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Nike Elite 11 Camp, and What Having Sean Mannion There Means

Sean Mannion will be amongst the elite that are coaching the elite this week at the 2014 Nike Elite 11 Camp.
Sean Mannion will be amongst the elite that are coaching the elite this week at the 2014 Nike Elite 11 Camp.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

The 2014 Elite 11 takes place July 5-6, while The Opening 2014 runs July 7-10. Quarterbacks from the Elite 11 also participate in The Opening, which is the premier summer showcase event for high school recruits. Both are held just up the road from Corvallis, in Beaverton, OR, on the Nike World Headquarters campus.

SB Nation of course will have full coverage, and be sure to check back daily for the interesting going on.

But historically its of little consequence to Oregon St., as the Beavers do not find themselves in the running for any of the elite 18 quarterbacks (don't let the camp name confuse you!), or any of the other elite prospects that will be at The Opening. These are the players who can conduct bidding wars amongst the USCs, Ohio St.'s, and Alabamas of the college football world.

But this year, Oregon St. is represented, with senior quarterback Sean Mannion participating as a counselor at the camp.

Mannion, like the rest of the Beavers, only read about the camp when he was in high school. But being the top returning quarterback in terms of passing yards a year ago has its perks, and being appreciated and recognized with an invitation to this event is one of them.

While its an honor for Mannion, and can't help but help his career prospects down the road, it's also an important development for Oregon St., as will be Mannion's participation in the Manning Passing Academy later in the month.

Mannion's presence gets both his and the program's names in the national spotlight, and in front of both the top prospects that are there, and those that may be there in the future.

And it didn't hurt that Sean won the little pre-camp competition called the Elite 11 Counselors Challenge this afternoon. That activity included Sam Bradford, and 2014 NFL draft first round picks Johnny Manzel and Blake Bortles.

All that talk about Coach Mike Riley's pro-style system and Mannion as a product of it being capable of gunning down any competition becomes real when the right people are watching it happen, something that doesn't always happen when Oregon St. is playing a middle of the night game in some place like Pullman that has been relegated to the Pac-12 channel.

It's a small step, but nevertheless a step in the right direction for the program; one that could lead to more steps in the right direction down the road.