Larry Blustein

FRIDAY FOCUS: The Opening Showcases Elite Talent

Over the past two decades, the life of an elite high school football prospect has truly been enhanced.

Treated like some NFL-bound talent, many of these “4 and 5 Star” recruits get the royal treatment, thanks in part to the brand name apparel and shoe companies.

This past week, Frisco, Texas – outside of Dallas – where the Cowboys have put their rather large footprint down – some of the best high school talent from across the country came out to compete.

The Opening, which had its more than humble beginnings in Oregon, which is in the rather large shadow of Nike, took place, bringing the best of the best in, to jump into a rather large spotlight.


Among the local prospects to take part in this quality gathering of football talent is University of Miami Class of 2020 commitment Don Chaney Jr. The Miami Belen Jesuit running back has been regarded as one of the best at his position, and in his class, since he was in the 8th grade.

Chaney, who has also won multiple state high jump titles, was like many of the other impressive football talent that competed for a few days.

The talent came from as far away as Hawaii and as close as football crazy Texas. Commitments from Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, the University of Southern California, Auburn, Washington, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Penn State, Nebraska, Florida, FSU, Arizona State, Tennessee and many more.

Speaking of Georgia, recent St. Thomas Aquinas commit Marcus Rosemy was on hand to show many why he has been so highly rated over the past two years.

Rosemy, a 6-2, 195-pounder, made sure that he was one of the best at The Opening, having a chance to go up against other “5-Star” talent.

Did someone say elite talent? St. Thomas Aquinas, lineman Marcus Dumervil and his 6-5, 300-pound frame, has been looked at by every college in the nation – including LSU and Oklahoma.

Deerfield High running back Jaylan Knighton, who was once committed to attend Oklahoma, is another hot property that college coaches from all over the country, keeping an eye on his progress.

Knighton, the son of former Miami Central and University of Louisville standout, Rodney Knighton, continues to have a number of college coaches watching his every move this summer.

Miami Norland offensive tackle Issiah Walker has been the talk of high school football for two years – and after his de-commitment from the University of South Carolina, this dominating prospect is now perhaps one of the top line talents – as he showed in Texas.

Other south Florida prospects who had the chance to showcase their skills included recent Florida commitment Derek Wingo, a defensive end from St. Thomas Aquinas.

Wingo, who had been committed to Penn State, has often shown how versatile he is – playing a key role for the Raiders.

One time University of Miami defensive end commitment Sam Anaele, who did so well during January’s Under Armour Combine, recently committed to attend the University of Kentucky.

Miami Central defensive back Henry Gray is one of the hottest uncommitted properties out there. Once committed to Miami, he now has several big time programs looking in his direction.


In addition to the south Florida prospects, there were other Florida players who made their way out to Texas.

Many of the Florida athletes figure to impact several key programs over the next few years.

There are also a number of out-of-area University of Miami commits as well.

Carson Beck, QB, Jacksonville Mandarin (Georgia commit).

Fred Davis, CB, Jacksonville Trinity Christian (Clemson commit).

Kendall Dennis, CB, Lakeland.

Gervon Dexter, DT, Lake Wales (Florida commit).

Garrett Greene, QB, Tallahassee Chiles (West Virginia commit).

Coziah Holmes, Athlete, Cocoa.

Michael Redding III, WR, Bradenton IMG Academy (Miami commit).

Jeff Sims, QB, Jacksonville Sandalwood (FSU commit).

Demorie Tate, CB, Orlando Freedom (FSU commit).

Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Glastonbury, Ct. (Miami commit).

Avantae Williams, S, DeLand (Oregon commit).

Chance Williams, DE, Orange Park Oakleaf.


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