Oregon hosts final NFTC stop
Two ESPN 300 recruits among those vying for final Opening invites
Scott Quessenberry was already motivated enough going into Sunday's Oregon Nike Football Training Camp. But when the La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) center found out that he had cracked the ESPN 300 rankings on Wednesday, his drive got an extra boost.
"Dang, I had no idea, but in a way it's good and bad," said Quessenberry, who is ranked No. 183 overall and No. 2 at the center position. "I'm ranked now, but that is going to make the [defensive] linemen I play against be like, 'Hey, I'm going to work this kid.' Ultimately though, I'm going to go out there and do me, and it just makes me one step closer to The Opening."
With the Oregon NFTC serving as the 12th and final camp nationwide, earning a spot in The Opening is sure to be on the mind of most of the players who compete at the University of Oregon this weekend.
Craig Haubert, national recruiting analyst for ESPN, on the Nike Football Training Camps:
Why they matter
NFTCs provide a great platform to become more informed as an evaluator, with the opportunity to see a large number of prospects go through drills and compete in one location. They can help cement a prospect's status if he's already highly rated by confirming what was seen on film. The camps can also be a good place for under-the-radar prospects to get more exposure and warrant further evaluation.
Why you should pay attention
The NFTCs attract a good number of high-profile prospects, the ones recruiting fans most want to hear and learn about. Not often in football do you get a group of top prospects in one setting and see them go through drills and compete. It helps supplement your film evaluation.
What he looks for
As an evaluator, having a large number of prospects in one place allows you to put them through the eye test to get a more accurate feel for heights and weights. It can also be helpful to see how the players compete against one another. We look at not only performance and the execution of skills, but also at who takes coaching well, who tries to take as many reps as he can and who tries to challenge himself against the best. But just because a prospect does well at the event doesn't mean that's all you need to see.
In fact, Quessenberry, who is being recruited by the likes of California, Oregon and Wisconsin, said that the success of his upcoming senior campaign rests partly on his NFTC performance.
"Other than winning a CIF title, the ultimate goal of my senior season is making The Opening," said the 6-foot-4, 265-pound junior. "So my expectations are high, getting to learn new things and face some good competition."
The same can be said for Evan Voeller, a junior offensive tackle out of West Linn (Ore.). Sunday will be Voeller's third showing at an NFTC event, and this time around, he gets to play at his future college after committing to the Ducks in April.
"I'm pumped to get a workout in with some of the best in the region," said Voeller, who is ranked No. 171 in the ESPN 300. "I'm also looking forward to getting a crack at The Opening."
Vanderdoes sits at No. 57 in the latest ESPN 150 after recording 59 tackles and eight sacks despite facing constant double teams. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound junior from Placer (Auburn, Calif.) has offers from all over the country including Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and USC, which famously documented his weight room workout on film during an April visit.
Standing at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, Bryant should also prove to be a force in the defensive lineman drills. The Washington commit helped lead Tumwater (Wash.) to a state title in 2010 and is known for keeping the offensive line on its heels.
The roster of defenders is also highlighted by linebackers Joey Martarano and Danny Mattingly. Martarano, who's rated the nation's No. 26 baseball prospect in the ESPN 60, will be switching back into football mode after spending the spring leading the Fruitland (Idaho) baseball team to a state title and threw a five-inning no-hitter in the state final. The transition shouldn't be tough for the Boise State commit, who is known for his consistent hard-hitting ability and speed on the football field.
Mattingly, who also plays tight end, is ranked the fourth-best athlete in Washington by ESPN. The junior recorded 62 tackles and four interceptions for Mead (Spokane, Wash.) last fall and said he can't wait to show what he can do during Sunday's NFTC.
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