June 23, 2012
Stars show out at Rivals 5-star Challenge
The first day of the Rivals 5-star Challenge from Atlanta is in the books and to say that the superstars came out for the event would be an understatement. Here's 20 things you must know on Texas commitments, targets and should-be-targets from the first day of the event.
1. What a day, what a day, what a day. The first day of the Rivals 5-star challenge was even better than I thought it would be, with even more talent than I thought I would see. Perhaps there are camps with as much talent, but I personally have never seen a better group of kids in a camp setting anywhere in the country and I've attended every kind of camp you can think of in all parts of the country.
2. The best player that I saw today was five-star defensive end Carl Lawson of Alpharetta, Georgia. When I say that this kid dominated, I mean former NFL players were losing their minds over his ability. Off the edge, this full-on grown man basically couldn't be touched and few wanted any part of him in drills. He just killed everyone. To a man, he was the best dude there and a little birdie told us Bo Davis has an interest. He's currently committed to Clemson, but everyone will be coming strong after him following his performance this weekend.
3. I thought Kent Perkins had the best day of all the Longhorn commitments and the amount of progress he's made with his physical build is staggering. He's probably the best looking linemen the state has produced since Mason Walters. After dropping a rep early in 1-on-1's, he picked it up and dominated for the most part from there on out. In his one match-up with Maryland five-star DE Kenny Bigelow, Perkins won strongly. He's definitely under five-star consideration and perhaps the only thing that would hold him back is the fact that he's likely more of a right tackle than left tackle. He's five stars for me.
4. Tyrone Swoopes had a better day throwing the football than I expected and that seemed to be the consensus of a lot of folks. He was better today than he was at the Nike camp/Elite 11 and I thought he threw the ball with a lot of command in the short and intermediate areas. In fact, his best stuff was in the intermediate throws. He struggled with the deep ball today, but all of the quarterbacks did and that's somewhat expected with a roster full of receivers that they've never thrown to. He acquitted himself very well on my eyes, especially considering passing his supposed to be his weak spot. Solid day.
5. 2014 sophomore cornerback Tony Brown looked like a top-five talent at corner today. Frankly, there wasn't anyone I saw today from the 2013 class that I thought was truly better than him. He opened a lot of eyes today.
6. Texas linebacker commit Deoundrei Davis not at 100% today, but he gave it a go and had a tough day at times in coverage, but that's expected when you are on an island and the backs coming out of the backfield have the entire field to work with. Extremely raw and athletic, though, and he certainly flashed that, even at less than 100%. I expect he'll do much better tomorrow in 7-on-7.
7. Speaking of running backs, 2014 star Leonard Fournette from New Orleans is the truth. After just finishing his sophomore year, nobody could touch him in drills and his body is already college-ready. FYI, he was supposed to camp at Texas this summer, but didn't make it. Expect him to make a visit at some point.
8. Texas defensive end target Torrodney Prevot had a mixed day. His speed and explosiveness off the edge was too much for some guys and at one point an opposing lineman walked off the field shaking his head and bemoaning, "That guy is FAST." He struggled when going into the body of opposing linemen and Perkins stopped him once with a lot of ease. He needs work in the weight room, but he's a blur off the edge.
9. No kid wanted to participate more than Jake Raulerson today and after a slow start, he kicked some tail on offense and defense, including what might have been the single best rep against Perkins of the day. He just kept jumping in front of dudes and taking as many reps as he could. He just took them because nobody was going to tell "Tex" he couldn't. I think he took 7,000 reps today. P.s. - a lot of folks at this event think center is where he ends up.
10. I love Lake Charles Barbe tight end DeSean Smith. He's got great size and is a plus-athlete with top-end ball skills. He might have been the best player at his position today. Texas should be all over this kid and I got the sense that they could get seriously involved if they wanted to. No decisions have been made in his recruitment.
11. Om Demetrius Knox might have been a little thrown off by the caliber of competition he was facing after going up against Lawson early on, but he recovered and had a couple of nice moments in 1-on-1's. He might be more of an inside guy than a tackle, but he has the build of a young Justin Blalock. It' easy to see why everyone loves this 2014 prospect.
12. Hoza Scott didn't see much action today because he aggravated an ankle injury that just had pins taken out three weeks ago.
13. Antwuan Davis had kind of a quiet day today, but he flashed some good recovery speed and I expect he'll have a better day tomorrow with more reps.
14. Ricky Seals-Jones had a tough day today and I'm not sure if he caught a pass in the 1-on-1 portion of the workouts today. He was very quick off the ball, but seemed to have trouble finding the next gear to keep the separation from elite defensive backs. I'm curious to see what he does tomorrow because it was not a five-star day today at receiver.
15. Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell of Virginia Beach might have been the second best prospect on the field today. He is also the t-r-u-t-h. Wow.
16. Kenny Bigeow was just kind of a guy for me today. He didn't star in 1-on-1's and didn't seem to want in them a ton.
17. I really liked three-star offensive tackle David Dawson of Michigan (also committed to UM). He was really strong against the edge rushers from is right tackle spot. I didn't even know who he was before today, but he's a stud.
18. Eldridge Massington had a pretty quiet day today. Same for Kameron Miles.
19. Uncommitted cornerback Leon McQuay III if the nation's No.3 corner for a reason. Big-time corner prospect. I'd call him if I was Duane Akina.
20. A&M commit Isaiah Golden is a big ol' boy, but when he'd dialed in and wants it, he's a handful. He needs to watch his weight and possibly redistribute some that he already has, but his talent is obvious.
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