The 2017 iteration of The Opening begins this Friday in Eugene, Oregon, at Nike headquarters, and this summer’s premier recruiting event will have plenty of Florida Gators targets in attendance.
The roster of attendees is dotted with big-time names that the Gators would love to land in the 2018 recruiting class — like quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matt Corral, who will also take part in the Elite 11 quarterback competition, and defensive backs Patrick Surtain II and Tyreke Johnson — and those players and dozens more, invited to The Opening after their performances at regional Nike camps, will participate in a slew of athletic tests and a 7-on-7 tournament.
You won’t be able to see very much of The Opening on TV, with only a final portion of the 7-on-7 tournament set to be broadcast on NFL Network on Monday evening. But the SB Nation mothership has multiple reporters in attendance, and you can follow along with their live blog of updates throughout the weekend.
Florida fans should (and will) pay the most attention to Fields, perhaps the nation’s best quarterback recruit and seemingly the keystone to the Gators’ 2018 class, and also to safety Amari Burney, the only Florida commit in attendance. Many, many other prospective Gators are out in Nike country, however, and speedsters like receiver Anthony Schwartz could make names for themselves during the 7-on-7 competition or in speed drills.
We’ll have continuing coverage of a bunch of 17-year-olds wearing shorts and running around over the holiday weekend.