Mind of Mike: Thoughts from Rivals 3 Stripe Camp New Jersey
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas made its annual stop in New Jersey at Piscataway High School and Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell has a few takeaways.
PYNE SHINES AMONG DEEP QB GROUP
The quarterback position was loaded at the event and the best was Notre Dame 2020 commitment Drew Pyne who was accurate, showed great mechanics and seemed to be in tune with his receivers all day. The one concern? He hasn’t grown at all since last year and size is an issue.
I like the look of Florida quarterback commitment Jalon Jones, who has a really compact release and the ball zips out of his hands and the most physically impressive quarterback commitment in the group was Taisun Phommachanh who is headed to Clemson. He has good size and delivered quite a few nice passes especially on timing routes.
A name to remember is New Hampshire quarterback Parker McQuarrie, a 2020 who has good size and throws a nice ball.
WORMLEY SHOWS OUT ON O-LINE
I was impressed by the offensive line group, a group with a ton of size and some power. MVP Saleem Wormley impressed me quite a bit as he anchors well, extends his arms and moves his feet easily keeping his opponent in front of him. The Delaware prospect was joined by a Rhode Island prospect as one of the best as Xavier Truss, a Rivals250 prospect, had a good day as well. He wasn’t as sharp as Wormley or as technically sound but he’s taller and can play tackle.
A few others that impressed, especially as underclassmen, were Landon Tengwall who is massive for a 2021 prospect and Anton Harrison who has a good frame for a 2020. Jake Hornibrook, a 2019 from Pennsylvania, improved his stock as well.
Freak 8th grader Keith Miles is one to watch and 2020 Connecticut defensive lineman Tre Williams has some upside. The offensive line was bigger and tougher overall but these guys stood out on defense.
FORD, BERGER A TOUGH ONE-TWO PUNCH AT RB
Two guys impressed me at running back – five star Devyn Ford and 2020 Don Bosco Prep stud Jalen Berger. Both are big backs who aren’t going to make a ton of people miss but will use their speed and explosion to get through the hole or around the corner and gain chunks of yardage. Each also showed good ball skills. Ford will decide on May 18 between Virginia Tech and Penn State and I was impressed he knew who Kevin Jones was. If you remember, Jones was one of the top players in the country in 2000 and chose out-of-state Virginia Tech over Penn State in what many considered a recruiting upset. No one seems to know where Ford will go as confidence is high for the Hokies and Nittany Lions.
HAWKINS PROVES HIS WORTH
The defensive back group was very deep, but Curtis Jacobs was one of a few who stood out at wide receiver. The 2020 prospect high pointed the ball well and made some nice catches.
At defensive back, MVP Nyquee Hawkins was a bit grabby at times but was physical and always near the ball in one on ones. He was the kid last year who was offended when I asked him where a friend of his was going to school. He said, verbatim, “why do you care about him, you should care where I’m going.” At the time he had just a couple of smaller offers and now he is a four-star Virginia Tech commitment.
SMITH ONE TO WATCH
Finally, Brandon Smith was the standout at linebacker but he could end up growing into a defensive end before all is said and done. The four-star has a long and big frame and looks like he will end up weighing 265 after a couple of years in college.
Brian Ugwu from New Jersey was also impressive at linebacker and I can’t for the life of me figure out why Josh Pearcy from Moorestown High School doesn’t have offers. He looked as good as anyone on the hoof and more than held his own in drills and one-on-ones. If you walked into this camp with no idea who the four-star linebacker was, you might have easily picked Pearcy.