Previewing The Opening Finals, Significance to Ohio State in 2020 and 2021

By Taylor Lehman on June 29, 2019 at 8:10 am
Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Around 20 of the 130 prospects competing in The Opening Finals and the Elite 11 Finals this weekend have serious significance to Ohio State's recruiting efforts.

The Opening Finals is back for another weekend of showcasing skills, and this year, again, Ohio State is heavily involved. Second to Clemson (9), the Buckeyes are tied with Georgia for the second-most commits in attendance this weekend, with six.

Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., wide receivers Gee Scott Jr. and Julian Fleming, cornerbacks Clark Phillips and Lejond Cavazos and quarterback Jack Miller will all be in attendance.

This is what to expect in Frisco, Texas, as several significant prospects hit the field to show what they can do against the best competition in the country.

The Elite 11 Finals

Jack Miller, assuming his latissimus doors strain is healthy enough to participate, will be competing in the Elite 11 Finals, which begins today with two workouts – one at 10 a.m. CT and one at 6 p.m. The third and final Elite 11 workout takes place Sunday at 10 a.m.

Miller arrived at 3 p.m. yesterday, as did Tennessee commit Harrison Bailey, Notre Dame commit Drew Pyne, USC commit Bryce Young, South Carolina commit Luke Doty and others.

Miller won quarterback MVP when he competed in the Los Angeles regional in February.

The Opening Finals

The Opening Finals is the main event of the weekend and features around 110 prospects versus the 20 quarterbacks that compete in the Elite 11. Around 20 of those prospects are either committed to or interested in Ohio State.

The event begins Monday at 3 p.m. with a training camp. On Tuesday, there is 7-on-7 at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and a linemen workout at 1:30 p.m. The second and final linemen workout occurs Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. followed by a 7-on-7 tournament at 9:50 a.m.

Eleven Warriors has already laid out the scene for many of the targets earlier this week, and, for the most part, not much has changed for recruits like Lathan Ransom, Kourt Williams, Vernon Broughton, Jacolbe Cowan, Jaylan Knighton, Sam Adams and Kendall Milton.

Mookie Cooper

Missouri wideout Mookie Cooper is extremely talented, and Ohio State and Brian Hartline want him pretty badly. He has quietly risen to No. 64 in the nation and No. 11 at his position. The only thing really standing in between a Buckeyes-Cooper union is Illinois. There’s a lot of appeal there for Cooper.

Korey Foreman, Donovan Jackson, Maason Smith

These three linemen are all grouped together because they are three 2021 targets that are huge for the Buckeyes in a class that is already No. 3 in the country. First of all, Korey Foreman is a target for every program in the nation. The five-star defensive end is rated No. 5 overall in the nation. But Donovan Jackson – the No. 7 offensive tackle – and Maason Smith – the No. 5 defensive tackle – have both been to Ohio State recently, Jackson for the spring game and Smith on June 15. The three linemen have already cemented themselves as three of the best 2021 prospects with an invitation to be in Frisco this weekend.

Elias Ricks

Lejond Cavazos is Ohio State’s best commit-recruiter in the 2020 class, and he hasn’t been quiet about wanting to play with LSU commit Elias Ricks. Ricks is looking at Ohio State pretty hard and has an official visit scheduled with the Buckeyes on Nov. 23. Getting these two cornerbacks competing in a national showcase is only a positive for Ohio State at this point.

Dekel Crowdus

Kentucky’s top prospect Dekel Crowdus is rated as the No. 45 wide receiver but is the only 2021 wideout at The Opening Finals. He was actually at one of Ohio State’s one-day camps as well, and his speed opened Brian Hartline’s eyes to him. He blazed the fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.34 on June 15. Watching Crowdus play against some of the best defensive backs in the class above him could show Hartline and the Buckeyes what they need to see to offer him.

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