This week, 166 of the top high school football players in the country will descend on Nike’s campus in Beaverton, Oregon for the annual camp known as The Opening.
The nation’s thirst for football and a dry spell on the sports calendar has helped it grow into a high-profile event. NFL stars help coach the players, who are given a ton of free gear to boot. Usually, a slew of players will announce college commitments.
The only player with a standing pledge to Miami is cornerback C.J. Henderson (Miami-Columbus), who will compete for Team Alpha Pro in 7-on-7 play. However, there are plenty of uncommitted (or semi-committed) players of high interest to Miami. Among them:
- Deerfield Beach wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Columbus cornerback Trajan Bandy are on Team Vaporspeed. Jeudy, reportedly considering Alabama and Miami, may be the Hurricanes’ top target overall. In recent months, UM has put a major emphasis on Bandy, who is publicly committed to Oklahoma but is close to several UM recruits. Interesting tidbit: Hurricanes wide receiver commit DeeJay Dallas told the Post in a phone conversation last week that Bandy is involved in a text-message group chat with players who have committed to Miami (we’ll have more on Dallas this week).
- Five-star linebacker Dylan Moses (Bradenton-IMG Academy via Baton Rouge, La.), who last week announced he will visit UM this fall, is on Team Lunarbeast. Moses is the top-rated linebacker in the 2017 class and the No. 2 player overall, according to 247Sports.
- Maryland-based four-star running back Anthony McFarland Jr., who has the Hurricanes among his favorites, is on Team Hypercool. Four-star running back Darrian Felix (Fort Myers) is on Team Fly Rush. McFarland is No. 4 among running backs; Felix is No. 8. Both are listed as “athletes” by their 7-on-7 squads, rather than running backs (Henderson, a receiver/defensive back, is listed the same way).
- Four-star Plantation-American Heritage cornerback Marco Wilson is on Alpha Pro with Henderson. Safety Grant Delpit (Bradenton-IMG Academy via Houston) is on Mach Speed. Wilson, who is considering Florida and Miami, is No. 25 at his position; Delpit, who reportedly has LSU among his favorites and plans to announce his choice this week, is the No. 9 safety.
- In the trenches, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, an Alabama commit from Pensacola-Washington High, will battle next to Nick Brahms (Navarre) and Kai-Leon Herbert (Plantation-American Heritage). Leatherwood (6-6, 315) is No. 5 among tackles. Brahms (6-4, 285) is No. 9 among guards. Herbert (6-5, 285) is No. 22 among tackles.
- Looking to the future: Cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. of Plantation-American Heritage is on Alpha Pro with Wilson and Henderson. Miami hopes Surtain’s connection with cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph — who spent the last three seasons as Heritage’s head coach — will help them land the son of the former Dolphin. And, for the first time, a player entering his sophomore year was selected. Georgia linebacker Owen Pappoe, who lists Miami among his favorite schools, is listed at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He’s 15, and expected to be one of the top prospects in the 2019 recruiting class. He’s on Fly Rush, with Felix.
ESPNU will carry coverage on Saturday from 8-11 p.m. and Sunday from 6-11.