High School Football

Highlights from the final day of The Opening Finals including 7-on-7 championship game

For four days, over 120 of the best high school football players in the country came to The Star for The Opening Finals to showcase their skills in front of NFL and college coaches, scouts, parents, fans and the media.

During the final day on Wednesday, linemen showed off their talents during the second session of the Linemen Challenge and the skill players wrapped up the event with the 7 on 7 championship with Team Savage beating Team Drip 34-6.

Here are the highlights from the top-ranked players including the son of a former Dallas Cowboys legend:

Buckeye Nation

Julian Fleming wowed the crowd all week and capped it off with a touchdown catch in the title game from QB CJ Stroud. Fleming also did a nice rendition of the Rob Gronkowski spike celebration.

Fleming (Pennsylvania) is 5-star WR and the top ranked wideout in the nation according to 247Sports. He’s committed to Ohio State and had 1,500 yards receiving and 22 TDs last season.

One of his future teammates, Gee Scott Jr. (Washington) also had a nice week and capped it off with a TD catch from Stroud. Scott is a 4-star WR and ranked as the No. 13 wideout in the nation and second overall prospect in Washington.

Scott has 99 catches and 21 TDs in his 3-year career.

He first made a nice one-handed catch here:

Then he was wide open for the touchdown:

Cowboys Legend

4-star Dallas Jesuit all-purpose back EJ Smith, the son of former Dallas Cowboys running back and the NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith, made his presence felt with a 40-yard TD catch for Team Savage.

Smith has offers from Bama, Ohio State, Stanford and more. He had 17 total TDs last season.

Big guys can catch too

Also winning the championship for Team Savage was the best tight end in the nation in Michael Mayer out of Covington Catholic in Kentucky. The 4-star 6-foot-5 prospect is committed to Notre Dame.

Mayer is also the 77th best prospect in the country according to 247Sports. He also had offers from Alabama and Georgia.

He had some nice grabs early on in the championship game including two first down catches on the opening series. Then Stroud nearly threw an interception. Team Drip got a hand on it, but Mayer was able to pull it in for a long gain.

It looked like a TD, but the officials ruled he was touched by a defender.

Playing for Team Drip was the top-ranked athlete in the country, Darnell Washington (Las Vegas). He is the 11th best prospect in the nation and is a 5-star ATH. He has 36 offers, which include Bama, LSU, Miami and Auburn.

During Team Drip’s semifinal win Wednesday morning, Washington made a ridiculous TD grab from 4-star QB Washington commit Ethan Garbers. Drip rallied for the win 26-24.

Washington is 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds:

More nice catches

Team Savage took a 14-0 lead when Stroud threw a TD pass to 3-star WR Parker Washington (Fort Bend Travis, Texas).

Washington (5-10, 197) is committed to Penn State. He had 75 catches, 1,500 yards and 18 TDs last season.

The best personality all week came from Tomball 5-star WR and Texas A&M commit Demond Demas. He showcased his athletic abilities with TD catches and his signature back-flips.

Demas, who is ranked as the No. 2 WR in the country and No. 2 and No. 15 overall prospect in Texas and the nation, received 57 offers and recorded 1,574 yards and 23 TDs last season.

He caught a touchdown early Wednesday and celebrated with a front flip:

60-yard TD

Longview 4-star QB Haynes King had a great week and is quickly rising as one of the top QBs in the nation. King, who led the Lobos to their first UIL state title in 81 years, is the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the country.

He has 28 offers which includes Tennessee, A&M, Auburn and Duke. He’s projected to commit with the Aggies according to 247Sports. King is the No. 13 overall prospect in the state.

Here he hits 4-star Rockwall WR and Ohio State commit Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a 60-yard TD during Team Pressure’s semifinal game vs. Team Drip. Smith-Njigba had 97 catches, 1,828 yards and 20 TDs last season.

Final highlights

4-star OU commit Seth McGowan, who is ranked as the No. 13 RB in the nation, showed off his receiving abilities in the early game on Wednesday. The Mesquite Poteet star made a leaping TD catch in the back of the end zone for Team Drip.

McGowan had 1,600 yards rushing and 25 TDs last season.

The offensive and defensive linemen began the day with the second and final session of the Linemen Challenge, which included a couple Dallas-Fort Worth stars in Prosper’s Jake Majors (Texas commit) and Reedy’s Nate Anderson (OU).

Anderson is the 8th best offensive tackle in the country.

But it was 4-star 2021 OT Donovan Jackson (Bellaire Episcopal, Texas) that took home offensive line MVP honors.

Jackson is No. 7 among 2021 tackles in the country and sixth overall in the state.

He has 33 offers and is projected to commit to Texas A&M, per 247Sports.

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.
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