And you thought the NFL Combine was overexposed? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the The Opening,
Nike's summer showcase of some of the top high school football recruits in the country begins today and runs through Thursday, and being a hotbed of CFB recruiting news, ESPNU will be there to televise it throughout. The event is held in Beaverton (Nike town - literally) Oregon and several of the nation's top recruits will take advantage of the exposure to announce their verbal commitments. Some of those players are high up on U.C.L.A.'s wish list, so we'll keep an eye out for any big announcements this week. The Bruins 5* TE commit Alize Jones will be one of those participating (HT to KublaKahn for the fanshot).
SBN college football guru Bud Elliott has a great breakdown and where to find TV coverage of the big showcase here.
Meanwhile, the Elite 11 quarterback camp just wrapped up yesterday (also in Beaverton) ahead of The Opening. The Bruins top commit and top unofficial recruiter Josh Rosen attended the instructional camp where 19 finalists from the nation's top high school QB's participated in drills and mentoring sessions with a variety of college and pro quarterbacks as they compete to be named one of the Elite 11 for the 2014-12 class. The Nation's #1 high school prospect tweeted that it was your usual hectic weekend.
After 7 hours of hell, only at Nike do they wake you up with a full camera crew after 5 hours of sleep— Josh Rosen (@josh3rosen) July 6, 2014
Not surprisingly, Rosen was one of the top performers of the camp. From 247Sports:
Rosen is big and well-built, he's got one of the event's strongest arms and he regularly drops dimes all over the field. Where he really impressed us on Sunday was his ability, at that size, to do things with his feet in the pocket that even the smaller quarterbacks struggle with. **Top performer candidate
Rosen's mobility really is noticeable in his quick drop that you can see in the video below, and combined with his quick release and the prerequisite big arm, makes him a much more polished QB than others.
Back in the old fashioned print media, our old friend Jon Gold found some space in the Arizona Daily Star a couple days ago where he summed up the predictions for a big year for U.C.L.A.
It is as if the preseason prognosticators from Lindy's, Athlon Sports, The Sporting News, USA Today and Phil Steele sat in the same room and all reviewed game film and starting lineups over a half-dozen large pizzas. Both in the North and South divisions, there is almost zero variance, on the top and on the bottom.
Up top, Oregon's on top of the heap, as expected. In fact, the Ducks aren't just on top, they're in front - quarterback Marcus Mariota adorned the front of the USA Today preview along with UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, whose Bruins are the consensus top pick for the Pac-12 South.
Gold's cites several of the major college football prognostic sources, but he could as well have been reading BN, as all the links above are to BN articles written over the last two weeks. Well, we didn't hit the Lindy's preview, so we'll give him some credit for pulling that one. It's good to see Jon Gold still covering the Blue and Gold.
Those are some of the recent highlights around U.C.L.A. Football. We hope this starts out a great week for everyone. Chime in with your thoughts or comments below.