The summer camp circuit is beginning to draw to a close with two of the most highly esteemed camps currently running on the high school level: Elite 11 and Nike's The Opening. Our many cdub, phenomenally previewed the Opening for you all, and we're all aware LSU's stud QB commit Feleipe' Franks was a competitor in the Elite 11 finals. How did LSU's contingent fare? Did the LSU commits shine or shrink on the big stage? Let's take a moment to review.
There were plenty of glowing remarks coming for Feleipe' Franks over the course of the week. After the camp concluded, Paul Myerberg of USA Today had this to say:
When we look back at this Elite 11 in 4-5 years, I really wouldn't be surprised if LSU commit Feleipe Franks ends up the best of the bunch.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) July 11, 2015
Our own Bud Elliott had this to say:
Feleipe Franks is so much better than he was a few years ago.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 7, 2015
Barton Simmons also commented that Franks' mechanics and arm strength both looked improved overall.
This is all very promising. Except, Franks didn't fare so well during the Elite 11 competition. In fact, heading into the last day he ranked last:
What does this mean? I'm not sure. It's encouraging to see people who have watched Franks for several years note how improved he is. That is, above all, the most important thing. We knew he had a long ways to go in terms of development. If he's already showing signs of that, that's super encouraging about both his work ethic and ability to apply coaching. Franks is still a ways off, but he might have the highest upside of any QB in the 2016 signing class.
By the by, Shea Patterson wound up winning the Elite 11 competition. Fair or not, Franks will constantly be compared to Patterson and the coaching staff will be held to the fire, especially by a certain contingent of the fan base. It will be an interesting progression to watch, especially as the two wind up facing off in important divisional games.
He tested fine without being overwhelming. And then you quickly realize how fast he sprints or how high he jumps still doesn't encapsulate his ability to do something like this to the top offensive tackle prospect (and Texas A&M commit) in the nation:
The testing numbers won't blow anyone away. But it's like Fowler, when you see the numbers and then see him doing things like this:
Saivion Smith, a 5 star DB, just got a great breakup. https://t.co/4Xm0xSU45V— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) July 9, 2015
It just elicits a shrug, right?
One of Scout's lead evaluators, Chad Simmons, said Roddy exceeded his impressions and he's already wondering if he has a future paying inside.
Future red-zone nightmare?
Bud Elliot had this to say:
Stephen Sullivan (Louisiana) has really used his defensive end sized receiver body well today to shield defenders.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 9, 2015
I'm gonna throw it over to my man cdub to give his thoughts now:
Normally with The Opening, LSU would have a few commits there and some recruits they are going after, but this was just astonishing to see. Seven commits there, most of any other school represented there in Oregon, along with a number of high-profile recruits that either have us as their leader or in their lead group. Not only were they well-represented but they put on a show as well.
To me, the most astonishing stat was the 4.49 40 coming from Devin White. He still needs to drop some weight, but to run a sub-4.5 40 at 259 pounds is impressive. Frank Wilson wants him at running back and just the thought of Fournette likely in his last year to go with this behemoth and the stable of other backs is pretty scary.
The second acknowledgement goes to Kristian Fulton. Kristian, who was coming off a decent 4.57 40 for a corner at his size showed he may be one of the fastest to get to his top speed, running a 4-flat shuttle, a number surpassed by only six others in attendance. Fulton was also held in high regard throughout the weekend for his play at corner as well. Another that ran in the 4-flat category was Jeffrey McCulloch, a linebacker getting a lot of attention from LSU, who put his 4.71 40 to shame by showing his quickness and put him in the ten finalists.
Deontay Anderson put on a show the whole weekend and even carried it over to a 7-on-7 in College Station over the weekend. Everyone knew he was a freak of an athlete at his position, but he is beginning to show he is playing his position better, making plays in both Oregon in Texas in a week span. Despite the commitment of Eric Monroe, Anderson still states that we are in it.
I was disappointed that a number of names didn't test out like Greedy Williams, Dylan Moses, who was battling an injury during his time there, and Eric Monroe, who couldn't attend but would have still been nice to see him go up against the other two Texas boys, Deontay and Brandon Jones.
The thought of getting Rashan Gary on a visit later this month makes me giddy. While LSU may be behind Michigan and Alabama for him currently, I've quickly learned to never doubt the power of Coach O. Gary was nearly unblockable in one-on-one drills, and showed impressive athleticism for a guy his size. Erick Fowler was another that put on quite the show, featuring a number of pass-rush moves that got to nearly every o-lineman, including Greg Little, who was kind of a punching bag in the drills. One guy that was impressed with Fowler? Fellow recruit Brian Burns, who has taken a liking to Coach O, and plans to make his decision before his season starts. Could there be another tool in Orgeron's arsenal? We'll see soon.
The Opening is always an entertaining event, but when you have so much invested in Oregon, it makes it that much sweeter. What makes it better is the camaraderie that likely came with having so many commits there, a number of Louisiana recruits that have us at the top of their list and the out-of-state recruits that are slowly becoming a part of the family. You may not hear about it, but it goes a long way later on down the road when we get closer to National Signing Day. I know I posted earlier in a roundtable that we may go blank the rest of the summer, and I know July 4th has already past, but I think there may still be a number of fireworks to come in Baton Rouge in the coming days. Sit back, relax and watch this staff continue to go to work.
Overall, plenty of good vibes to be feeling after the week of camps. LSU's commits made a tremendous showing and there's so much to look forward to from the uncommitted prospects. The 2015 Opening only confirmed what we already suspected, in that the 2016 LSU signing class will be among the best in the school's history.