A look at the 18 quarterbacks headed to the Elite 11 Finals in Beaverton as part of The Opening..…
The Opening: Trojan Targets
In last year, five players attending The Opening training camp at NIKE World Headquarters ended up Trojans. This year, USC rolls into the three day event with three current commitments. Granite Bay (Calif.) linebacker Cameron Smith, Ventura (Calif.) quarterback Ricky Town and Powder Springs (Ga.) offensive tackle Chuma Edoga will be on hand to perform along with a plethora of other targets seriously considering the Trojans. In total, 180 athletes will compete in SPARQ testing, a seven-on-seven tournament and position drills Monday through Wednesday. Linemen will also go head-to-head in helmets and shoulder pads, which is a unique drill to The Opening. All players are divided up into six teams, Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Fly Rush, Land Sharks, Mach Speed and Vapor Carbon. The event begins with SPARQ testing, where team Vapor Carbon will try to light up the 40-yard dash with the likes of Iman Marshall, Christian Kirk and Isaiah Langley. Langley will be one of four players in the Pac-12 region announcing a commitment at The Opening this year. Bothell (Wash.) quarterback Ross Bowers, San Leandro (Calif.) athlete Stephen Johnson and Clayton Valley (Calif.) defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie will be the others. Langley has scholarship offers from more than 30 schools, but most see this as a Cal-USC battle. Cal is the hometown school and the last to entertain Langley on an unofficial visit. USC, however, is still considered the favorite, with the Trojans need a cornerback dire. Langley will announce his decision on a college July 8 on ESPNU. San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Sam Darnold will also be on hand for the Elite 11 and The Opening. Quarterbacks are not selected to teams until the workouts begin. TEAM APOCALYPSE WR Desean Holmes WR Equanimeous St. Brown OL Fred Ulu-Perry LB Porter Gustin DL Rasheem Green DB Frank Buncom IV Team Apocalypse has the most Trojan targets of any roster. With the quarterbacks yet to be drafted for individual teams, wide outs Desean Holmes of Mission Hills (Calif.) and Equanimeous St. Brown of Anaheim (Calif.) are two very different, but very lethal weapons in the passing game. At 6-foot-5, St. Brown is a huge target who shined at the L.A. NIKE Camp in April. Holmes was also exceptional, proving to be one of the nation's most natural receivers. St. Brown has been mum about what college he currently favors, but USC appears to trail Stanford and Notre Dame at present date. Holmes, on the other hand, would likely commit to USC sooner rather than later if his academics were in order. Transferring from Bishop Alemany to Muir and now back to Alemany, Holmes is working to get eligible. In the trenches, USC fans will want to watch out for Gardena (Calif.) five-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green and Honolulu (Hawaii) four-star center Fred Ulu-Perry. Green is a household name to SC fans that follow recruiting, while Ulu-Perry comes off the Rising Stars Camp still hoping to earn a scholarship offer from USC. Salem (Utah) four-star linebacker Porter Gustin maybe the most intriguing prospect of the event. At 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, Gustin plays all over the field in high school. This week, he will see his first wave of major D-I talent as a linebacker. USC is recruiting Gustin as a MIKE linebacker and appear to be the team to beat in his recruitment after his unofficial visit to Los Angeles last week. TEAM ALPHA PRO WR George Campbell WR Ryan Newsome LB Osa Masina Outside Salt Lake City (Utah) four-star linebacker Osa Masina, team Alpha Pro is void of any serious USC targets. Tarpon Springs (Fla.) five-star wide out George Campbell is a player USC is recruiting, but with contact being limited on his end, the Trojans are a long shot to have a hat on the table unless they can land an unofficial visit between now and September. USC also recently offered a scholarship to Atlanta (Ga.) four-star cornerback Darius Slayton, although at last check, he had not spoken to the Trojans' coaching staff directly. Aledo (Texas) three-star wide out Ryan Newesome did unofficially visit USC earlier this summer, but came away from the trip with more questions than answers. USC is not currently among his top five college choices, but he did say that he would continue to consider the Trojans as his relationship with the coaching staff develops. TEAM FLY RUSH ATH Terry Godwin OL Chuma Edoga DL Jonathan Ledbetter DL Byron Cowart LB Roquan Smith DB Kendall Sheffield Team Fly Rush is a new name to the NIKE line up. Aptly named, Fly Rush will field Seffner (Fla.) five-star defensive end Byron Cowart, the the nation's No. 1 passer rusher. Cowart may still unofficially visit USC after the event, along with Oregon. However, the Trojans seem to be slipping from his top four college favorites. Florida is the school to beat here. In addition to garnering the commitment of offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, the Trojans have also been working the state of Georgia for Terry Godwin, Roquan Smith and Jonathan Ledbetter. All are long shots to end up Trojans, but Ledbetter did unofficially visit USC for the Rising Stars Camp despite his commitment to Alabama. Godwin and Smith will most likely stay in-state and play for UGA. TEAM LANDSHARK RB Sotonye Jamabo OL Andre James DL Keisean Lucier-South USC would be satisfied to go 1-for-3 on Team Landshark for commits come February. In truth, this could be team UCLA, with all three Trojan targets talking up the Bruins after unofficial visits to Westwood this summer. USC isn't far off with Herriman (Utah) offensive lineman Andre James, but after attending the USC and UCLA line camps, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound four-star spoke like he was favoring the Bruins. USC has made some recent headway with Orange (Calif.) defensive end Keisean Lucier-South, but after naming UCLA and Michigan as his favorite schools last spring, it does appear USC is playing from behind. The Trojans just recently offered Plano (Texas) running back SoSo Jamabo a scholarship, which makes him one of the newest USC targets attending The Opening. TEAM MACH SPEED RB RayRay McCloud DL Terry Beckner DB Marvell Tell Team Mach Speed has a handful of players USC is recruiting, but the two biggest targets with scholarship offers are Tampa (Fla.) four-star running back RayRay McCloud and Encino (Calif.) four-star safety Marvell Tell. McCloud attended the Rising Stars Camp, where he met up with close family friend Nelson Agholor. McCloud will be a tough pull from Florida, but he is the type of recruit that USC will have a fighting chance with if they can put together a good season. The same could be said for Terry Beckner, if USC can land an official visit from East St. Louis (Ill.) four-star defensive tackle. Beckner grew up following USC from the Midwest, but he has yet to leave the region for an unofficial visit. Tell also took a recent trip to USC, where his interest in the Trojans was rekindled. Tell is one of the few pure safety prospects USC is recruiting, and it will be interesting to see how well he plays coming off of a hamstring injury in May. The battle for his commitment will mostly likely come down to USC and UCLA in the end. TEAM VAPOR CARBON WR Christian Kirk DT Rashan Gary LB John Houston DB Iman Marshall DB Dechaun Holiday DB Isaiah Langley Team Vapor Carbon is stacked with five targets all giving USC a hard look, including Pleasanton (Calif.) four-star cornerback Isaiah Langley, who may end up being a Trojan before the end of the event. Joining Langley in the defensive backfield are B2G Sports teammates Iman Marshall and DeChaun Holiday. Marshall is coming off a tremendous showing at previous national events - staking his claim as the best defensive back in the nation. Scottsdale (Ariz.) four-star wide out Christian Kirk will be Marshall's roommate in Beaverton. Kirk has USC just behind Texas A&M and Ohio State, so the Trojans are currently trying to stay in play for an official visit in January. That is right around the time Gardena (Calif.) five-star John Houston wants to make a commitment. While the 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker claims no favorites publicly, USC is thought to be his leader behind closed doors. Houston did hurt his lower back in a previous event this summer, so his participation next week is questionable. Houston has been tremendous in coverage this off season during seven-on-seven tournaments. Also on the roster is 2016 defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who has a scholarship offer from USC.
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