Nike Football: The Opening 2012 – Day 1July 7, 2012
6Magazine has been at The Opening for the past two years. It saddens me to say this year that we’ll be watching this great event from our couch. Just like the athletes that didn’t make the 150 to be invited to the 2012 The Opening, we’ll use this as motivation to get better and make sure we never miss this event again.
If you’re not familiar with The Opening, it’s Nike’s annual high school football festival. This is a college football recruiting junkie’s Star Wars convention. The best high school football players from all over the country are in attendance. The Opening started in 2008 and has definitely gotten better each year.
In our first year in attendance in 2010, it was the first time The Opening featured the SPARQ National Championships as well as the 7ON competition. The best way to describe the SPARQ rating is – if you could take a draft prospect’s NFL combine results and compute that into one number ranked against himself and his peers. The 7ON championships is a 7 on 7 pass skeleton competition. In 2011, the 7ON championship featured the best 7 on 7 teams in the country from schools such as Glenville Academy, Miami Northwestern and more. In 2011, Nike upped the ante and showed the offensive and defensive lineman some love with their own competition. The best thing Nike did last year was break up how the 7ON teams were selected. Instead of selecting the best 7 on 7 teams in the country, they took the best 150 skill athletes in the country regardless of class and brought them The Opening and drafted teams from the 150 athletes selected.
Yesterday was Day 1 and it featured the 7ON draft and the National SPARQ championships. Here are some athletes that I was very impressed with.
Colin Spencer – A cornerback out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, TX. Spencer is nothing more than a two-star recruit and his only offer is from Kansas. Why is he a two-star recruit? Maybe because he’s only a 5’9″ 177 lbs cornerback. Maybe it’s because he’s white. We wrote about white cornerbacks and their lack of respect a year ago for Complex.com. Either way, Spencer’s great performance at the SPARQ Championships — mainly his 40 inch plus vertical leap and 4.48 40 yard dash is going to have other programs reevaluating his game film and watching him closely in his senior year this fall.
Altee Tenpenny – Before we talk about this kid’s athletic prowess, let’s talk about him as a kid. The one advantage that we have at 6Magazine is that kids can relate to us and let their guard down. Last year, Tenpenny was by far our favorite interview last year. He’s got a great personality and seems like a player that will always keep the team morale in the locker room at a high level.
As an athlete, Tenpenny has dealt with injury issues but nothing to scary because he’s ranked the 80th player overall in the ESPNU 150 ratings, #9 RB overall and committed to Alabama. He looked great in all of the drills yesterday and we can’t wait to see what he does when he finally gets to Tuscaloosa.
Derrick Henry – At 6’3 242lbs this kid jumped 41 inches and won the vertical leap. He’s a running back. Yes, running back. He reminds us of the late great Sean Taylor. His top three schools are Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
Mike Mitchell – Won the overall SPARQ championships when he tore up the turf with a 4.39 40 yard dash. The four-star recruit out of Plano, TX has TCU, Florida State, Ohio State, UNLV, and Houston as his top college choices.
Checkout all of the athletes at The 2012 Opening
Also, the person holding it down with the best Twitter coverage to follow is Keith Niebuhr
Make sure you checkout ESPNU tonight at 7pm/8pm EST to catch Day 2 of The Opening which will feature the 7ON competition.
That’s all I got,