What are the Elite 11 and The Opening presented by Nike?
The Elite 11 is a "campetition" for quarterback recruits. They receive top-level instruction from former professionals and private quarterback coaches. (Despite the "11" name, there are actually 18 quarterbacks selected.) The Opening is the premier summer showcase event for high school recruits.
Both are held at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
When are the Elite 11 and The Opening, and how can I watch?
The 2015 Elite 11 takes place July 6-7, while The Opening 2015 runs July 8-10. Quarterbacks from the Elite 11 also participate in The Opening.
The TV schedule is as follows:
- July 9: Seven-on-seven games. 8. p.m. ET, ESPNU and Watch ESPN
- July 10: Seven-on-seven semifinals/championship and Lineman Challenge finals. 1 and 8. p.m. ET, ESPNU and Watch ESPN
How long has The Opening been around?
This is year No. 5.
What happens at The Opening?
The Opening presented by Nike Football is four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition for many of the country's most elite high school football players. Every position and every aspect of the game will be highlighted over the course of the four-day program. Past events have featured NFL stars like Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, Ndamukong Suh, Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis coaching participants in a variety of drills and competitions.The event will crown winners for the Nike 7ON tournament, Nike Linemen Challenge, and SPARQ Rating National Championship. Designed to give student-athletes the training and knowledge to develop their speed, explosiveness and position skills, The Opening brings together top performers from all of the Nike Football Training Camps and Nike Football SPARQ Combines, combined with other top prospects – all battling for the chance to claim ultimate bragging rights.
Who gets picked for The Opening?
The top 166 high school football players in the nation as selected by Student Sports after film evaluation and/or in-person evaluation at one of our nationwide events such as the Nike Football Training Camps (NFTC).
Why is this event important? Don't colleges already have tons of tape on these guys? What are the rules for teams? Can they go to it, talk to players, etc.?
Ultimately, the event won't help most invited get recruited, because they are already high-profile recruits. But top athletes are competitive, and they want the chance to try their skills against the best in the country.
Colleges and representatives are not permitted to attend, per NCAA rule. The event is really more about a celebration of the players and a chance to prove they are the best at their respective positions.
In addition to the experience, players receive a ton of Nike swag, including exclusive shoes. In 2013, they received the Calvin Johnson trainer shoe before all of their friends.
Who are some people who have done well there in the past, and how did it effect their careers?
Recruiting rankings have a huge correlation to success, so as you might expect, the event has produced a ton of stars.
One such player was Mike Davis, a running back who signed with South Carolina and became one of the best in the SEC. He spoke well of the event:
"The competition at The Opening really helped me push myself as a player, and it motivated me to work even harder to get better because I realized there are guys out there just as talented, if not more talented than you are. It was such an amazing experience being out in Oregon, and I will always remember the guys I met that week.
Other notable alumni include Georgia running back Todd Gurley, Miami's Tracy Howard and Duke Johnson, Auburn's Ricardo Louis, and Florida State's P.J. Williams and Jameis Winston (Elite 11).
Which teams have the most verbal commitments at the event?
Florida State and LSU each have seven of the 166, Alabama has six, Ohio State and USC each have five.
Do any players commit to schools at The Opening?
Yes. Since the event is broadcast on ESPNU, many players opt to take advantage of the publicity and commit on TV. This year, eight prospects are expected to make their commitments. This section will be updated once Nike provides a list of expected commitments.
How are the players grouped?
Players will participate in individual drills, and then break off into six teams for seven-on-seven competition. Each seven-on-seven team will have three quarterbacks from the Elite 11 on their squad. Linemen will compete in a separate lineman challenge.
Who pays for all this?
The event pays the way for players, but if parents, friends or relatives wish to come, they must pay their own way.
Why are some players in shoulder pads and some not?
State high school athletic governing bodies differ on how players can practice in the offseason.
Some information provided via Student Sports.