In short time The Opening has turned into the biggest off-season football events in recruiting. Here, the nation’s very best prospects in the class of 2015 show up at Nike Headquarters in Beavertown, Oregon to compete against one another in a combine, camp and 7v7 setting for several days.
The Opening begins next Tuesday. There are 162 participants in all. The state of Florida leads the way with 27 participants.
Here are ten story lines from the Sunshine State.
1.) Is offensive tackle Martez Ivey really the No. 1 recruit in the nation?
In December, Apopla lost to Homestead South Dade for the state title. I remember walking away from that championship game just wowed by Apopka offensive tackle Martez Ivey. Serious, I was stunned at his play. This kid’s upside is ridiculously high. I mean it’s off the charts.
Since mid-December I have had him pegged No. 1 in the state, leaping over cornerback Kevin Toliver (Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy). Toliver himself is a very unique talent because he’s a big, long and athletic cornerback.
Then Scout came out with our initial Scout 100 rankings for the 2015 class. Guess who’s No. 1? Yep, it’s Mr. Ivey. He’s the guy we penciled in as the top dog for this class. With The Opening starting next week will Ivey live up to that hype? Everyone, especially the defensive linemen, will be gunning for his number.
To me, this is one of the biggest storylines of The Opening. Is he really No. 1 overall? Is Ivey the top offensive tackle in the nation? We will have a much clearer understanding next week.
Ivey is 6-foot-6, 275-pounds. I have covered recruiting since 1992 and I can’t recall seeing a prospect with his length. I mean his arms literally go almost to his knees. Even at his size now Ivey looks like he could easily carry an additional 50-pounds. He moves incredibly well. You should see him pull and block on the run. He’s just light on his feet and very athletic.
The Blue Darters ran a single-wing T last season. From a standpoint of run blocking you can see Ivey do it all. They would flip flop him, sometimes he would play on the right side, sometimes on left. Ivey has supreme athletic ability for his size. He shows flexibility and the ability to move and bend. Even at his size he plays with good leverage, whether he’s coming off the ball at the line of scrimmage and going after a moving target when pulling. Ivey can get to the second level. If he doesn’t put a defender on the ground he will sustain his block and drive the opposition backwards.
It’s going to be an interesting week watching the offensive tackles, in particular this one from central Florida, as Ivey has a big bull’s eye on his jersey.