Video: Justin Fields at The Opening
Uncommitted dual-threat quarterback threw 16 touchdowns, no interceptions in high-profile event.
With all eyes on the bouncing long golden locks and golden arm of Cartersville (Ga.)
quarterback Trevor Lawrence
, the unquestioned star of The Opening was a fellow Georgia quarterback. Justin Fields
of Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.)
was named the winner of the Elite 11 competition, his 7x7 team won the title, he completed 72 percent of his passes and threw 16 touchdowns with no interceptions.
Barton Simmons, 247Sports Director of Scouting, said 6-foot-3, 220-pound Fields was the best quarterback he's seen at the 7-year-old event, which gathers roughly the top 150 players in the country.
"Justin Fields was the story (of The Opening)," Simmons said. "He just finished a perfect week. … He made a very strong case to be the No. 1 player in the country."
Heading into the event, that distinction belonged to Lawrence, the 6-6, 200-pound Clemson commit who has led Cartersville to two straight Georgia state titles. But out of the 12 quarterbacks at The Opening, 247Sports ranked Lawrence the fourth-best performer, calling his performance "a bit of an up and down showing." He completed 65 percent of his passes in the 7-on-7 competition with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
rising senior Tanner McKee
(10 touchdowns, no interceptions) was ranked No. 3 by 247Sports and TCU commit Justin Rogers
of Parkway (Bossier City, La.)
was No. 2 (14 touchdowns, six interceptions).
But clearly the star not only among the quarterbacks, but of the entire camp was Fields. Simmons said 2016 Elite 11 winner Tua Tagovailoa, now at Alabama, delivered the best QB performance ever at the event before Fields, who entered the competition as the nation's No. 1 dual threat signal-caller and No. 3 recruit overall by 247Sports composite.
"The way Justin controlled the defenses, the way he went through his progressions, he reads. … the throws he made. … It was a phenomenal, phenomenal effort. … At the end of the day, this was Justin Field's event."