This weekend, the nation’s top recruits are heading to Nike headquarters to take part in “The Opening,” one of the biggest recruiting events on the calendar.
But what exactly is The Opening?
The Opening is part advertising, for both nike and the recruits. A chance for the top players to compete against each other and build some camaraderie with each other. The invitation only event brings the best recruits together and they’ll test them with drills, 7 on 7 games and other competitions. The 7 on 7 teams get super cool Nike buzz word names like “Hyper Strong” and Alpha Menace,” and the players get outfitted with some sweet gear.
You earned it.— The Opening (@TheOpening) June 20, 2017
Now rep it.
See you at Nike World Headquarters. pic.twitter.com/SRtg8oFUzT
Some players like Larry Fitzgerald and Jerry Rice have also stopped by to talk with them and give them some advice before heading to college. So the event is just as much for the players as a recruiting showcase.
Has Arkansas had any recruits take part in the past?
Yes! Each of the last five years Arkansas has had one commit take part. The most recent was incoming running back Chase Hayden. McTelvin Agim, Will Gragg, Bijhon Jackson, and Denver Kirkland have also participated. A few Arkansas natives that didn’t commit to the Hogs have also been a part of it, but no recruits from the Natural State this year.
Arkansas Targets at the Opening
The Hogs have offered several players at the event, just about everyone has. But there are four main guys to keep an eye on that Arkansas has a real shot at.
TE Luke Ford, Cartersville, IL: Ford was committed to the Hogs and in the past month decommitted to explore his options more. Since then the 4-star has visited several SEC schools and Alabama seems to have taken the lead for his commitment. We’ll have to wait and see if the staff can get him back on board.
DB Jalen Green, Houston, TX: Recently made an unofficial visit to Texas, but has the Hogs listed in his Top 12. Arkansas has recruited well at his position recently, so he may not be the Hogs’ top priority.
OL Curtis Dunlap, Bradenton, FL: He is currently playing at IMG Academy, the same school Hjalte Froholdt came from. Dunlap has the Hogs in his top five along with Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma.
OL Penei Sewell, Saint George, UT: Sewell unofficially visited the Hogs, but hasn’t said much about them since. Alabama is also in the picture as is Nevada, where his two brothers currently play.