Chicago NFTC recap: recruits earn invites to The Opening 2013

SB Nation Recruiting

Chicago had its first warm weekend of the summer just in time for the stars to shine Sunday.

The Chicago NFTC featured many top recruits on a Sunday that turned out to be considerably nicer than originally forecast.


This was the most loaded group on the field Sunday. Combine a very talented group of receivers and an extremely weak crop of defensive backs, and the dominance by the receivers was plenty predictable.

Drake Harris of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian is still somewhat raw, but made acrobatic catches on the day and earned an invite to The Opening 2013. So did Braxton Berrios, a shifty slot guy who has sneaky strength. Allen Lazard, or Urbandale (Iowa) High School, also earned an invite. His athleticism and size combination are excellent. Harris is committed to Michigan, while Lazard is an Iowa State commitment.

The MVP of the day for the receivers was J-Shun Harris, a shifty slot guy. He did not earn an invite to The Opening 2013.

The group featured no less than 10 BCS conference receivers, and the competition was fierce.


This one was easy. Kyle Allen, of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain was head and shoulders above every quarterback. He threw on balance and in rhythm, with very good arm strength, touch and accuracy. Allen has worked on his game and the polish really shows. He earned both the MVP and the invite to The Opening 2013. Allen was also the top performer at the Elite 11 event Friday.

Running Back

Jeff Jones took home both the MVP honors and an invite to The Opening 2013. The Minnesota commitment from Minneapolis (Minn.) Washburn Senior High School has a good build and had some excellent moves to avoid defenders.

Offensive line

Brian Allen took home the MVP with an excellent performance. I was unable to watch the defensive line one-on-ones, but coach Todd Huber told me that Allen was able to anchor and used his hands well. Allen, of Hinsdale (Ill.) Central is committed to Michigan State.

Defensive line

Anthony Love of Romeoville (Ill.) High came out of nowhere to win the MVP award over several big names. Love is undersized but has a high motor.

Enoch Smith Jr. of Chicago's Mt. Carmel High School didn't win the MVP, but the Michigan State commitment did earn an invite to The Opening 2013. Smith is a tweener end/tackle, with good strength and a high motor.


Nyles Morgan came in as the highest-touted linebacker, and did not disappoint. Out of Crete (Ill.) Monee High School, he earned both the MVP and the invite to The Opening 2013. Morgan is long and showed good agility keeping up with backs in the open field. His commitment status is very open and he has more than 20 BCS offers.

Defensive back

Wilbert Jones of East St. Louis High School came away as the best DB. He got his hands on opposing receivers, and in a very weak group of DBs, that was enough to come away with the MVP. No defensive backs earned invites to The Opening 2013.

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