What are The Opening and the Elite 11? When are the events broadcast on TV? How do players get selected? How involved is Nike? What other star players have participated in the event? Why even participate at all? We have all that and more in our EXPLAINER.
Florida State has five commitments at the event. Only Alabama (10!) and Texas A&M (7) have more.
S Derwin James (@derwinjames6), 6-3, 200 Haines City (Fla.)
James has been one of the best players in the state of Florida since his sophomore year. He has a big Florida State tattoo, and has been recruiting for FSU for almost two years. He is the unquestioned best safety in the country, and the five-star who could probably contend for a starting job in Tallahassee right now already played very well at The Opening 2013.
QB De'Andre Johnson (@DredaDon14), 6-1, 190 Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
Like James, Johnson is another long-time commitment. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the Eastern time zone, though it should be noted that the crop in the East this year is extremely weak. Johnson plays with a chip on his shoulder, because he is knocked for his height (6'0) and isn't often mentioned with the nation's elite. Johnson seems solidly committed to Florida State and is recruiting for FSU. He doesn't seem to have a problem with FSU's intention of taking two quarterbacks this cycle.
DB Tyrek Cole (@Cole_island), 5-11, 165 Miramar (Florida)
Cole is one of the top cornerback recruits in the country. A Class 8A All-state selection after he made 26 tackles with 22 passes deflected and an interception. Unlike the other three commitments, he is not considered a solid commitment to Florida State, as he is taking multiple visits and is keeping his options quite open. In fact, some consider a few uncommitted prospects more committed than Cole.
DB Calvin Brewton (@Calvin_Brewton), 6-0, 175 Miami Central
Brewton has been a known commodity for two years, and is a solid FSU commitment. He bounced back from a shoulder injury that derailed his 2013 season to earn an invite at the Miami Nike camp. Brewton is also friends with Tyrek Cole, and will be looking to prove doubters wrong.
DL Michael Barnett (@jermainejr77 ), 6-5, 256 Woodland (South Carolina)
Barnett is a jumbo defensive end and the most recent FSU commitment at the event. He picked Florida State over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina and others.
DL Austin Bryant (@AustinPowers_7 ), 6-4, 246 Thomas County Central (Georgia): Bryant is an edge rusher and Clemson seems like the main competition.
DB Kris Boyd (@kris23db), 6-0, 180 Gilmer (Texas): Can FSU pull the four-star cornerback out of the Lone Star State? It will be tough, but he does plan to return for another visit.
WR John Burt (@burticus21 ), 6-3, 179 Tallahassee Lincoln (Florida): How high is Burt on FSU's board? It's tough to know. He does favor Texas at this point, per reports. Burt is athletic, but very raw.
WR George Campbell (@GeorgeCampbell0), 6-3.5, 187 East Lake (Florida): The big receiver is a freakish athlete but struggles to catch the ball. Most believe FSU trails Florida and Clemson.
DL Byron Cowart (@byronhawkstar99), 6-3, 254 Armwood (Florida): Cowart is Rivals' No. 1 player, while others don't even have him as a five-star. He destroys these camps, but could to better in games. FSU trails Florida and Oregon at the very least, and perhaps a few more, and it would be a shock for the Seminoles to land a player from Armwood High School.
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21), 6-1, 188 St. Peter's Prep (New Jersey): Five-star corner is committed to Alabama. He may take a visit to Florida State.
QB Deondre Francois (@Deondre_3), 6-3, 211 IMG Academy (Florida): Francois seems like FSU's top remaining quarterback on the board. He'll decide in a few weeks between Florida State, Auburn, Oregon and Notre Dame.
DL Neville Gallimore (@Path2Greatwork), 6-2, 311 Canada Prep Football Academy (Ontario): Gallimore is a beast of a DT and FSU has offered. His recruitment hasn't even really begun, and he is just in the process of planning visits.
DL Rashan Gary (2016), 6-4, 280 Paramus Catholic (New Jersey): Gary is one of the best underclassmen in the country and a name to know.
LB Porter Gustin (@portgus15 ), 6-5, 235 Salem Hills (Utah): Not that FSU will land Gustin, but he is one of the select few players from whom FSU would accept a commitment at the linebacker position.
DB Iman Marshall (@iman_marshall8), 6-0.5, 200 Long Beach Poly (California): Not that FSU will land Marshall, but he is arguably the best cornerback in the country and does plan to visit Florida State on an official, which gives the Seminoles a puncher's chance.
RB Ray Ray McCloud (@RM3_legendz19xx), 5-10, 178 Sickles (Florida): The jitterbug slot/running back is probably a better fit for a spread offense and FSU trails Clemson and Florida, by most accounts.
DB Tarvarus McFadden (@tee_time24), 6-3, 195 American Heritage (Florida): FSU is considered the strong favorite to land one of the best cornerbacks in the country.
RB Jacques Patrick (@jacques_patrick), 6-2.5, 233 Timber Creek (Florida): FSU is the strong favorite to land one of the best running backs in the country.
WR Da'Vante Phillips (@Duckedoff_Vante), 6-1.5, 197 Miami Central (Florida): Florida State is the extremely strong favorite to land the four-star receiver. Some already consider him committed.
WR Calvin Ridley (@ridley_calvin), 6-1, 170 Monarch (Florida): For my money, he is the best receiver in the state (yes, I know he is way above grade level age-wise), and FSU will continue to vigorously pursue the Alabama commitment.
RB Jordan Scarlett (@Famousscarlett), 5-11, 206 St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida): Scarlett finally decommitted from FAU (the initial commitment gave FAU publicity, which Scarlett was happy to do since his former HS coach and father figure is now on FAU's staff). FSU will battle Miami for his commitment and he is one of their top three or four backs on the board.
DL Tim Settle (@tim_settle), 6-3, 325 Stonewall jackson (Virginia): Defensive tackle in the state of Florida is awful in 2014, so FSU is forced to chase nationally. They are battling Tennessee, Clemson, Alabama, Virginia and perhaps Ohio State, and are not considered the favorite to land the four/five-star type.
DL Josh Sweat, 6-5, 235 Oscar Smith (Virginia): FSU's top target at defensive end is the freak of freaks and could be a dominant pass rusher. Virginia Tech, Georgia and Ohio State are the main competition, and he won't be deciding any time soon.
WR Auden Tate (@itstate_18 ), 6-4.5, 202 Wharton (Florida): FSU seems to be in the driver's seat for the four-star receiver who has really come on of late.