Best on best.
It's a concept that is talked about often in football when it comes to competition. Within a team, it usually means offensive starters versus defensive starters. Most of the time it's necessary to have the scout team show what the opposition is going to show you, but there are times that best on best trumps all.
That's why they say iron sharpens iron. To truly get better, elite players have to go against other elite players and that's what's so unique about The Opening. 166 of the nation's best recruits competing against each other and get to see whow they compare with others they wouldn't normally get to compete against on a typical Friday night in the fall.
There were several Pac-12 commitments on hand for the camp last week (you can find my thoughts on most of them here). I was at the Nike World Headquarters watching the camp and these were the five committed to Pac-12 programs who stood out the most to me:
USC linebacker commit Mique Juarez
Juarez was a highly ranked player going into the camp and he more than justified his ranking by how he looked on the field. In my opinion, he was the most impressive linebackers I saw the entire camp. He is put together really well (he weighed 226) with some room to get bigger, but moves like a smaller player in terms of his fluidity. He can accelerate so quickly to the football and took two interceptions back to the house in coverage in the 7 on 7 portion of the event.
It's tough for linebackers to shine, but Juarez did whenever I watched his team play. UCLA is fighting hard to steal him away from the Trojans and it's easy to see why.
Stanford linebacker commit Curtis Robinson
Yes, another linebacker. This is the kind of setting where a linebacker like Robinson, who is a great athlete and excels in coverage, is going to be better than most. He is a much different kind of linebacker than a typical Stanford one. Not as physical, but more multiple in what he can be asked to do.
He did well in man coverage versus tight ends and he matched up really well against Florida State tight end commit Isaac Nauta, who dominated most players he faced last week.
Washington running back commit Sean McGrew
McGrew made the top ten in terms of his SPARQ score and ran a blazing 4.38 40 during testing. The only thing more impressive than that was his 3.95 short shuttle time. Those testing numbers translated well to what he did on the field. He was a dangerous player when he got into space and showed what kind of weapon he can be out of the backfield, or even out of the slot, on third down for the Huskies. He compared himself to Danny Woodhead as a player and that's not a bad comparison because I think McGrew can be just like Woodhead as a pass catcher out of the backfield that consistently helps his team move the chains.
USC athlete commit Trevon Sidney
Sidney was a touchdown machine for his 7 on 7 team and proved he is one of the best slot receivers in the nation. His team probably had the most inconsistent quarterback play of the camp as well, but it didn't stop him from being productive. He just found ways to always get open. The Trojans are putting together a big time wide receiver class this cycle and Sidney is a great piece that they just added to play in the slot.
USC wide receiver commit Josh Imatorbhebhe
Imatorbhebhe blew people away with a 47 inch vertical jump in the testing portion that practically looked like he was floating on air if you witnessed it in person. There's some debate as to how high he and the rest of the competitors truly jumped, but there is no debating that Imatorbhebhe is a great athlete that can flat out go up and get the football. The big target made some difficult catches and was one of the main contributors to his team winning the 7 on 7 championship.