The Opening Atlanta: Weekend Preview


by - Staff Writer -
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Derrik Allen will be in Atlanta Sunday
Derrik Allen will be in Atlanta Sunday

Atlanta and Buford High School will be the mecca of high school football recruiting Sunday as Nike and The Opening roll into town for a one-day event.

The top players from across the Southeast will participate in agility and strength testing and position drills coached by some of the most knowledgeable people in the country. At stake is one of the coveted invitations to The Opening held later this summer in Beaverton, Oregon.

Two of Clemson’s top 2017 commits in Knoxville (TN) Catholic wide receiver Amari Rodgers and Loganville (GA) Grayson quarterback Chase Brice will be on hand for Sunday’s activities.

Along with those two will be several of Clemson’s targets for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes.

For quarterbacks, 2018 prospects Trevor Lawrence out of Cartersville (GA), Auburn commit Joey Gatewood out of Jacksonville (FL) Bartram Trail and Emory Jones out of Franklin (GA) Heard County will be on hand.

Rodgers is already committed to Clemson for the 2017 cycle and he will be joined by Nico Collins out of Pinson (AL) Clay-Chalkville and Malcolm Askew out of McCalla (AL) McAdory, both of whom own Clemson offers.

Offensive line will be one position that we’ll spend extensive time watching as 2017 prospects 4-star offensive tackle Tony Gray out of Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett, 4-star Andrew Thomas out of Atlanta (GA) Pace Academy, and 4-star Netori Johnson out of Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove will all participate.

Johnson recently de-committed from Alabama and released a top 10 that included LSU, Baylor, Florida, Michigan, Clemson, Ole Miss, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia.

Thomas, who has consistently listed Clemson among his favorites will be joined by teammate and 2018 prospect Jamaree Salyer.

Defensive line is another deep group at this weekend’s event and will be headlined by the nation’s No. 19 player in the ESPN Jr. 300 in Norcross (GA) defensive end Robert Beal who recently decommitted from Notre Dame. Last summer, Clemson was among Beal’s favorites.

Malik Herring – the 4-star defensive end from Forsyth (GA) Mary Persons has been one of Clemson’s top targets for quite some time. He attended Clemson’s most recent junior day and seems to favor the Tigers, Georgia and Alabama.

Zachh Pickens from Anderson (SC) TL Hanna recently picked up a Clemson offer – a rarity for a 2019 prospect – and he will also be on hand, as well as 2017 Laney (GA)’s Tyrone Truesdale and 2018 South Gwinnett prospect Justin Mascoll.

Three 2017 linebacker prospects who own Clemson offers will be on hand in Westlake (GA) and Georgia commit Jaden Hunter, Tadarian Moultry out of Jackson Olin (AL) and North Cobb’s Chandler Wooten.

2017 prospects William Poole III, Alabama commit Xavier McKinney and Jamyest Williams will headline the defensive back group as far as Clemson offers go, along with 2018 prospect Derrik Allen who recently attended a Clemson junior day.

Williams immediately stood out during last year’s Atlanta Regional and has liked Clemson since the beginning. McKinney attended Clemson’s first junior day with good friend and Clemson commit LeAnthony Williams and has publically said he still likes the Tigers despite his commitment to the Tide.

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