BEAVERTON, Ore. -- 150 of the top football recruits in the country competed in a showcase event hosted by Nike this past weekend. Six of the participants in this event are from the First Coast.
"The Opening" is in it's second year of existence. Held at Nike headquarters, this event allows some of the top high school football players in the country to compete against each other in 7-on-7 games for skill players and one on one matchups for linemen.
Nike also brings in several current and former NFL players to this event so they can interact with the high school players. Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson, and Ndamukong Suh were among the current NFL stars in attendance while former Jaguars players Donovin Darius, Hardy Nickerson, and Natrone Means served as coaches for the 7-on-7 competitions.
Yulee High School running back Derrick Henry attended "The Opening" for the second year in a row. He finished third in the SPARQ national championships. SPARQ is an acronym for Nike's performance tests involving speed, power, agility, reaction, and quickness. Henry had the best vertical jump in the competition at nearly 42 inches. He also ran the 40 yard dash in 4.45 seconds which is impressive considering that he is 6'3" and weighs a little more than 240 pounds.
Camden County High School quarterback Brice Ramsey also competed in the event. The future Georgia Bulldog will be back on the West Coast in a couple of weeks to compete in the Elite 11 Finals in California.
Other participants in "The Opening" with local ties included Bishop Kenny wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood, Trinity Christian safety Nick Washington, and Crescent City defensive lineman Caleb Brantley. All three of these seniors-to-be have made verbal commitments to play at the University of Florida.
Kelvin Taylor, a running back from Belle Glade and the son of former Jaguars star Fred Taylor also participated in the event. Kelvin will follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a Gator in the fall of 2013.
Sandalwood High School defensive lineman Demarcus Walker competed in the event too. According to Rivals.com, the five finalists for Walker's services are Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Clemson, and Tennessee.