- Jeremy Crabtree, RecruitingNation
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For the top high school football prospects in the country, two is better than one.
For years, the Elite 11 Quarterback Competition and The Opening have been two of the nation's premier events for the most heavily recruited prospects in the country. But this year, the events have been combined into one week that takes place at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and starts with the Elite 11 workouts on June 29-30 and continues through The Opening on July 1-3.
Now in its 15th year, the Elite 11 has developed into the best event for high school quarterbacks. Future NFL quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Blaine Gabbert and A.J. McCarron have participated in the Elite 11 finals.
After six regional events, 18 top-ranked quarterbacks have been selected for the 2013 finals. They'll be put through drills by ESPN analyst and 14-year NFL vet Trent Dilfer, former NFL quarterback Jordan Palmer and George Whitfield, quarterback coach for Heisman Trophy winners Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel. This is the third year for The Opening, which is four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition for the country's top 163 high school football players. From seven-on-seven play to lineman competitions, every position will be highlighted over the course of the four-day program. Players also get opportunities to learn from some of the best, as Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, Ndamukong Suh, Patrick Peterson, Ray Rice and Darrelle Revis have all coached at the event.
RecruitingNation's coverage kicks off this week and continues from Beaverton next week, but here is a look at The Elite 11 and The Opening by the numbers.
1 – The nation's No. 1 player, Leonard Fournette, will be at The Opening. He will be playing in the seven-on-seven competition with team Super Bad. Offensively, Super Bad is loaded, with receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil joining Fournette.
2 – The number of players from Gardena (Calif.) Serra High School on The Opening roster. Overall, 25 players from the Golden State will represent in Beaverton, but Serra stars Adoree' Jackson and Dwight Williams are teammates heading there. Jackson is the nation's No. 2 cornerback, and Williams ranks as the No. 11 outside linebacker.
3 – The number of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks who have participated in the Elite 11 final (Leinart, Troy Smith and Tebow).
3 – Is also the number of players who will be announcing at The Opening. Expect decisions from ESPN 300 linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Ponte Vedra), ESPN 300 cornerback Arrion Springs (San Antonio/Roosevelt) and three-star safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia). To see where RecruitingNation's experts predict Springs and Bates to sign, check out the Hot Board.
4 – The number of pledges the Big 12 has in The Opening. The highest-ranked Big 12 commitment is Denton (Texas) Guyer quarterback Jerrord Heard, a Longhorn recruit.
5 – The number of commitments Florida has on The Opening roster. The top Gator recruit is No. 4 running back Dalvin Cook of Miami Central. Overall, the SEC leads the way with 25 players committed to its schools. Following Florida is Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M, with three recruits apiece in the event.
8 – The number of commitments the ACC has in The Opening. Miami leads the way for the ACC with three pledges but the two highest-ranked committed players in the event are heading to ACC teams. Safety Quin Blanding of Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside is the No. 11 player overall and a UVa commitment, and quarterback Deshaun Watson of Gainesville, Ga., is the No. 15 player and a Clemson pledge.
10 – The number of recruits who have already committed to Pac-12 programs in The Opening.
11 – The number of players ranked No. 1 at their positions participating in The Opening.
16 – The number of quarterbacks at the Elite 11 who have already made their college decisions.
16 – Also the number of players who already have committed to Big Ten programs. Ohio State leads the entire country with nine commits in The Opening.
19 – The number of players from Texas on The Opening roster. Leading the way for the Lone Star State is No. 3 ranked safety Jamal Adams of Lewisville Hebron. Adams remains uncommitted and will play for team Field Generals.
25 – The number of players from Florida on The Opening roster, highlighted by No. 3-ranked running back Joseph Yearby. The Miami commitment from Miami Central High School will be playing for team Vapor Carbon.
42 – The number of Elite 11 finalists who have been drafted since 1999.
71 – The number of players participating in The Opening who have made verbal commitments to schools -- 43 percent of the roster.
113 – The number of players in the 2014 ESPN 300 playing in this year's The Opening.
117 – The number of players in the 2013 ESPN 300 who played in last year's event.
148.17 – The SPARQ score that North Little Rock (Ark.) High School cornerback Kavin Alexander recorded at the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp. The mark is the second-highest ever recorded, making him the favorite to win the SPARQ Rating national championship.
College football's future stars will be on display during the upcoming Elite 11 and Opening events.