The Opening: Team Vapor Carbon

Team Vapor Carbon's John Houston

The Opening begins on Monday on the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., following the conclusion of the Elite 11 Finals. In preparation for the big event, eDuck is a taking a look at each of the team rosters and looking at how Oregon fits into the picture. Today: Team Vapor Carbon.

Roster:
Arthur McGinnis, LB, Warren Easton (New Orleans), LA
Chauncey Rivers, DL, Stephenson (Stone Mountain), GA
Christian Kirk, WR, Saguaro (Scottsdale), AZ
Darryl Williams, OL, Jess Lanier (Bessemer), AL
Dechaun Holiday, CB, Mission Hills (San Marcos), CA
Deon Cain, WR, Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa), FL
Duke Shelley, CB, Tucker, GA
Iman Marshall, CB, Long Beach Poly (Long Beach), CA
Isaiah Langley, CB, Foothill (Pleasanton), CA
Jashon Cornell, DL, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul), MN
John Houston, LB, Serra (Gardena), CA
Jordan Cronkrite, ATH, Westminster Christian (Miami), FL
Justin Dunning, S, Whitehouse, TX
Juwan Johnson, WR, Glassboro, NJ
Keenan Walker, OL, Chaparral (Scottsdale), AZ
Kirk Merritt, WR, Destrehan, LA
Larry Pryor, S, Sulphur Springs, TX
Martez Ivey, OL, Apopka, FL
Nicholas Brossette, RB, University Lab (Baton Rouge), LA
Quarte Sapp, LB, Milton (Alpharetta), GA
Rashan Gary ('16), DL, Scotch Plains-Fanwood (Scotch Plains), NJ
Saquon Barkley, RB, Whitehall, PA
Tim Settle, DL, Stonewall Jackson (Manassas), VA
Will Gragg, TE, Pine Bluff, AR

Oregon targets: Holiday, Marshall, Houston, Merritt, Gragg

Status:

Holiday — At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds Holiday has plenty of size at corner and a great skill set. On film, he has good body control and awareness. He puts himself in a position to at least disrupt or make a play if he can. Holiday also plays receiver and has good hands, which will no doubt help him on either side of the ball at the next level.

Holiday visited Oregon back in June and he told Scout.com's David Woods that he and secondary coach John Neal discussed having plans in place for him if he chose to come to Eugene. UCLA and USC are the two recruiting him the hardest, but Oregon, Washington and Arizona are right there. Holiday anticipates cutting his list down to 10 in the coming weeks and Oregon figures to be on that list.

Marshall — Marshall is a five-star prospect and the top defensive back in the west region. At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Marshall brings a nice combination of size and speed to the table. He is very physical and finishes plays with impact on film. He’s keen on not giving receivers any room to work with once they start their route and he shows that he’s a difference maker on the field.

However, even with an Oregon offer, Marshall seems like a long shot right now. USC and UCLA are recruiting him heavily and he’s also shown plenty of interest in Notre Dame and Michigan as well, telling Scout.com’s Anna Hickey that those two will likely get official visits. Marshall likely won’t announce until next year, but Oregon seems to be one West Coast school that isn’t a major factor for him at this point.

Houston — One of the top linebackers in the country, Houston stands 6-foot-3, 218-pounds. The five-star prospect is very athletic on film and a strong tackler. He can make a play pretty much anywhere on the field and is a good pursuer.

Oregon has had tabs on Houston since he was a sophomore and continue to be a factor in his recruitment. Houston revealed over a month ago that he will take an official visit to Oregon in the fall and that he has a solid relationship with defensive coordinator Don Pellum. The Ducks have already made the cut for his next revision, which should be released sometime in the near future. However, fighting off nearby USC and UCLA among other top schools (Florida State, Oklahoma) will be a big challenge.

Merritt — Merritt stands a tad under 6-foot and 200-pounds and has plenty of speed to go along with it. A dual sport athlete along with track, Merritt is dangerous if he gets loose to the outside as a running back and can hurt you in more ways at receiver on film. He runs hard and is very effective with short screen passes that set up big gains or scores. He’s also not afraid to throw the downfield block if needed.

Oregon has been on the four-star prospect for some time and offered him in May. They were one of the schools recruiting him the hardest in the spring. Following the recent string of commitments, Merritt was active on social media mentioning Oregon. Merritt has visited a few schools closer to home but has yet to visit Eugene. Merritt looks to be taking his time with the process though, so there is still plenty of time to see how things shake out.

Gragg — At 6-foot-4, 250-pounds the four-star tight end is a big target that can go up and get the ball. His size makes him a tough target to bring down and he has good hands on film. He has okay speed on film, but his ability to pick up an easy first down or be a threat near the end zone is a big asset.

Gragg told Yancy Porter that Oregon was a school that was catching his eye as of late and that there was mutual interest in both parties. However, he already has four official visits lined up to Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and Texas, and plans on releasing a list of six favorites at The Opening with the likelihood that most of those spots will be taken by those four programs. Whether or not Oregon lands there remains to be seen.

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