The top high school football players in the country will converge on Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., this week for the most elite recruiting camp in the country: The Opening.
Alabama will have seven commitments competing in the prestigious event. The Crimson Tide contingent will be led by the nation’s No. 1 overall player, five-star running back Najee Harris.
With the exception of five-star offensive tackle commit Alex Leatherwood (no offensive linemen compete in 7-on-7 play), each commit will play on Team VaporSpeed in the 7-on-7 competition. Fans will be able to watch a replay of the event on Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
If you don’t want to wait to find out how the Crimson Tide’s commits and major targets fared in the event, SEC Country will have live coverage all week from Oregon, so readers can expect lots of Alabama recruiting coverage for the rest of the week.
Markail Benton, 4-star LB, Phenix City, Ala.
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 237 pounds
High School: Central
National Ranking: No. 6 outside linebacker, No. 3 recruit in the state of Alabama
Skinny: Benton committed to Alabama over Auburn in June. For most of his recruitment, the Tigers held an edge over the Crimson Tide. Alabama started gaining ground on Auburn a month before he announced his commitment. He told SEC Country at his announcement ceremony that his recruitment is over.
VanDarius Cowan, 4-star LB, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
High School: Palm Beach Gardens
National Ranking: No. 5 outside linebacker, No. 18 recruit in the state of Florida
Skinny: Cowan has been one of Alabama’s best recruiters in recent memory. He is certainly the most vocal commit on Twitter. There were some questions on whether or not he’d remain committed to Alabama after de-committing from Florida State twice in his recruitment, but he is 100 percent solid. His recruitment is over. You can guarantee Cowan will have his recruiting hat on this week in Oregon.
Najee Harris, 5-star RB, Antioch, Calif.
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 226 pounds
High School: Antioch
National Ranking: No. 1 running back, No. 1 overall recruit in the country
Skinny: Harris has been committed to Alabama for over a year now, but his recruitment is far from over. Though he has told the Alabama staff he is 100 percent solid, he has continued taking visits to the Crimson Tide’s biggest competition of keeping him: UCLA and Southern California. It’s going to be a battle to keep him on the commitment list, but Alabama is going to do everything it can to keep the best running back recruit since LSU’s Leonard Fournette on board.
Alex Leatherwood, 5-star OT, Pensacola, Fla.
Measurables: 6-foot-6, 315 pounds
High School: Booker T. Washington
National Ranking: No. 5 offensive tackle, No. 4 recruit in the state of Florida
Event: Final Five Lineman Challenge
Skinny: Like Cowan, Leatherwood is one of Alabama’s top commits when it comes to recruiting others. He is 100 percent solid with Alabama, though Florida does remain in the mix. It’s going to take a lot for the Gators to flip him, however.
Xavier McKinney, 4-star safety, Roswell, Ga.
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 170 pounds
High School: Roswell
National Ranking: No. 11 safety, No. 14 recruit in the state of Georgia
Skinny: McKinney recently told SEC Country that Clemson and Florida are tied for No. 2 for him. The Tigers are the Tide’s biggest competition right now. His former teammate, Tre Lamar, is a freshman at Clemson and McKinney’s current teammate, LeAnthony Williams, is committed to the Tigers. He plans on visiting Clemson in the near future.
Tyrell Shavers, 4-star WR, Lewisville, Texas
Measurables: 6-foot-6, 202 pounds
High School: Lewisville
National Ranking: No. 22 wide receiver, No. 24 recruit in the state of Texas
Skinny: He’s one of the fastest risers in the rankings this spring. Just a few months ago, Shavers was a 3-star prospect with 12 offers. That list more than doubled after he posted a 4.38 40-yard dash time at one of Nike’s “The Opening” regional camps. Shavers committed to Alabama last month and his recruitment is over.
Tua Tagovailoa, 4-star QB, Honolulu
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
High School: Saint Louis School
National Ranking: No. 2 dual-threat quarterback, No. 1 recruit in the state of Hawaii
Skinny: Tagovailoa became Alabama’s top target after the team lost Jake Fromm to Georgia. The Hawaiian standout committed to Alabama in May shortly after a week-long stay in Tuscaloosa, which is when he fell in love with the school. Tagovailoa has said that he will continue taking visits to other schools, most notably Southern California, but he is 100 percent committed to Alabama at this time.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.