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2014.
Eight prospects from Louisiana will participate in the event, which runs Monday through Wednesday, along with a handful of top LSU out-of-state targets and commitments.
Participants will be assigned to one of six teams during the event, with Fournette (6-foot-1, 232 pounds) headlining Team SuperBad. He’ll be joined by Edna Karr standout Speedy Noil (6-0, 176), rated by ESPN as the nation’s No. 1 athlete prospect and No. 8 recruit overall on the ESPN 300. Also on the team is Plainfield (Ill.) South linebacker Clifton Garrett (6-2, 225), ranked No. 59 on the ESPN 300 and considered an LSU lean.
Another of Louisiana’s top receiver prospects, Malachi Dupre (6-3, 187) of John Curtis, is on Team FieldGenerals with Covington defensive tackle Garrald McDowell (6-1, 257). Dupre is the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver prospect and is No. 28 on the ESPN 300; McDowell is ranked the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle and No. 108 overall.
Three Louisiana prospects landed on Team LandSharks: West Monroe offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (6-6, 325), Edna Karr defensive tackle Gerald Willis (6-3, 261) and John Curtis safety Mattrell McGraw (5-10, 174).
Robinson, considered a slight lean to Alabama over LSU, is the nation’s No. 1 rated tackle and No. 7 overall. Willis is the No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 29 overall prospect; McGraw is rated the nation’s No. 10 safety and No. 186 on the ESPN 300.
Also on the LandSharks is Beaumont (Texas) Ozen cornerback Tony Brown (6-0, 188), the No. 5 cornerback prospect and No. 27 overall on the ESPN 300. Brown, whose sister Bealoved signed to run track at LSU, is also considered an LSU lean.
A third John Curtis prospect, cornerback Terrence Alexander (5-10, 177) is on Team Apocalypse. Alexander is the nation’s No. 43 cornerback prospect.
Two LSU commitments will take part: Arlington (Texas) Timberview safety Edward Paris (6-0, 201) and Houston Alief Taylor cornerback Chris Hardeman (5-8, 190). Paris, on Team VaporCarbon, is the nation’s No. 4 safety prospect per ESPN and No. 52 on the ESPN 300. Hardeman (on Team AlphaPro) is the No. 23 cornerback prospect and No. 284 on the ESPN 300.
Also participating is former LSU commitment Kain Daub (6-3, 243) of Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood. Daub, who is now committed to Florida State, is on Team VaporCarbon.
Segments of The Opening will be televised on ESPNU at 6 p.m. Monday and 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
LSU is at 12 commitments for the Class of 2014 after Friday’s addition of Hallandale Beach (Fla.) safety John Battle (6-1, 171).
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved