BEAVERTON, Ore. — The final day of the 2017 Nike Opening finals is upon us.
The curtain will fall this evening on the elite all-star high school prospect showcase from the company’s world headquarters in Oregon.
The event is an all-star showcase where 166 of the nation’s top players were chosen to compete against their peers in drills, competition and 7-on-7 games to determine which recruits are actually the nation’s best players.
The players this week — except for the notable exception of new 5-star Georgia RB commit Zamir White — are the best in the country in the 2018 and 2019 classes.
The quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers were joined by the rest of nation’s best on Saturday.
The Opening has a different feel for Georgia this year. The Bulldogs sent six commitments to the event in 2016 and would then pick up another two more commitments on the last day.
The Bulldogs have only two current commitments at the event this time. That’s surging cornerback Chris Smith II from Hapeville Charter Career Academy and 5-star junior DE Nolan Smith II.
The 2017 Opening finals are a good forum for commits to interact with other major targets, so Smith, who is actively recruiting for the Bulldogs, has a lot of work to do.
Nolan Smith, on the other hand, has very actively pursued by both Alabama and Clemson in the Class of 2019. A lot of the readers on our DawgNation message board have gotten nervy that Smith’s commitment isn’t as strong as it once was.
Notable targets in attendance this week for the Bulldogs include James Cook, Justin Fields, Luke Ford, Matt Corral, Daniel Faalele, KJ Henry, Trey Hill, Kearis Jackson, Tyreke Johnson, Azeez Ojulari, J.J. Peterson, Jamaree Salyer and Josh Vann, among many others. There’s a quintet of 5-stars in that roll call.
UGA entered The Opening with seven commitments and the No. 55 recruiting class in the nation for 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Look for the Bulldogs to make great strides in those recruiting rankings over the next six weeks.
Can the Bulldogs pull another top-10 class this year? That — given the lightning bolt of good news from White last week — now seems very possible. Follow DawgNation and UGA recruiting reporter Jeff Sentell (Twitter: @jeffsentell) for live updates of all things Georgia football recruiting.
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Schedule for The Opening finals 2017
- Monday, July 3 (all times ET)
- 7-on-7 Tournament, Championships: 12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Offensive, Defensive linemen drills: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Offensive, Defensive linemen finals: 3:35 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- 7-0n-7 Tournament final: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- The Opening Awards Ceremony: 8:30 p.m.