Dallas Awards: Who stood out at the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp
COPPELL, Tex. - Even after the camp MVP Awards were passed out, plenty of other players showed they were worthy of recognition after their performance at Sunday’s Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas. While these players may not have left the camp with any hardware, they do deserve a shout out for their respective performances last weekend.
BEST FRESHMAN - OFFENSE
The receiver group was stacked with quantity and quality, so it's pretty impressive that Nathan was able to stand out like he did. He has all the makings of a dangerous possession receiver and put the moves on more than one defensive back when going head-to-head against them in the open-field tackle simulation drills.
BEST FRESHMAN - DEFENSE
Watson wasn’t informed of his addition to the camp until late Saturday night, but was able to get himself ready to come out and compete against a physical group of upperclassmen offensive linemen. He wasn't as involved early in the one-on-ones, but he included himself more later on and impressed with his quickness and resourcefulness to win some reps before the end of the early session.
TONKA TRUCK AWARD
Floyd isn’t exactly the tallest offensive lineman, even for an interior guy, but he’s stout and tough like the famed, sturdy dump truck. Appropriately, Floyd had no issue dumping defensive linemen on their butts in one-on-ones. The Frisco-area prospect started making a name for himself last spring on the camp circuit with his toughness and on Sunday showed his ability to anchor-in and stonewall defensive linemen. Floyd is powerfully built and has a natural understanding of how to use his leverage to hold up and weigh down defensive linemen.
PLEASANT SURPRISE - OFFENSE - JARED LAUGHLIN
Laughlin staked his claim as the most intriguing Arkansas-based prospect to compete at Sunday's camp. He checked in at 6-foot-5, 323-pounds and brought all of it when going up against defensive linemen in one-on-ones. It was nice to see was his willingness to take as many reps as he could and mix it up with his counterparts. Camp environments can sometimes overwhelm inexperienced players, but Laughlin looked perfectly comfortable giving opposing linemen all they could handle as often as he could.
PLEASANT SURPRISE - DEFENSE
Pedraza has been on the recruiting map for some time, but it seems as though programs have been hesitant to pull the trigger on offers until it’s more clear as to whether he’s a linebacker playing safety or vice versa. He left no doubt at the camp that he has strong instincts in coverage and moves well for a thicker player. Part of the quandary with Pedraza is negotiating his effectiveness making contact with a player to jar an incoming pass loose versus his ability to play the ball in the air, but he showed decisiveness with both in one-on-ones against wide receivers.
LONG-DISTANCE CALLER - ANDREW STRIPLING
Stripling may not have hit on all his throws earlier in the day, but no one connected at a higher clip during one-on-ones than he did. The placement of his downfield throws were particularly impressive. Stripling is still a bit on the lanky side, but if he could add a little muscle - and velocity on some more of those tougher intermediate passes to the sideline - he’d be pretty close to what many top programs look for in a pro-style passer.
Word is starting to spread about Matthews' potential and he showed why on Sunday. Matthews is actually Floyd’s teammate and has picked up offers from Kansas, SMU and UTSA in the last week. Out of a sneaky-strong tight end group at the event, Matthews may have had the quickest feet and he used them to win rep after rep, separating from defenders on breaks and working back to the ball. Matthews looked easy and confident catching the ball all afternoon and should find himself the target of many more offers before the end of spring.