Las Vegas – One of the most loaded events of the whole year started here on Thursday night with the OT7 event presented by Overtime. The 7-on-7 Extravaganza features elite teams from across the country and many top players nationally. Here are some takeaways from day one:
INNISS can’t stop catching passes
Colonel Tate is a highlight-reel and a reliable external receiver who was hit by a deep bomb to open the game for Malachi Nelson South Florida Express. But from dollars to donuts, Brandon Inis is going to be the guy who caught the catch while in college because he has the skills to be open against anyone.
They’re all five-star so you can’t go wrong with the South Florida Express squad but Inis isn’t the biggest or fastest but he always finds a way to open and never drops a pass. The five-star American Heritage of Plantation (Fla.) Arguably had the most beautiful catch of the first day with one hand behind the last zone where he lowered his paw to score.
There is a debate going on in this class about the No. 1 receiver.
Moore means business
Malachi looked sharp to Nelson (as always) and Nico Imaleva came to town on Friday to play with Team Toa, so the other five-star quarterback of the tournament, Dante Moore, had a lot of eyes on Cam Newton’s C1N team. He has a knack for players who do not yet have a ton of chemistry with him.
The Detroit Martin Luther King standout zips all over the field and provides extraordinary precision and touch when needed. You could say Newton loves his quarterback and trusts him to make the right call. If Notre Dame closes, especially if 2024 QB CJ Carr reclassifies to 2023, I’ve heard Michigan gain.
Someone came up to me and said Oregon Commit Jurian Dickey was better than “All South Florida Receivers” because the four stars are playing with the Miami Immortals this weekend. I saw the San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian standout late Thursday fully dominate his game and I began to become a bigger believer.
The Oregon Wide Receiver Commit has a fill-out 6-foot-2 frame, he’s fast, abrupt, competitive and he looks really easy on really tough catches. There is also something about his personality where he wants to dominate and show how good he is. Dickie may have to show a little more over time to become a five-star but currently the 23rd place in the receiver nationally is very low.
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The TENNESSEE TE commit looks great
Ethan Davis is playing for Trillion Boys and he looks like a trillion dollars. The four-star multi-sport athlete has excellent body shape, he can run fat but well, he has huge arms and Ole Miss is trying his best to flip him to Suwani (Ga.) Collins Hill Tight End as he is attached to Tennessee.
Davis is going to be a major weapon in Vales’ offense because of his blocking size but his best asset may be his big body that stretches the field and creates drama with his speed. It’s a strong tight end class but Davis could see a slight bump by his appearance.
Highward Alpha Leader
Forget that after his game, Jillian Hayward was walking around the field with a string of Christmas lights around her neck, while she was defensively backwards, the four stars were all business and it shows.
Rockledge, Fla. From 2024 Security, who likes Florida, Georgia, Alabama and others, is his team’s defense vocal and alpha leader. The 2024 high four-star cornerback from Charles Lester, Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview had length and fluidity but he was the quietest there due to Hayward defending the defense.
Louisville rumors for Owens
Rumors about Rueben Owens II going to Louisville back to No. 1 all-purpose – and where a promise could happen soon – just don’t die. A good source leaned over to me on Thursday night and said that he had heard El Campo would pick the Texas standout cardinals and that this could happen soon, plus Owens is having a visit there in the coming weeks.
Texas, Texas A&M and TCU are all on the lookout here and there are some close people in Owens who don’t believe the talk at all but he’s playing with the premium here this weekend which led to what is happening – you see – four-star Louisville QB Pierce Clarkson promise.
Walker makes interesting comments
Jackson State is starting to become a program where Rico Walker is “getting serious” with Auburn, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina, but he has always wanted to be hired by an HBCU and he can follow that trend.
Here’s another interesting nugget: Hickory, a four-star defensive end from NC, said some programs want him to play defensively and others are considering him for a tough finish where he played as a team tore on Thursday night.
Midwest receivers looked great
I watched No. 1 2024 receiver Ryan Wingo play for Fast Houston and I must have been impressed but I need to see him more on Fridays and weekends to get a real sense of where he should be in the rankings. He has great shape and straight-line speed and he can go up and get passes that are a bit reversed but of course there are some more 2024 receivers – even in the Midwest – who will push him.
River Rouge, Mitch., Four-star receiver Nicholas Marsh will be one of them. Wearing a backward Bass Pro Shops trucker hat was not the only reason that set Marsh apart. He was tall, playful and played with a physical edge and although he missed the highlight-reel catch in the last zone, he was certainly one of the more impressive receivers throughout the first day.