Friedman's Takeaways: QB, OL standout at 3 Stripe Camp in N.J.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – On a windy Sunday in New Jersey, the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas drew some of the nation’s best prospects out for a chance to earn their invitation to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas. Check out some of the biggest takeaways from Sunday’s event.
DEVYN FORD GIVES THE LATEST
Devyn Ford, a five-star and the No. 1 running back in the country, made the trip up I-95 from Virginia and did a great job. He showed off his explosiveness and did a good job making defenders miss in the open-field tackling drill. Ford excelled as a receiver in one-on-ones and looked crisp when running his routes, creating a lot of separation to give quarterbacks easy throws. Virginia Tech and Penn State remain his top two schools heading into his May 18 commitment. Ford made it clear that neither team has the edge and he is still making up his mind.
BRANDON SMITH GETTING READY TO NARROW FOCUS
Rivals100 linebacker Brandon Smith showed up to prove that he is one of the best in the country and he did just that. His length, range and speed in a linebacker’s body presents a unique skillset that can give quarterbacks nightmares. Smith enjoyed his time at Texas A&M when he was there for his official visit but he doesn’t have any additional visits planned right now. Look for him to take another visit or two later this summer before taking official visits and committing in September or October.
DREW PYNE DOMINATES
In a group of quarterbacks that was probably the best on this year’s Rivals Camp Series, Drew Pyne was clearly the top player. Other quarterbacks had a few nice throws in a row and then a bad one or one that didn’t cut through the wind. Pyne didn’t throw a bad pass and his passes cut through the wind with ease, which was a little surprising considering he isn’t very big. His accuracy and mechanics were very impressive and his timing adjusted very quickly even though he wasn’t working with wide receiver he was used to.
PLENTY OF QUALITY ARMS
Pyne, a Notre Dame commit, Penn State commit Ta’Quan Roberson, Florida commit Jalon Jones, Clemson commit Taisun Phommachanh and Boston College commit Stephen Lubischer were just some of the big-time quarterbacks that showed up to put in their work. Pyne earned the MVP trophy but it could have easily gone to Roberson, Jones, Phommachanh or 2020 signal caller Parker McQuarrie. Roberson and Jones showed of their well-known strong arms but a few of their passes missed the mark. Phommachanh will be good at Clemson, where he’ll have some time to iron out his mechanics. Lubisher was up and down but McQuarrie, at 6-foot-7, threw some very impressive passes and was easily one of the biggest surprises of the day. Freshman Kyle McCord and sophomore Michael Alaimo were also two of the better quarterbacks in attendance.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN STEP UP
The offensive line group was outstanding led by MVP Saleem Wormley. It was by no means a decisive victory for Wormley though. Rivals250 prospect Xavier Truss put on an impressive performance. His quickness for being 6-foot-7, 340-pounds is exceptional and his patience has improved since we saw him last. Freshman Landon Tengwall could have easily won this MVP award as well. He is as strong as they come and very nearly has his pass protection mechanics locked in. Jake Hornibrook, Anton Harrison, Walter Rouse and Elijah Wroten were also impressive.