For the second consecutive year, a Rutgers QB commit has been invited to the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles, CA. Last year, QB pledge Anthony Russo came out of nowhere and earned an invite to the event and eventually was named to the final Elite 11 at The Opening Finals in Oregon. Russo has since switched his commitment and signed with Temple.
Lewis was announced as the 24th and final invite to this prestigious event.
Due to following Russo's journey last summer, I consider myself an expert on the Elite 11 process and events. Before getting too hyped about this, let's first gain an understanding of what Lewis was invited to and what the Elite 11 is.
What is the Elite 11?
The Elite 11 is the biggest high school quarterback competition in the country. The Elite 11 is an umbrella competition of Nike's The Opening. The Elite 11 works in conjunction with The Opening in traveling the country searching for the best high school football talent. There are regional camps and the top QBs from each camp earn invites to the finals.
What are the Elite 11 Finals?
From the official Elite 11 website:
The Elite 11 Quarterback Finals will bring together top performers from the the 2016 Elite 11 Regionals to receive advanced, one-on-one quarterback instruction in a highly competitive setting. The Elite 11 Finals will span three days and include on-field drills, routes-on-air, classroom instruction and off-field development. The Elite 11 will be named at the conclusion of The Elite 11 Finals and will receive an invite to The Opening Finals.
How do you earn an invitation?
To earn an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals, a QB must be named as the QB MVP of their regional "The Opening" camp. If the camp directors feel a QB not named MVP is deserving of a spot in the finals, they will give them an invite on the spot and multiple QBs from that camp will be invited. After the camp cycle, there are still some open spots to fill in the 24-player field. The camp directors re-evaluate the top QBs from the camps that have yet to earn invites and issue the top remaining QBs at-large invitations. That is how Russo was invited and also how Lewis was invited. Syracuse commit Tommy Devito was the MVP of the regional camp in NJ that Lewis attended.
What is the goal for this specific event?
The goal for this event in LA is to find the 17 or so best QBs and invite them to The Opening Finals at Nike HQ in Beaverton, OR. Last year, 17 of the 24 QBs at the "Finals" were invited to The Opening Finals. Subsequently, the Elite 11 Finals aren't actually the finals. The finals are at The Opening where the Elite 11, or top 11 QBs in the country are named. The event that Lewis was invited to is really the semifinals for him. Some QBs have actually already been invited to The Opening Finals as a result of their play at the regional camps. Lewis will be battling with the best QBs in the country for a trip to Oregon at the most prestigious HS football event in the country at the place known as "Football Heaven".
When is the event?
The Elite 11 Finals are from June 3-5 in Los Angeles, CA. Last year, the event was streamed live via YouTube.