The Opening has become the nation’s most prestigious high school football scouting combine, an amalgamation of curated and crowdsourced talent and a full swag bag of sneaker hype and mojo. It’s pretty much the most postmodern, millennial prep sports event imaginable.
Right on cue, the players who try out for the big event tend to produce instantly meme-able moments when they deliver the goods. The recent Opening Regional in the Washington, D.C. area didn’t fail to produce.
Meet Jared Cole. No, you don’t know about him yet, but maybe you should. The Stone Bridge High School (Ashburn, Va.) Swiss Army knife of a player was competing as a running back at the Regional and produced a moment of magic, followed by the sickest burn imaginable.
Cole was competing in a traditional one-on-two ball carrier drill when he absolutely dusted the defenders who were attempting to pull him down. After subtly juking one defender into the other’s lane, he turned on the jets to the corner, beating them both up the sideline. It was a good move, but certainly not an all-timer.
What put it in the pantheon was Cole’s instinctive reaction: he turned his head about 30 degrees, just enough to see the trailing defenders in his peripheral vision, waved goodbye in their direction and then headed for mock paydirt.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is cold blooded.
For the record, Cole so far holds just one Division I FBS scholarship offer, from UMass. Georgetown is also after him, though they play at the FCS level.
That might change after his Opening Regional performance. regardless of the final results, he certainly won’t be overlooked anymore; no one else wants to be on the wrong end of a wave goodbye.