The best of the best at the 2019 Opening showcase was heavy on Clemson flavor

FRISCO, Texas — In July as in January, it’s hard to ignore Clemson. The Tigers have eight verbal commitments in the field at the Opening, the annual recruiting showcase, and they may not be done yet — there’s more good news coming for the defending national champions on the recruiting front, said future Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, one of the nation’s top prospects regardless of position.

But there’s enough star power to go around. Even among this crowded field, a group of high-profile prospects destined for the Power Five have separated themselves from the pack.

That includes Bresee, who has more than lived up his billing as a plug-and-play defensive lineman. In no particular order, here’s a handful of recruits worth remembering one year out from their college debuts:

Running back Kendall Milton participates in drills at The Opening in Frisco, Texas. (Photo: Tim Heitman, USA TODAY Sports)

DT Bryan Bresee, Damascus (Md.); committed to Clemson

Strength, athleticism and explosiveness. Bresee entered competition as the top-ranked player in the nation, per 247Sports.com, and has done nothing to alter that opinion. In terms of his college career, Bresee easily carries 290 pounds on his frame and could add another 20 pounds without sacrificing any burst. He said that he expects to begin his career at Clemson playing end on early downs before sliding inside in clear passing situations.

TE Michael Mayer, Alexandria (Ky.); committed to Notre Dame

At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Mayer simply looks the part of a Notre Dame tight end. And he plays like one, too, with the speed to run past linebackers and the strength to bully smaller defensive backs. He was great throughout competition but at his best during 7-on-7 periods. The Irish will be getting a good one.

CREAM OF CROP: Breaking down this year's Elite 11 quarterback class

VOLS GET MAN: Harrison Bailey looks to be Tennessee's quarterback of future

CRITICAL RECRUIT: Jeff Sims fills major need at quarterback for Seminoles

EMOTIONAL MOMENT: Quarterback 'teared up' before Notre Dame commitment

QB Bryce Young, Santa Ana (Calif.); committed to Southern California

Consistently ranked among the best passers during the Elite 11 portion of competition, Young was the most productive quarterback during the 7-on-7 jamboree. It's during live action that Young seems to shine. He had perhaps the best individual throw during 7-on-7, an arcing heave toward athlete E.J. Smith that dropped over the top of a defensive back in close pursuit and into Smith's hands for a touchdown. Coaches here have also praised Young's mental approach.

WR Demond Demas, Tomball (Texas); committed to Texas A&M

Demas is a highlight waiting to happen — whether that's burning defensive backs or, while on the sidelines, knocking out impromptu backflips on command. (During one lull, Demas flipped in the air and caught a pass before coming back to Earth, which was as ridiculous as it sounds.) If anything, the skill set Demas flashed here might earn him a slight bump in the recruiting rankings; he's currently viewed as the No. 2 wide receiver and No. 15 recruit overall, according to 247Sports.

RB Kendall Milton, Clovis (Calif.); uncommitted

With a solid 220 pounds packed on his 6-foot-2 frame, Milton looks ready for the NFL draft, let alone the Bowl Subdivision. One of the top uncommitted prospects in the country, he could be a weapon as a receiver in addition to the traditional running game. Milton is down to Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State, and projects as an immediate contributor regardless of his college choice. (Georgia is viewed as the favorite for Milton's signature.)

LB Cody Simon, Jersey City (N.J.); committed to Ohio State

Simon has shown the sort of athleticism major programs covet at the position. Most impressively, he's kept pace with receivers and running backs during coverage drills; these events often lean toward skill players at the expense of linemen and linebackers. But Simon ran a 4.53 40-yard dash during testing, which is plenty fast for a linebacker pegged to play in the middle of the Buckeyes' defense.

CB Jalen Kimber, Arlington (Texas); committed to Georgia

Kimber posted the top score among defensive backs in testing and the third-best score overall, trailing linebacker Wesley Steiner and wide receiver Julian Fleming. The most impressive number: Kimber ran a blazing 4.4 in the 40. His showing here solidifies Kimber as a top-100 prospect and a good fit for Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs.

OL Walker Parks, Lexington (Ky.); committed to Clemson

Here's another Clemson lineman standing out in drills, this time on the offensive side of the ball. There are more than a handful of tackles and guards in attendance tipping the scales at or above 300 pounds; in comparison, Parks comes in at 275. That didn't stop him from winning almost every battle during 1-on-1 competition, including several battles against speedy edge rushers. Whether he has the same college career is unknown, but in terms of his shape and performance Parks resembles former Clemson offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, a four-year starter and two-time national champion.

Source: Read Full Article