BEAVERTON, Ore. — Five things we learned Wednesday from The Opening
1. The kids are all right, especially Donovan Peoples-Jones
One of the best things about The Opening is that it is for the best high school football players in the country, regardless of class. While seniors still get the lion’s share of invites, a number of 2017 players have stood out.
Cass Tech (Detroit) wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones became the first underclassman to win the event’s combine, winning with a score of 149.49. The score is derived from the recruits’ scores in vertical jump, 40-yard dash time, shuttle run and power ball toss.
“I think I’m one of the best athletes in the country,” Peoples-Jones said. “Just to be crowned champion, I’m real blessed.”
Peoples-Jones ran a 4.42 40-yard dash and had a 42-inch vertical leap.
2. Sam Bruce is crazy good
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) wide receiver Sam Bruce might not be the ideal height at 5-8 for a wide receiver, but he has everything else going for him. Great lateral quickness, a stocky build and hands that refuse to drop passes. Take a look at this catch.
The Miami commit and nephew of former St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce is looking forward to playing again for Roger Harriott, whom he played for two years ago at University High (Fort Lauderdale) before Harriott went to Florida Atlantic as the running backs coach.
Now that Harriott is the head coach at Aquinas, the only other school Bruce is concerned about is Flanagan (Pembroke Pines).
“This year, I feel like the Broward teams are much stronger,” Bruce said.
3. Kyle Davis is far from being a Bulldog
Davis, considered the No. 1 wide receiver in the 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, initially committed to South Carolina, but is now listed by 247Sports.com as a likely Georgia signee. However, Wednesday, his father said he wouldn’t mind if his son went out of state to college.
“I’m not sure if Mark Richt’s system is for him and I don’t think Richt is going to change his offense at this point in his career,” Ron Davis said. “There are a lot of places Kyle could go in the SEC that I would be happy with. The spread offense that Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn run would really compliment him.”
Davis, who helped lead Archer (Lawrenceville, Ga.) to a state AAAAAA runner-up finish last season, was impressive Wednesday, with a 45-foot powerball toss and a 4.40 time in the 40.
He will play on the same team at The Opening with Jacob Eason, one of the nation’s top quarterbacks who is a Georgia commit.
4. Brandon Jones and Deontay Anderson could team up
Jones, the No. 1 safety in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings from Nacogdoches, Texas, said he hopes to go to the same school as Manvel, Texas safety Deontay Anderson, the No. 3 player on the list.
“He’s my best friend,” Jones said of Deontay. “We plan on going to college together. We balance each other out. As you can see he’s the silly one and I’m the mature one.”
5. Raekwon Davis is easy to spot
Davis, a defensive tackle from Meridian, Miss., was nursing a tight hamstring Wednesday, but he still stood out in a crowded field. When you’re 6-7 and 315 pounds, it’s hard to hide.
The Alabama commit said he still plans on making official visits this summer, finishing up sometime after his team’s first game of the season. Interestingly, he had never been on an airplane before he flew to Oregon for The Opening.