The Opening Finals, the most prestigious high school football recruiting combine, is on the move.
Goodbye pine forests. Howdy North Texas.
After spending its entire history based on Nike’s Beaverton, Ore. campus, the Nike-backed event announced Wednesday that it will relocate to The Star in Frisco, Texas for the 2018 event. The Star is the Dallas Cowboys-owned and operated training center that also serves as the home facility for the football teams from the Frisco school district.
The facility also has on on-site hotel, which will likely house all the players and coaches affiliated with the event.
The invitation only event serves as an annual who’s who of high school football recruits. Only the top performers at regional combines are invited to attend the four-day training smörgåsbord, where many of the nation’s five stars are traditionally identified as they separate themselves from other elite recruits in drills and measureables.
Because of that status, invitations to The Opening Finals have become an accomplishment of their own. To this point, 10 players have been invited to the 2018 edition: wide receiver John Dunmore, cornerback Kaiir Elam, wide receiver Arjei Henderson, cornerback Bobby Wolfe, cornerback Marcus Banks, running back Noah Cain, running back Trey Sanders, offensive guard Evan Neal, cornerback Akeem Dent, and tight end Austin Stogner.
Those future stars will be joined by other elite recruits to be identified by the time the event kicks off; about that: Nike has yet to announce a final date.
When it comes, everyone knows it’ll be at the home of the Cowboys, in a land much more known for cowboy boots than those of the hiking variety.