Five Takeaways from The Opening Regional in Massillon

By Taylor Lehman on March 31, 2019 at 7:34 pm
DeaMonte Trayanum
DeaMonte Trayanum

MASSILON – The Opening, a national showcase for high school recruits, came to Ohio on Sunday for its only regional in the state during its tour around the country. Prospects are measured in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and body height and weight. They are then put through individual position drills and pitted against each other in one-on-one drills.

The Opening names MVPs for each position that participates, and only a select few that take part in the events are selected to go to the national final in June.

Several Ohio State targets were participants in the showcase, and these were a handful of observations from Eleven Warriors' perspective.

MVPs Were Abundant Among OSU Targets 

Three prospects Ohio State is targeting won the MVP awards at their respective positions.

Four-star Akron running back DeaMonte Trayanum won the MVP award for running backs, while Michigan 2021 lineman Damon Payne Jr. won the award for defensive line and Michigan 2021 defensive back Kalen King won the award for defensive backs.

Michigan three-star wide receiver Maliq Carr, who has an Ohio State offer but is expected to choose a program elsewhere, won the MVP award for receivers.

Trayanum has already been invited to The Opening Finals that take place in Frisco, Texas, on June 30-July 3. Most players who will be invited to the Finals were not invited immediately after the event in Massillon, but until The Opening’s final regional, different athletes will be evaluated based on film and performance at the showcases to determine whether they should be invited.

Payne excelled in one-on-one drills against participating offensive linemen, while King was solid in individual drills and nearly intercepted a ball in one-on-one drills. Carr, who has been looked at as a tight end by some programs for his 6-foot-6 height, was a tough matchup against the defensive backs. He showed good hands and adequate speed and body control on his way to his MVP honor.

Cameron Martinez Can Play Receiver

Michigan athlete Cameron Martinez, who is very high on the Buckeyes, said he “took offense” to not getting the wide receiver MVP award because he felt confident in the way he performed at a position some evaluators slight him for.

“Playing quarterback the whole year, people haven’t really seen me play receiver,” Martinez said. “But I came in here playing the best of the best and dominating. I think that surprised a lot of people. I was telling people I feel a little disrespected sometimes, so just coming out here and showing what I can do is great.”

Martinez pays quarterback at Muskegon High School in Michigan, and, as a result, he doesn't play the other offensive skill positions, though Ohio State sees him as a potential H-back prospect – similar to current Ohio State receiver K.J. Hill, he said.

Regardless of the perception, Martinez performed well in the one-on-one drills, including burning one cornerback on a deep route and making a circus catch on his second repetition. Besides four-star Massillon wideout Jayden Ballard and Carr, Martinez made the biggest waves in wide receiver vs. defensive back one-on-ones.

Trey Leroux is a Big Man

The first camp that took place Sunday was the offensive line and defensive line camp, and the first thing most spectators noticed was how big Ohio State commit and Norwalk High School offensive tackle Trey Leroux is.

The tackle stands at 6-foot-8, 320 pounds, and while there were some offensive linemen that rivaled his size, such as Indiana tackle 6-foot-6, 300-pound Ohio State target Blake Fisher, Leroux was clearly the most coordinated and matured prospect of the bunch.

In individual drills, Leroux was always the lead participant, and when the coaches moved on to other participants, Leroux was getting in extra reps with his partners.

Leroux carries his weight well, and while he will likely need to drop some of it once he gets to Columbus, it shouldn’t affect his frame too much.

The Norwalk native seems to have the psyche to improve on an intellectual level and shows to be coachable, but he was beaten a few times in one-on-one drills, particularly against stronger defensive ends that also had speed. He was fooled on a spin move and was outran around the edge twice.

He has more improvements to make, but that was expected from him before and after he committed to Ohio State.

Mike Drennen: A Pleasant Surprise

There were many Ohio State running back targets who participated in The Opening Regional on Sunday. There were Jutahn McClain, Trayanum and Donovan Edwards, just to name a few. But Dublin Coffman four-star running back Mike Drennen showed up, which was a surprise to the media but also to The Opening. He wasn’t included on the roster before Sunday and wasn’t even included on the check-in roster just before the running backs camp started.

“I had a conversation with my dad last night, and he was telling me how The Opening is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Drennen said. “I was like, ‘Well, I might as well try to come and ‘Get Open.’”

The four-star No. 3 Ohio prospect in the 2020 class made immediate flashes in the cat-and-mouse drill, which was giving many of the running backs trouble. Drennen showed good agility and change-of-direction, and he also showed off his ability to run routes and catch the ball in the running backs' pass-catching one-on-one drills.

Ohio State is recruiting Drennen as someone who could fill an H-back role, and Drennen, more than most Ohio State targets at the showcase Sunday, displayed that his skillset could be one of the most applicable among the prospects in his class.

Prospect Visit Updates

Blake Fisher, who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 9 offensive tackle and the top Indiana prospect in the 2021 class, was supposed to visit Ohio State on April 1, but canceled the visit due to a family matter. He will be looking to reschedule the visit this spring, he said, but there are no guarantees it will fit into his schedule.

Payne and Edwards are visiting Ohio State on Monday. It will be Edwards’ first visit since Sept. 22 and Payne’s first visit to Ohio State since attending a summer camp last July.

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