There will be a heavy Clemson offensive presence at Nike’s The Opening finals this week, especially after five-star wide receiver Tee Higgins’ commitment to the Tigers on Monday.
Higgins and fellow Clemson class of 2017 commits Hunter Johnson, Amari Rodgers and Matt Bockhorst will be among the 166 prospects set to gather at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., from July 6-10.
Team Mach Speed — one of seven teams the finals are divided into (Alpha Pro, Fly Rush, Hypercool, Lunarbeast, Vaporspeed, offensive line, defensive line) — might as well be called Team Clemson.
Higgins, Johnson and Rodgers will all be a part of Mach Speed, while Bockhorst, of course, will join his O-line mates.
The 14 The Opening regionals that occurred from February to May were held in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Charlotte, New Jersey, Columbus, Chicago, Oakland and Seattle, respectively.
The six The Opening rating days took place in Ohio, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta, respectively, from February to March.
Student Sports, a premier event and grassroots marketing organization dedicated to the student-athlete, delivered finals invitations to select athletes following film evaluation and/or in-person evaluations at one of the regionals or rating days.
Rodgers (Knoxville, Tenn.) competed in the Atlanta regional on March 20 before Higgins (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) competed in Charlotte on April 24, Bockhorst (Cincinnati, Ohio) competed in Columbus on May 7 and Johnson (Brownsburg, In.) competed in Chicago on May 14.
Johnson also performed in the Elite 11 Chicago regional prior to earning an invitation to the Elite 11 finals in Los Angeles, which took place from June 3-5. The Elite 11 is the nation’s premier quarterback competition.
Rodgers was named MVP among the wide receivers in Atlanta. He ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, recorded a 4.46 shuttle time, a 31-foot kneeling power ball toss and a 35.5-inch vertical jump for an overall Nike football rating of 91.38.
Higgins logged a 4.75 40, 4.23 shuttle, 36.5-foot power ball toss and 34-inch vertical for an overall rating of 96.72.
Bockhorst, who checked in at 6-foot-5 and 298 pounds, showed very well during the one-on-one portion of his regional and was one of the top 10 overall linemen at the event.
The Elite 11 competition at The Opening finals begins Wednesday as quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends compete. The remaining positions arrive Thursday, and the finals ensue from Friday through Sunday.