The 2017 Nike Football Opening Finals take place this weekend at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. This year will mark the seventh year that Nike has hosted the top high school football recruits in the nation, and provided them with the opportunity to compete against the best in their class.
In 2016, the two highest-rated Texas A&M signees attended the Opening Finals. WR Jhamon Ausbon and ILB Anthony Hines were both four-star recruits who should compete to see significant playing time this fall in College Station.
This year there are several players high on Kevin Sumlin’s wishlist who will be in attendance at the Opening Finals.
Here are the top five to watch:
5-star WR Terrace Marshall Jr. (6-3, 192)
The Bossier City, La., product is the nation’s top-ranked receiver recruit in 2018, according to 247Sports. He also ranks as the No. 10 prospect nationally, and would be a massive addition to the Aggies’ 2018 class. In his junior season at Parkway High School, Marshall Jr. caught an impressive 55 passes for 1250 yards and 15 touchdowns. He recently released a top-4 of Texas A&M, Miami, LSU and Texas. If you follow his visits, the Aggies seem to be very much in the mix for landing the big-play receiver. He has visited College Station more times than any other campus, with his most recent visit being on June 18th. Marshall Jr. has impressed schools with his athleticism and big-play potential, averaging 22.7 yards per catch last season.
4-Star WR Jalen Preston (6-2, 212)
The No. 5 prospect in the state of Texas is high on Kevin Sumlin’s wishlist for the 2018 class. As a junior at Manvel High School, Preston recorded 33 receptions for 664 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two punts and a kickoff for touchdowns, showing his versatility in the return game. Preston has visited Texas A&M five times in the past year, which is three more visits than he’s made to any other school. Texas A&M is considered the favorite for the explosive receiver according to 247Sports. Preston recently released a top-6 of Texas A&M, Oregon, LSU, Texas, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma.
4-Star WR Al’Vonte Woodard (6-1, 193)
Al’Vonte Woodard is another in-state receiver target for Kevin Sumlin in the 2018 class. As a junior at Lamar High School in Houston, Woodard caught 35 passes for 792 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is the tenth-ranked player in Texas and a member of the ESPN 300. He has released a top-five of Texas A&M, Texas, Ohio State, Ole Miss, and LSU, however Texas and Texas A&M are the top schools in play for the crafty receiver. At this time Texas looks to be his leader according to 247Sports, but he has yet to visit Austin. The Aggies are still very much in the running for Woodard, and his performance at the Opening will be intriguing.
4-star S Leon O’Neal Jr. (6-1, 190)
Leon O’Neal Jr. announced his commitment to Texas A&M in this video on June 2nd. The Cypress, Texas standout recorded 114 tackles and 2 interceptions during his junior season at Cy Springs. He will bring much needed help to the Aggies’ 91st ranked pass defense per CFBStats.com, and fans should be interested in how he stacks up against the nation’s best high school receivers this weekend in Oregon. Also, O’Neal Jr. could serve as a recruiter for his future coach while at the camp. He will be surrounded by a plethora of talent and his ability to sway other Aggie targets could be a huge boost to the 2018 Texas A&M recruiting class.
4-star WR Tommy Bush (6-5, 191)
Tommy Bush is the No. 19 recruit in the state of Texas, and a top-200 recruit overall. He posted just 25 catches for 395 yards and 5 touchdowns during his junior season at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. However, he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and at 6’5″ could develop into a deadly deep-threat for an offense at the next level. His leader right now looks to be Baylor per 247Sports, but Bush took a visit to A&M in March for the Friday Night Lights recruiting event. It will be interesting to see how he performs this weekend against the top corners in his class, but a receiver at 6-foot-5 who can run close to a 4.4 forty would be a very welcome addition to the 2018 recruiting class in College Station.