Underrated Players Shine in the SPARQ Competition at The Opening

By Tim Carroll
Braxton Berrios
Steve Dykes – USA TODAY Sports

While top-athlete-in-the-nation Speedy Noil may have taken home the title of top athlete in the SPARQ competition at yesterday’s first day of the Opening football camp, many players without national recognition grabbed the attention of many scouts by landing in the top 10 of the competition, and competing in the final round of drills.

Players such as wide receiver Braxton Berrios (pictured above), wide receiver Terry McLaurin and linebacker Joey Alfieri made names for themselves and could draw more offers as a result.

Berrios is the 55th ranked wide receiver by ESPN, from North Carolina, and seems to be choosing between ClemsonSouth CarolinaKentuckyTennessee and West Virginia. While these are all very good schools, he doesn’t have offers from traditional powers such as FloridaAlabama and Ohio State, among others. He could potentially see his list grow as he becomes more known.

McLaurin, a verbal commit to Ohio State and the 93rd ranked receiver by ESPN, didn’t really draw many big-time offers outside of the Midwest region. But after finishing second in the SPARQ competition behind Speedy Noil, he could see a lot of SEC schools come after him. He isn’t likely to be budged from his commitment to Ohio State, he would love to get more recognition.

Alfieri, the 49th outside linebacker from ESPN, is an Oregon native and has narrowed his search down to Oregon StateStanford and Washington. However, he performed very well for a linebacker in the SPARQ competition and could draw more offers from teams in more than just the West Region.

It will be exciting to see what happens with these athletes as the Opening competition progresses.

Tim Carroll is a Prep Sports Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timbo_Slice00 and add him to your circle on Google.

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