Max Duggan's stock is on the rise.
Not that it wasn't already high to begin with - Duggan is an Elite 11 finalist. But the 4-star TCU quarterback commitment shined during Day 1 at The Opening, turning heads with his mobility in the pocket and his arm strength.
"Today was a really good day. I learned a lot," said Duggan, of Council Bluffs, IA/Lewis Central. "Getting to be with my teammates, Team Dynamite, getting the timing right and getting caught up. It was a good day."
Duggan, the Frogs' top-rated commitment in 2019, a class of 14 to date that ranks No. 26 overall by 247Sports, is TCU's lone verbal pledge at the exclusive, invite-only recruiting showcase, universally known as the best of its kind in the country.
He's one of 162 recruits chosen to participate in the event, which will feature 1-on-1s, linemen challenges and a 7-on-7 tournament. Duggan will be on the same team, Team Dynamite, as Mansfield Legacy DB Jeffery Carter.
"I think for this trip it's going to be a lot of me going out, having fun, and playing loose," Duggan said. "There's not a lot you can lose this weekend getting to go against the top players in the country. You've earned your way to this point. I think you just go out there, have fun, play loose and learn a lot."
Seeing Dugan perform at the level he did on Saturday, a slightly toned-down version of what the next three days will entail, makes it easy to see why Gary Patterson, Sonny Cumbie and the rest of the Frogs' staff were so high on the No. 10 ranked dual-threat QB in the country and No. 2 player in Iowa.
But it also makes it easy to see why other schools - Nebraska, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Ohio State to name a few - were also so invested.
So that begs the question: Is Duggan completely locked in with TCU? Has he shut everything down?
Keep in mind, Duggan told Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald, "It's difficult. I'll have a top three when I wake up and go to bed with a different one." That was five days before he committed on April 15.
"Nope I'm completely shut down," he said. "I will enroll early."
That's got to be music to the ears of any and all Horned Frogs fans.
But what was it specifically about TCU that made him so comfortable?
"TCU stuck out to me because Coach [Gary] Patterson has been there forever and has built the culture the right way, and that's something I wanted to be a part of," he said. "Somewhere where no one is going to be leaving for a better job. Coach [Sonny] Cumbie, the OC/quarterbacks coach, he develops quarterbacks the way I want to be developed. And then the relationships I've built with the coaching staff and the players down there, me getting to go on campus and interact with everyone, it felt right and felt like home. I'm super excited to be a part of it."
If you've not seen Duggan play you'll get the sense very quickly that he's a quarterback playing quarterback, but an athlete at the position as well. He has an above-average arm and is polished in terms of escaping the pocket and making plays with his feet.
Here's how he'd describe his game for those that have yet to see him play:
"I'm a pass-first type of guy but I have the ability to run, to give the defenses an extra look," he said. "I can make all the throws. The biggest thing is that I'm a competitor, I'm a team guy and I'm going to do whatever I can do to help the team."
One thing he'll try to do to help TCU is try to talk with other recruits in attendance about joining him in Fort Worth. Though, he admits, his approach will be measured.
"There have been a couple of guys that I've talked to," he said. "I'm not trying to get all up in their business or anything. Just talking to them to see if they have any questions about TCU."
The Horned Frogs have secured verbal commitments from four players since the beginning of the month including, three-star linebacker Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow, Okla.), three-star wide receiver Kennedy Lewis (Melissa, TX), three-star safety Deshawn McCuin (Jacksonville, TX), and three-star running back Daimarqua Foster (Wichita Falls/Hirschi).
"The class has been wrapping up really well," Duggan said. "The coaching staff is doing an awesome job. I think that's the best thing, from Twitter, people interactive with our class and getting to know TCU football. I think people are taking notice of it."
Duggan's exposure at The Opening isn't hurting either.
THE OPENING QUARTERBACKS
Jayden Daniels, Cajon (CA)
Max Duggan, Lewis Central (IA) - Committed to TCU
Ty Evans, Palmer Ridge (CO) - Committed to Colorado
Ryan Hilinski, Orange Lutheran (CA) - Committed to South Carolina
Sam Howell, Sun Valley (NC) - Committed to Florida State
Brian Maurer, West Port (Fla.) - Committed to Tennessee
Cade McNamara, Damonte Ranch (NV) - Committed to Michigan
Graham Mertz, Blue Valley North (KS) - Committed to Wisconsin
Dylan Morris, Graham-Kapowsin (WA) - Committed to Washington
Bo Nix, Pinson Valley (AL) - Committed to Auburn
Spencer Rattler, Pinnacle (AZ) - Committed to Oklahoma
Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson (AL) - Committed to Alabama