Trevor Lawrence, K.J. Henry shine at Charlotte Opening


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K.J. Henry shows off his Opening invite
K.J. Henry shows off his Opening invite

CHARLOTTE - The Opening Regional in Charlotte, N.C. produced 12 more invitations to The Opening Finals, with Clemson quarterback commit Trevor Lawrence leading the way with MVP honors and an invite to the Elite 11 later this summer.

Also receiving invites to The Opening were Clemson targets K.J. Henry, Owen Pappoe and Devon Lawrence. The Opening Finals will be held at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on July 1-3.

Not earning an invite – in perhaps the biggest injustice of the day – was Clemson wide receiver commit Derion Kendrick. We watched every drill from beginning to end, and Kendrick was easily the best athlete on the field.

We have interviews with all of the participants and Clemson targets, and we will have an extended recap in a story we will run in the morning, but I’ll start with Kendrick.

Kendrick had a large support group on hand – he’s from nearby Rock Hill, including his mother. He didn’t disappoint, running the drills with ease and showing incredible speed and hands. Most of the observers we talked to said they thought he was the best athlete out there, but he didn’t receive the coveted invite to Oregon.

I walked to the car with Kendrick and his family, and I mentioned that I think he plays with a chip on his shoulder. That chip is about to get bigger.

As for Lawrence, he didn’t disappoint. Easily the tallest quarterback on the field, he’s also easy to spot because of his flowing locks. He matched up several times with Kendrick – future teammates – and showed incredible touch on the deep ball.

“It means a lot. It’s been one of my dreams since I was a little kid, and for it to actually happen means a lot to me,” Lawrence told TigerNet. “That is why I came. I wanted to get an invite and get the chance to go to California and prove myself out there. I think the main thing is to just go out there and have fun and compete against guys that are in my grade and are my age.”

Clemson defensive end target K.J. Henry sported a pair of Clemson gloves, and he was easily one of the two best in his group.

“It’s great. It’s a great feeling,” Henry told TigerNet. “It’s something that I’ve been working for. It’s an honor and I’m proud to be a part of such an outstanding group. I want to prove that it’s not a fluke. Number six in the nation is pretty big and I want to keep proving myself.”

Also impressive were Devon Lawrence and Pappoe. We spoke with Pappoe before the combine, and he stated that he keeps in contact with defensive coordinator Brent Venables on a regular basis. We will have more analysis and quotes in the morning.


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