PORTLAND, Ore. – The premier recruiting event of the summer – Nike’s The Opening – is over and it’s time to take a closer look at the performances by the ten Ohio State commitments that attended.
Tate Martell • Quarterback • Nike+ Rating: 114.78
Martell’s week was up and down, no doubt, but the takeaway here is that as a leader he’s everything he’s been cracked up to be. He throws the ball very well – lots of zip – and isn’t afraid to throw into tight windows. If there’s a negative with Martell, it’s that he’s perhaps a little too confident, but that’s what happens when you never lose. He finished second among all quarterbacks in the Nike+ Ratings competition, posting a 4.72 in the 4o-yard and a very impressive 4.03 in the pro-shuttle drill that tests agility, the best of any quarterback and the same time as the country’s top-ranked safety, Jeffrey Okudah.
Two words: Natural Leader
JK Dobbins • Running back • Nike+ Rating: 146.76
On Friday, Dobbins won the Nike+ Ratings championship but that was hardly the end of his effectiveness at The Opening. He was excellent as a pass-catcher for Team Lunarbeast and showed off exceptional hands and agility in the open field. The debate for the country’s second-best running back is a good one and Dobbins is definitely in that conversation with Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift. He ripped off a 4.45 in the 40, posted a 43-inch vertical and added a 4.09 in the pro-shuttle drill.
Two words: Highly Explosive
Josh Myers • Offensive lineman • Nike+ Rating: 109.35
Myers posted the highest Nike+ rating of any offensive lineman at The Opening, underscoring what anyone who has ever seen him play already knew: Josh Myers is a freak. He stood in at 6-foot-6, 310-pounds and ran a 5.13 in the 40-yard-dash and recorded a very impressive 4.5 in the pro-shuttle while also adding in an almost 30-inch vertical leap for good measure. He won the bench press competition on Friday with 25-reps at 225 pounds and – despite being unable to fully participate in 1-on-1 drills because of Ohio’s rules prohibiting working out in pads, acquitted himself very well against the country’s best pass-rushers. It was a good week for Josh Myers.
Two words: NFL Bound
Wyatt Davis • Offensive lineman • Nike+ Rating: N/A
Wyatt Davis finished in the Top 5 of the Lineman Challenge at The Opening and was without question one of the premier players at the event, stonewalling defensive linemen at every opportunity. Davis played inside all week and went head-to-head with the country’s best defensive tackles and held his ground all week. He didn’t participate in the Nike+ Ratings events, but that’s not really what he’s about. This is a mauler, pure and simple. One of the nicest and most affable players at the event off the field, when you put him on the field it was really fun to watch him flip the switch and turn into a beast.
Two words: Future Captain
Haskell Garrett • Defensive lineman • Nike+ Rating: 103.56
At 6-foot-2 and 292-pounds, Haskell Garrett showed all weekend why he’s the country’s fourth-ranked defensive tackle. He’s got a shockingly quick first step and uses his hands to create space very well. Garrett was a favorite target of the coaches in attendance who were trying to get him to change up a few of his technique things, and that may be why he didn’t make the Final 5 among the linemen, because he had a great day on Saturday. With a 4.46 in the pro-shuttle, a 5.15 in the 40 and a near 46-foot toss of the powerball, it was clear to see that Garrett’s got a bright future working with Larry Johnson.
Two words: Pass Rusher
Antjuan Simmons • Linebacker • Nike+ Rating: 98.79
A future linebacker at Ohio State, Antjuan Simmons had a pretty good week in Oregon. He was splitting reps at linebacker – the country’s top-ranked outside linebacker (Dylan Moses) and inside linebacker (Anthony Hines III) were on his team so he had to make the most of his opportunities and showed an aptitude for pass coverage and a good burst when it came to getting downhill on the few running plays that he faced. He was toasted a few times by Michigan athlete Ambry Thomas (a wide receiver and defensive back) but he was certainly not the only one on Sunday. Simmons 40-time wasn’t his best (4.86) but he made up for that with a very good shuttle time (4.27) and showed some explosion with a 39-inch vertical leap. He’s learning how to be a linebacker and there’s work to be done, but he’s got the tools and wants to be great.
Two words: Needs Seasoning
Shaun Wade • Defensive back • Nike+ Rating: N/A
Wade got to Oregon on Friday afternoon after participating in a basketball tournament in Atlanta and missed the Nike+ stuff, so there were no numbers from him, but he still showed very well in the event at cornerback. He was lined up with the best wide receiver on every team he faced and although he’s got a little tendency to use his hands too much, Wade’s length and closing speed are what make him so coveted by college coaches all over America. He had a minor injury to his leg that forced him to miss Lunarbeast’s final game Sunday morning as a precaution. Wade is still pretty skinny – running all over football and basketball courts as a high-metabolism-having teenager will keep him that way – but when he gets into a college weight program? Watch out.
Two words: Thorpe Winner
Marcus Williamson • Defensive back • Nike+ Rating: 112.65
Marcus Williamson isn’t flashy and he doesn’t do a lot of talking to draw attention to himself but make no mistake, he’s got some big-time playmaking ability and he flashed that when he had the chance to in Oregon. He played mostly at nickel Saturday but really excelled Sunday when he was inserted at the boundary corner when Shaun Wade sat out. Williamson isn’t going to wow you all the time, but he’s reliable and smart and athletic. He checked in at 5-foot-9 and 182-pounds and ran a good 4.55 in the 40-yard-dash coupled with a very good 4.01 in the pro-shuttle.
Two words: Quiet Confidence
Brendon White • Defensive back • Nike+ Rating: 119.07
Every time I see Brendon White, I’m left thinking a few things to myself. The first is where he’ll play in college, the second is how unfair it is that some people are just so naturally gifted while others – like me – can’t keep my shoes tied. White was on the field the entire weekend at safety for Lunarbeast, the only defensive player I saw all week that played every snap, and was not just “solid” at defensive back, but a difference maker. He has so much talent anywhere he plays and will be a really, really good player when he’s not shifting from spot to spot. He’s got the size (6-foot-2), the speed (4.54 in the 40, 4.09 in the shuttle) and the explosiveness (39.5-inch vertical jump) to do whatever is asked of him. He’s going to be a very exciting player to watch in Columbus.
Two words: Fan Favorite
Isaiah Pryor • Defensive back • Nike+ Rating: N/A
IMG safety Isaiah Pryor didn’t participate in any events this weekend as he nurses an ankle injury. He measured in at 6-foot-2, but that was the extent of his week.
Two words: Get Healthy
You can check out the full stats from every player at The Opening by heading to StudentSports.com.