Farrell Awards: Time to hand out hardware for #RivalsChallenge
ATLANTA - The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas is in the books, so it’s once again time for the Farrell Awards. Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell hands out the hardware after another great event.
MORE FIVE-STAR CHALLENGE: Seven players named MVPs at their positions | 2020 five-star LB Justin Flowe makes a strong impression | Offensive roster | Defensive roster | All-Lobby team | Next to commit | Five who could flip | Farrell's storylines | Best Five-Star Challenge performance ever? | Which QB will shine brightest? | Who will improve stock the most? | Who has the most to prove? | Full Rivals Camp Series coverage
PHYSICAL PROWESS – Chris Akporoghene
Chris Akporoghene looks great on the hoof as an offensive lineman, built like a brick with zero bad weight. He was a close call in this award that goes to the most physically imposing player at the event because there were so many good-looking prospects.
Honorable mention: Tight end Arik Gilbert, defensive end Marcus Stripling, wide receiver Trey Knox, linebacker Lee Kpogba, tight end Jaelyn Lay, center Clay Webb, defensive back Marvin Grant, linebacker Brandon Smith, wide receiver Elijiah Higgins, running back Trey Sanders, Zach Evans and offensive lineman Stacey Wilkins are a few that deserve mention here.
MIGHTY MOUSE – Max Williams
This award goes to the smallest player who makes the biggest impact, and Max Williams was excellent in coverage all day. He took on bigger receivers and also handled smaller, faster guys, as well.
Honorable mention: There weren’t a lot of small guys at the event, but quarterbacks Drew Pyne and Bryce Young qualify and had their moments, while Joshua Downs also had some big plays for his team.
ANGER MANAGEMENT – Dontae Lucas
This award goes to the player who shows the most aggression and hostility toward his opponents, and at this event it was the Florida State commitment Dontae Lucas. He took a few shots after the whistle and got into a scuffle in the second session. You have to like his aggressive nature as an offensive lineman.
Honorable mention: LSU commitment Kardell Thomas, as always, didn’t disappoint as he slammed a few guys to the ground, while Alabama commitment Rashad Chaney was on the other end of the battle with Lucas. Class of 2020 linebacker Justin Flowe always seemed to be bringing someone to the ground in one-on-ones as well.
JET PACK – Kelee Ringo
This award goes to the fastest player at the event, and Kelee Ringo won the Fastest on the Field award and flashed his speed numerous times during the event. Many players showed off some speed, but Ringo takes the prize.
Honorable mention: Wandale Robinson, Jameson Williams, Trey Palmer, Zach Evans, Akeem Dent, Sean Dollars, Trejan Bridges and others also flashed quite a bit of speed.
POWER PACK – Anthony Bradford
This award goes to the player who showed the most natural power at the event, and it was Anthony Bradford who put up an amazing 31 bench press reps at 225 pounds. He also flashed his power in the one-on-ones by taking many players to the ground.
Honorable mention: Kardell Thomas flashed his power, especially with his arms and hands, in one-on-ones, and Justin Flowe is as powerful at linebacker as we’ve seen in years. Jowon Briggs also showed off some power at defensive tackle, and Clay Webb was his usual strong self when he anchored. Justin Rogers is also a very strong kid.
BEAR MARKET – Adonis Otey
This is not an award you want, as it represents the players whose stock dropped the most during the event. In a tough call I’ll go with Adonis Otey, who really struggled in coverage quite a bit.
Honorable mention: Arizona quarterback commitment Grant Gunnell was one of many signal callers to struggle, along with Bryce Young and Drew Pyne from the 2020 class. While each had their moments, they are all ranked a bit too high, based on this performance at least. Miami commitment Te’Cory Couch lacks great size and got pushed around, and defensive lineman Lloyd Summerall also struggled.
BULL MARKET – Nolan Groulx
This goes to the player who raised his stock the most, and Wake Forest commitment Nolan Groulx was that player on Thursday.
Honorable mention: While I won’t mention everyone, many players helped their stock, including linebacker Lee Kpogba, defensive end Shamar McCollum, linebacker Tyron Hopper and athlete Trey Palmer.
SHOT OF JOLT – Shamar McCollum
This award is in remembrance of the greatest soda ever, Jolt, which was loaded with caffeine and always brought energy to the table. Shamar McCollum was a whirling dervish during each rep and seemed to get more active as the event wore on. This kid is the definition of motor.
Honorable mention: Trey Palmer played both ways for his team, as did Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood and a few others. Justin Flowe doesn’t know the phrase “slow down,” as he did everything at top speed.
SPIN IT – Bo Nix
This award goes to the quarterback who threw the best ball throughout the event - or “spun it” the best. Bo Nix, the Auburn commitment, had more zip on the ball than the other quarterbacks and threw a very catchable ball all day long. He was the best quarterback throughout the event, hands down.
Honorable mention: Wisconsin commitment Graham Mertz threw the ball very well, as did Florida State commitment Sam Howell. South Carolina commitment Ryan Hilinski also had his moments.
TUNNEL VISION – Grant Gunnell
This goes to the quarterback who locked in on his target the most and it led to a few bad decisions. Grant Gunnell had his moments, but he threw some big picks as well during the 7-on-7 portion of things.
Honorable mention: Bryce Young also tended to lock in on his target a bit too much.
THE WINDUP AND THE PITCH – Bryce Young
This goes to the quarterback who had the most deliberate delivery on the day, and it was clearly Bryce Young. He was slow in his release and for some reason didn’t look like himself during drills and the 7-on-7. His release was low and slow throughout the day, which is unlike him.
Honorable mention: Grant Gunnell still has a bit of a windup of a delivery and needs to tighten it up a bit.
POISE UNDER PRESSURE – Sam Howell
This award goes to the quarterback who was the best under pressure, and while the combination of Bo Nix and Harrison Bailey took home the title, the white team wouldn’t have been anywhere without Sam Howell. He made pass after pass under pressure to lead his team to the title game.
Honorable mention: Nix was clutch as were Graham Mertz and Ryan Hilinski, at times.
FANCY FEET – Derek Stingley Jr.
This award goes to the player with the best natural footwork at the event, and to me that was Derek Stingley. He is so smooth in drills and effortless in his backpedal that it’s easy to see why he’s one of the most special cornerbacks we've seen in a long time.
Honorable mention: Tyrique Stevenson was very smooth, as were Brendan Gant, Max Williams and many others. At running back, Devyn Ford showed off really good feet, as did Mark-Antony Richards and Zachary Evans. I was also impressed with Trey Palmer and Trejan Bridges.
STICK UM – Trejan Bridges
This award goes to the player with the best hands, and it was clearly Trejan Bridges, who made many circus catches on the day. Especially in the 7-on-7 portion of the event, Bridges caught everything that came his way. The Oklahoma commitment was the wide receiver MVP winner for a reason.
Honorable mention: Nolan Groulx, Trey Palmer, Jadon Haselwood and Theo Wease were also prospects who stood out catching the ball, as did running back Trey Sanders, who caught a ton of passes for his team. Jalen Curry also showed reliable hands, and 2020 Marc Britt was also excellent.
THE SNUGGIE – Elias Ricks
This award goes to the defensive back who blanketed receivers the most at the event. It wasn’t a great day for the d-backs, with most of the quarterbacks showing accuracy and the wide receiver group being so loaded, but defensive back MVP Elias Ricks gets the nod here. He plays well ahead of his age group.
Honorable mention: Derek Stingley Jr., despite being beaten by Theo Wease a few times, was solid in coverage throughout the day, as were Tyrique Stevenson, Brendan Gant and Max Williams. Cameron Smith was also a defensive back I liked quite a bit. Kaiir Elam wasn’t great in drills, but he had his moments in one-on-ones and 7-on-7.
MR. PICK – Bryton Constantin
This goes to the player who had the most interceptions on the day, and it was Bryton Constantin in a runaway. For a linebacker to take home this award is very rare, but that speaks to the day our linebacker MVP had.
Honorable mention: Florida commitment Tyron Hopper had an interception at linebacker as well, and Brendan Gant had a pick in the one-on-ones, but there weren’t many interceptions overall at the event, at least that I saw.
WHAT POSITION? – Trey Palmer
This goes to the player who showed he could play numerous positions or was perhaps playing out of position at the event. Trey Palmer played both defensive back and wide receiver, and could be a star on either side of the ball.
Honorable mention: Khris Bogle played defensive end, but you could easily see him playing standup linebacker in college. Keveon Mullins was very solid at linebacker and could play defensive back, as well, but he’ll get his first crack at wide receiver at South Carolina. Devonta Lee played defensive back, but he could easily be a linebacker or play on offense.
JECKYLL AND HYDE – Marcus Stripling
This goes to the player who can look great one rep and then struggle in the next. Marcus Stripling was certainly more good than bad, but the reason he hasn’t broken through in the rankings is the inconsistency we continue to see.
Honorable mention: Trejan Bridges wasn’t dominant in the first session and then took over the 7-on-7 portion. John Dunmore would make a great catch and then drop an easy one, and Wandale Robinson had a great day until he had some key drops in the title game. Dontae Lucas was also up and down.
GOTTA WEAR SHADES – Justin Flowe
This goes to the underclassman with the best upside, and that’s clearly Justin Flowe, who is a freak of nature at the linebacker position. He has a non-stop motor, he’s as physical as they get at the position and he proved he could run with everyone. He lived up to his No. 2 ranking in the 2020 class.
Honorable mention: Elias Ricks had a very good day, as did Kelee Ringo, while Marc Britt was excellent on the offensive side of the ball. Arik Gilbert is a freak of nature at tight end, Fred Davis had his moments at cornerback and I really like Justin Rogers at offensive line. Chris Morris also had his moments along the offensive line. Running back Zachary Evans is going to be special, and McKinnley Jackson showed why he is a five-star with his first step. Antoine Sampah also had his moments at linebacker.