BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Who shined at The Opening? Who didn't? Which players surpassed our expectations and which played below them? And who produced the event's most memorable moment? JC Shurburtt, Barton Simmons, Gerry Hamilton, Steve Wiltfong and Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports take a look back at the three-day event and offer their take on what transpired in Oregon.
Five players who met the hype
Shurburtt: Max Browne, QB- The nation's top quarterback prospect was the most consistently impressive signal caller throughout the event and led his team to the championship game. As talented as Browne is from a physical/football standpoint (arm, size, etc.), his intangibles were proven to be through the roof. He has the makings of a star at USC, where he is committed.
Hamilton: Jaylon Smith, OLB- Smith came in as a five-star prospect and top ten in the country. After the event, the prevailing thought on the flight home was if he a top three prospect in the class.
Wiltfong: O.J. Howard, TE- Could have easily gone with Jaylon Smith, Matthew Thomas, Priest Willis, Shane Morris, Ricky Seals-Jones and a few others that performed well over the weekend, but Howard made several eye-popping plays including outrunning Penn State cornerback commit Ross Douglas for a score. The Alabama tight end commit is a special prospect.
Simmons: A’Shawn Robinson, OT- There wasn’t much that Robinson could have done over the weekend that he didn’t do. He had the best combine score among the offensive and defensive linemen and he was dominating in one-on-ones in both the pass-rush and run-game drills. Whether he plays offense or defense at Texas, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario in which he isn’t a major difference maker.
Niebuhr: Max Browne, QB- Browne came into the event as the country's No. 1-ranked pro-style quarterback and in my eyes he was every bit as good as that rating would suggest. A tall kid with a good frame, Brown has a unique high slot, but he gets tremendous spin and zip on the ball -- and has great touch.
Five players who exceeded the hype
Shurburtt: Laquon Treadwell, WR- Heading into the event, Treadwell was a prospect we intended to watch closely. We did and he did not disappoint, standing out with multiple tough catches in traffic, particularly on Saturday and also showing that he had perhaps more speed than advertised. He's expected to end up at Michigan and should have an instant impact on their passing game.
Hamilton: O.J. Howard, TE- Howard was going to test well, but a 4.49-forty yard dash more than exceeded the expectations. Then when the ball was in the air in the 7-on-7 setting, he was dominant with sure hands, timing, high-point ability and a ball in the air is mine type of attitude.
Wiltfong: Quin Blanding, S- Ranked as the nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 12 prospect overall in the class-of-2014, that may be too low for the Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside product who performed at a high-level all weekend and also showed above average cover ability at the safety position.
Simmons: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT- Vanderdoes did not take very many reps over the course of the weekend but when he did, you noticed. The kid generates phenomenal power and explosiveness in a very short distance and no one had the same blend of quick first step and overwhelming power at the point of attack. Though he’s currently listed as a high four-star rated prospect, Vanderdoes looked five-star ready.
Niebuhr: Matthew Thomas, OLB- It may sound ridiculous to put a five-star kid in this category, but Thomas pretty much blew me away. Having never seen him in person before, I expected a high-level talent. I got that and then some. In a few games, he was absolutely everywhere, showing great range and ability to drop into coverage. He just has a knack for making big plays.
Five players from whom we expected more
Shurburtt: Tyrone Swoopes, QB- Though we've never thought collectively Swoopes was the next Vince Young and have always believed he was not a five-star quarterback prospect, his showing at The Opening proved that we likely have him rated at the wrong position (he should be listed as an athlete) and that he probably is not a top 100 prospect in the country. Swoopes simply has a long, long way to go to play the position at a high level and does not have many of the intangibles that made Young great.
Hamilton: Carl Lawson, DE- While Lawson showed that terrific first step at 250-pounds and the on the field talent, the fact that he got sent home for unacceptable conduct off the field after day puts him head and shoulders above others in this category.
Wiltfong: Tyrone Swoopes, QB- The Top100 dual-threat quarterback and Texas commit struggled much of the two days finding open receivers and throwing the football with accuracy.
Simmons: Kendall Fuller, CB- If you’re a five-star and the No. 2-rated cornerback in the country, I want you to flash for me. I never saw Fuller flash and didn’t see the unique traits that back up his lofty rating. He’s not overly big, he didn’t post his combine testing scores and though he wasn’t often tested in 7-on-7, he didn’t make any game-changing plays either.
Niebuhr: Tyrone Swoopes, QB- Swoopes is an outstanding prospect. So don't take this the wrong way. But at this event, his decision-making wasn't great and neither was his poise. Additionally, he seemed to force far too many throws. What should be noted is that 7-on-7 takes away a big part of his game. It wouldn't be fair to Swoopes to leave that out.
Five players who surprised
Shurburtt: Holland Fisher, OLB- Fisher was ascending as a prospect prior to The Opening, but watching the Virginia Tech commit play safety during the 7on and come up with multiple interceptions (including four in one day), he proved that he could not only handle the coverage responsibilities in the secondary, but excel.
Hamilton: Holland Fisher, OLB- While 247Sports was already very high on the Virginia Tech commitment with his national ranking of No. 61, he still surprised. The reason being, the majority of his video and in person evaluations have been as a linebacker prospect. Fisher proved to be much more than that dominating throughout the event at safety, with fluidity, quick reactions and terrific ball skills.
Wiltfong: Torii Hunter, WR- Surrounded by elite playmakers, nobody made more plays than the four-star receiver out of Prosper (Texas) High, who helped his team win the championship. Hunter was a regular in the end zone on Sunday and took home tournament MVP honors from the event staff.
Simmons: Delano Hill, DB- I’ve seen Delano Hill on a couple of different occasions and he’s always been a steady performer, always one of the better safeties in attendance. With his performance this weekend, he was once again one of the best safeties in attendance but among a much stronger field. Not only does Hill have great size but he really popped for us early in the weekend when he added one of the fastest 40-yard dash times of the event with a 4.42. Iowa is getting a star.
Niebuhr: Ryan Green, RB- I wasn't surprised by how Green tested. I wasn't surprised by his overall athleticism. What surprised me a little was how good he is in the passing game. The Florida State commit ran crisp routes, displayed excellent hands and was extremely dangerous after the catch. On one play, in which he made a great reception, then juked past a defender, Green looked a little like former Seminole Warrick Dunn.
Five plays/moments that stood out
Shurburtt: When South Carolina linebacker commit Larenz Bryant had a 100-yard pick-6 on Sunday and kept running Forest Gump-style. That was classic.
Hamilton: When one first sees Jalen Ramsey in person, his freakish wingspan for his size stands out. On one play, it was very apparent why that arm length is a huge asset. In a game against the Field Generals, USC commitment Max Browne threw what looked like a perfect post corner route for a likely touchdown. Not only did Ramsey show his reactive quickness and speed closing separation on a wide out, but he cleanly snatched the ball out of the arm with his arms extended to their maximum. Simply put, a play a smaller corner without the freakish wingspan can make. It was a difference maker type of play against a very talented quarterback that threw an ideal pass, and in an ideal spot.
Simmons: There were countless spectacular plays to choose from but I was most struck by Jaylon Smith’s play in one of his team’s wins on Saturday. After covering slot receivers man-to-man very effectively by the goalline, and getting his hands on a couple of deflections, he then sat in a zone, read the routes in front and behind him and then dropped into a passing lane for a touchdown saving interception that he nearly took back for six points the other way. It is rare to see a linebacker have the kind of impact that Smith enjoys in a 7on7 setting.
Niebuhr: I'll go with the jump ball TD toss caught by Alabama tight end commit O.J. Howard on Day 3 of the event. The 6-feet-5 Howard not only has a big body, but he can flat-out go up high into the air to get the ball. When you combine that height with that athleticism, you get one gigantic matchup nightmare for college defensive backs. He is a quarterback's red zone dream.
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