The Opening: Top Regional Storylines

George Campbell

Scout's National Recruiting Analysts key on which top storyline from their region they're focusing on at The Opening this week in Beaverton...

The Scout.com national recruiting analysts will be in Beaverton, Oregon, all week for The Opening at the Nike Headquarters.

Leading up to The Opening, a gathering of 160 of the top prospects from all across the country, they are focusing on some of the key things to watch in the summer's biggest event.


What is the Top Storyline from your region that you're looking forward to watching unfold in Beaverton?

Scott Kennedy
Director of Scouting

Looking nationally, all eyes are usually on the quarterbacks, and this year is no different. But in my mind, the most elite level talent at any position this year could be the defensive tackles. I've mentioned that McKenzie is my No. 1 overall prospect regardless of position, yet right now he is the No. 3 defensive tackle nationally (rankings). That helps put into perspective how many top defensive tackles there are in the country. Putting the pads on the linemen will be such a refreshing change after the t-shirt and shorts camps (some might call the underwear Olympics), and the cream will get a chance to rise to the top.

Chad Simmons
National Recruiting Analyst, Southeast

Who is the best wide receiver in Florida? George Campbell is that guy right now, but there are a few that could show they belong to be that guy at this event. Calvin Ridley, a top prospect that is currently ranked as a corner, but is he even better at wide receiver? He is committed to Alabama. How about Clemson commit Deon Cain? He plays a lot of quarterback, but he continues to shine at wideout at each even he attends. Campbell is an elite athlete, but is he an elite wide receiver? This is something we will have our eye on.

Jamie Newberg
National Recruiting Analyst, Florida

The top storyline from Florida from this event will be the wide receivers and does one guy separate himself from the others. Last year it was Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla.). Will it be Calvin Ridley? Will George Campbell (Tarpon Springs East Lake) put together consistent days back to back to back? If he does that he certainly could emerge again as that guy. Or could this be Deon Cain's (Tampa Bay Tech) national coming out party? It's always deep at receiver in the Sunshine State and they will be well represented at The Opening.

Brian Dohn
National Recruiting Analyst, East

Who works Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick the hardest. He is committed to Alabama but is planning visits to South Carolina and Florida State before shutting down the process. He has family near Alabama's campus but he is still peeking at other schools. This is the chance for others to do some recruiting, which is the most intrguing behind-the-scenes part of The Opening.

Allen Trieu
National Recruiting Analyst, Midwest

I think the storyline is more recruiting related than on the field. I think it's whether or not Damien Harris is ready to decide and if Ohio State is as much the leader as they seem. Also, how much can recent commits Jashon Cornell and Justin Hilliard sway him to the Bucks?

Greg Powers
National Recruiting Analyst, Midlands

I think the top storyline is easily the battle between Jarrett Stidham and Kyler Murray for the top-rated spot at the quarterback position. The two are rated so closely regionally that any movement from Murray up the list will see him jump over Stidham. Coming in to the event and based off of what we have seen in the spring I would actually hedge my bet to Murray finishing on top of that list, but a strong showing by Stidham at the Elite 11 in Dallas fended him off. Both are also in the discussion for the top spot overall at the position. I do think Murray will shine in 7v7 competition as he has a quick release and throws an amazingly accurate ball.

Greg Biggins
National Recruiting Analyst, West

It's the year of the quarterback out West and of the 18 signal callers who made The Opening, half of them are from the West Region. Josh Rosen is currently the top rated quarterback in the country, will he be able to hold on to the top spot? Will Ricky Town bounce back from an injury plagued spring with a big performance? Will Blake Barnett show why some feel he might have more upside than any other quarterback in the nation? It will definitely fun watching all nine guys compete against not just one another but the other top quarterbacks across the nation.

Brandon Huffman
National Recruiting Analyst, West

To me, my top storyline is the ascension of Kahlil McKenzie.  He moved to our top player in the West following the Oakland NFTC and his dominant performance there.  He was outstanding as a junior and has few, if any, deficiencies as a player.  With the linemen going in pads, we'll really get to see McKenzie at his best.  So to me, it's not just him staying as the top player in the West, but making a loud argument to be the top prospect in the country and cementing himself as perhaps the best defensive lineman to come out of the West since Haloti Ngata.

Quarterback Kyler Murray's junior highlights:

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