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Committany Nation (7.6.15): The Opening Primer

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The most prestigious recruiting event of the summer is upon us.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Now that July 4th has come and gone, many eyes across the country will fix themselves upon the Nike Football Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. This week, The Opening will be the must-watch event for anyone interested in college football recruiting.

For those that are interested in tuning in to watch, you will be able to see the various events of The Opening all on ESPNU, starting at 5:00pm on Thursday through Saturday. The full schedule of events can be found here, but the 7 on 7 tournament and the linemen challenge are typically the most exciting parts of the week.

As part of The Opening, the Elite 11 will also be taking place. The top 18 quarterbacks who have now successfully made it through the first two "rounds" of the competition, so to speak, will battle it out in drills and the 7 on 7 tournament to determine who the top 11 signal callers in the class are, as well as who the MVP of the group is.

Names to Know

Miles Sanders

Position: Running Back

High School: Woodland Hills (PA)

Opening Team: Mach Speed

Sanders is a Penn State commit, and will be out in Oregon trying to build on what has been an absolutely outstanding camp circuit this summer so far. There have been more than a few people in the recruiting industry voicing the opinion that Sanders may very well be the best back in the entire class. This week will be his best chance to prove it, as he will be directly competing with all of the runners ranked ahead of him. One of Sanders' strengths is his ability to make catches out of the backfield, which could mean big things for his 7 on 7 performance.

LaVert Hill

Position: Cornerback

High School: Detroit Martin Luther King (MI)

Opening Team: Mach Speed

Lavert Hill is a Penn State commit who, similarly to Sanders, has spent the summer dominating every camp he's been at thus far. He has seen his recruiting ranking start to jump higher and higher as time has gone on, but a strong performance in Oregon could really help push him even further up the boards, considering tons of analysts from all of the major recruiting services will be in attendance.

Jake Zembiec

Position: Quarterback

High School: Aquinas Institute (NY)

Opening Team: Mach Speed

Zembiec will be competing in the Elite 11 finals after being chosen as one of the top 18 quarterbacks in the semi-finals back in early June in Los Angeles. Zembiec had his first major appearance since his injury last season when he balled out at the Nike camp in Columbus, OH, where he earned his Opening invitation and turned some heads in the process. Zembiec will have to be at his very best to fight his way into the top 11, but if he can continue to build on his success to this point, he has a good chance of following in the footsteps of one of this year's Elite 11 advisors, Christian Hackenberg.

Shane Simmons

Position: Defensive End

High School: DeMatha Catholic (MD)

Opening Team: SuperBad

Simmons, who has been a Penn State commit seemingly forever, will be out in Oregon trying to show that he deserves his high rankings. Shane has taken some criticism this summer for not having enough power, and getting caught trying to rely simply on speed. One recruiting service in particular (*cough* Scout *cough*) is unimpressed by Simmons. He will be looking to prove that he deserves to be recognized as one of 2016's most dangerous pass rushers.

Terrance Davis

Position: Offensive Guard

High School: DeMatha Catholic (MD)

Opening Team: Alpha Pro

Davis is one of the highest rated offensive guards in the country. It's hard to tell how intensely Penn State is recruiting Simmons' high school teammate at this point, but we're still keeping an eye on him anyway. Michigan is still considered the favorite here, but the commitment of Michael Onwenu doesn't really seem to have helped the Wolverines. Maryland has gained a lot of ground on the Wolverines, and could be the favorites before long (expect Dwayne Haskins to be all over him).

Rashan Gary

Position: Defensive Tackle

High School: Paramus Catholic (NJ)

Opening Team: Alpha Pro

Gary will continue to be listed here until he names a top group that does not include Penn State. It's been quite some time since he's visited, but his talent is one that simply cannot be ignored. Michigan, Alabama and Auburn are likely the front runners right now, but Gary has plenty more visits to take.

Damar Hamlin

Position: Cornerback

High School: Central Catholic (PA)

Opening Team: Fly Rush

Hamlin is another player who is simply too talented to ignore for Penn State. They're likely not giving him the full-court press since they already have two committed cornerbacks (Hill and Zechariah McPhearson), but everyone needs a backup plan. Hamlin is said to be searching for some relatively early playing time, so he probably won't seriously consider Penn State in the end unless one of those two flips their commitment elsewhere. Hamlin is likely headed for Ohio State or Notre Dame. Pitt is also in play.

Oluwole Betiku

Position: Defensive End

High School: Junipero Serra (CA)

Opening Team: Fly Rush

The adopted son of former Penn State great, LaVar Arrington, is one of the top defensive ends in the entire country. Adding Betiku to the defensive end duo of Simmons and Daniel Joseph would give the Nittany Lions the most talented defensive end class in the country. Betiku is one of the highest upside recruits in the entire class, as he is still learning more and more about the game of football every day. UCLA is likely his leader right now, but Penn State is said to be a favorite, as well. It's paramount that Penn State get him on campus this summer before he commits, so expect to hear a lot about the current commits being in Betiku's ear this week.

D'Andre Swift

Position: Running Back

High School: St. Joseph's (PA)

Opening Team: SuperBad

Penn State is gearing up to bring in a potential top five class in 2017, and a big part of that is thanks to D'Andre Swift. Penn State is seen as one of the top schools, if not the leader, right now for 2017's number one all-purpose running back. Swift was chosen this year to be one of a group of very few non-high school seniors to participate in The Opening. The fiver star, do-it-all runner currently has a Crystal Ball on 247Sports that reads 100% in favor of Penn State. Swift will be out in Oregon to prove that he's not just one of the best running backs in the 2017 class, but one of the best in country at any age level.

Aaron Hansford

Position: Outside Linebacker

High School: St. John's College (DC)

Opening Team: SuperBad

Hansford will be out in Oregon to prove that he is severely underrated. Just a three star player on the 247Composite, Hansford's main goal will be to prove that he belongs in the conversation of being one of the top outside linebackers in the 2016 class. He has been seen as an Ohio State lean for some time, but there have been a lot of positive reactions in regards to Penn State's chances following his visit in late June. Penn State still does not have a linebacker committed in the 2016 class, so they're in position to start pushing very hard for both Hansford and Brandon Ferns (OLB and ILB, respectively).

Jordan Fuller

Position: Cornerback/Athlete

High School: North Valley Regional Old Tappan (NJ)

Opening Team: SuperBad

As of the country's top athletes and a well-known last name in the recruiting world, Fuller can pretty much go anywhere. He'll be in Oregon to show off his explosiveness and versatility. He could very easily play on either side of the ball in college, and may even get the chance to do both, depending on where he ends up. He has said all the right things about Penn State, and many believe the Nittany Lions are in an extremely strong position here. Fuller is in no rush with his recruitment, so the staff needs to continue to give him just as much attention now and in the coming months as they have been.

You can check out the full team rosters right here.

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For news throughout the week on The Opening, make sure you're following my twitter account, @TheRealNPolak, as well as the official BSD account, @BSDtweet. I'll probably do a Q & A on twitter at some point this week, as well, so look for that. Also make sure you're following SB Nation's recruiting guru, Bud Elliot (@TomahawkNation) and @SBNRecruiting.