One of the top collections of high school football talent assembled at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon last week for the inaugural edition of The Opening, a weeklong event that featured SPARQ testing, 1-on-1 drills, a 7-on-7 tournament, and lineman challenge.
It was also a chance for the seven Texas commits in attendance to further cement their bonds and to build relationships with other top prospects, including several Longhorn targets in Nelson Agholor, Torshiro Davis, and Landon Collins.
However, the most beneficial aspect of the The Opening may have been the opportunity for the prospects to compete against other high school players with as much or more talent, rare even at the combines and camps many attend throughout the summer. For some, it was a chance to cement a position in the overall class rankings. For others, it was an experience that should serve as motivation to continue training hard for the several weeks until football practice begins.
Connor Brewer -- On the hoof, the Arizona native doesn't have a particularly commanding presence and his ability to spin the football is far from elite. However, Brewer unsurprisingly showed off his best assets at the event -- his accuracy and ability to throw the deep ball. There's no question that Davonte Neal's speed helps showcase Brewer's downfield passing. Playing with the caliber of talent at The Opening did do the same, helping Texas fans continue to believe that Brewer pull off similar feats in burnt orange.
Johnathan Gray -- While Brewer may not have the ideal build for his position, Gray absolutely looks like the type of running back created in a laboratory. Looking chiseled after what was clearly a spring of hard work, Gray may not have raised his stock at the event, but he certainly did virtually everything to prove that he is exactly what everyone thinks he is -- likely the type running back in the country and a guy with future collegiate star written all over him.
Gray didn't work much out of the backfield in Aledo's game against Lake Travis this fall and isn't typically a major receiving threat for his team -- unlike, say, DeSoto's versatile 2013 back Dontre Wilson -- but Gray did show off soft hands and solid route-running ability during the 7-on-7 portions of the camp.
Cayleb Jones -- Poor 40 time aside, Jones did what he does at the event -- winning balls in the air and using his ability to change speeds and use his fluidity to create separation. Athletically, Jones doesn't have the ability to simply hit the afterburners to dominate with his speed and that can make it difficult at times for him to dominate the action. It also puts a great deal of pressure on his quarterback to have the accuracy to put the ball where Jones can make a play on it.
Curtis Riser -- A player known for his mean streak and willingness to compete in combine settings, Riser once again showed that whether he has his pads on or not, his intensity level and motor run only at one level -- the highest possible. Riser looked like he was carrying some bad weight and still needs to spend some time with Bennie Wylie, but his two pancake blocks against defensive tackles during one-on-one drills attest to his functional strength. More than always winning battles by putting a defender on his back, performing consistently well on the offensive line is all about not getting beat and that's what Riser told ESPN he felt he was able to do.
Peter Jinkens -- As usual in 7-on-7 competitions, the linebackers have few opportunities to impress -- such was the case for Jinkens, who did demonstrate the athleticism of a skill position player in a somewhat undersized package for his position.
Tim Cole -- For Cole, the event was about the 5.0 40 that he ran in the testing stage. Still, Cole has added strength in the offseason to better come downhill and take on offensive linemen. Given his success in pads, it's tough to question Cole's collegiate upside based on one poor testing, though it should motivate him during the remainder of his time before the football season begins to continue training hard.
Bryson Echols -- Far from one of the top defensive back prospects at the event, Echols more than held his own throughout the week, posting solid numbers during testing and showing the advanced instincts that drew the attention of Texas coaches. Fundamentally sound, Echols rarely bites on double moves and know when to get his head turned to make plays on the football.
Nelson Agholor -- A poor showing in the testing portion of the event didn't carry over into the 7-on-7 work, where Agholor morphed again into one of the speediest and most athletics players on the field, even in such a star-studded event.
Landon Collins -- The SPARQ national champion added to his immensely successful week by earning 7on tournament MVP honors. An athletic freak, Collins dominated throughout the event and told ESPN that he plans on taking an official visit to Texas during the fall.
Torshiro Davis -- Winner of the one-on-one drills between the offensive tackles and defensive ends, Davis was impressive athletically, but won in the final by physically overpowering his opponent, no easy feat when giving up 50 pounds.