Top ranking in California on the line at Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in L.A.
The Rivals Camp Series presented by adidas will hold its fourth event this Sunday in Southern California and will feature some of the best players from the West region. Below, Rivals.com looks at five storylines to watch on a day that should feature some entertaining matchups.
Related: Full Rivals Camp Series schedule
STATE'S NO. 1 RANKING UP FOR GRABS
For the first time in a couple years at least, the best player in California is not an open-and-shut case, and so this camp will be crucial for future rankings considerations.
The good news is that all three five-stars in the state in DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, ATH Bru McCoy and CB Chris Steele are expected to work out. A lot of high-end four-star talent will be there as well to stake their claim.
With five-star quarterback JT Daniels reclassifying to the 2018 class, Thibodeuax took over the top spot in the state and he has been impressive this offseason in limited action. Continued dominance off the edge will be expected. McCoy is another physical specimen like Thibodeaux and the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei two-way standout can dominate at receiver or linebacker. Steele has been solid at every event for years and so that is expected again this weekend.
The 2019 rankings are just kicking into high gear and the California rankings remain incredibly fluid through the offseason. This weekend will be a perfect opportunity for players to step up and get noticed.
RODRIGUEZ WILL MANHANDLE PEOPLE
Last weekend at the Under Armour Camp, four-star offensive tackle Jason Rodriguez was pushing people around like he was The Hulk. Pretty good defensive ends were getting wiped out by the Hesperia (Calif.) Oak Hills standout who at 6-foot-6 and 314 pounds already looks like an NFL offensive lineman.
Rodriguez will be facing Thibodeaux, emerging three-star Drake Jackson, four-star Stephon Wright and others this weekend for another big test. Hopefully, Thibodeaux vs. Rodriguez happens because both are fantastic players and it will be entertaining to see. Speed to the edge might be a problem at the elite level for Rodriguez but he’s so insanely powerful that if he can get his hands on the defensive end he knocks them off balance.
UNDERCLASSMEN QBS WILL SHINE
Like almost every recruiting cycle, California is filled with top-notch quarterbacks and that will absolutely be the case in 2020 as DJ Uiagalelei from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco and Bryce Young out of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei lead the way at Sunday’s camp.
Both still have two more years of high school football, but both Uiagalelei and Young will be two of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 class and both have been awesome so far this offseason. That should continue at Sunday’s camp.
Other names to watch are 2020 standout Luca Diamont and a host of 2021 quarterbacks including Jake Garcia, Miller Moss and CJ Montes. Young quarterbacks in Southern California are all the rage and many are going to be competing this weekend.
NEW FOUR-STARS WILL EMERGE
There have already been five straight weekends either camps or 7-on-7s in California, so evaluation opportunities have not been limited. But this weekend’s Rivals Camp will be huge as a chance to see three-star prospects in action against elite competition to see how they fare - and see if they’re worthy of bumps in the rankings.
Some prospects who will be closely watched especially since they’ve been solid this spring (or because they haven’t been on the circuit much yet) are QB Ryan Hilinski, WRs Munir McClain and Colby Bowman, TE Jude Wolfe, DE Drake Jackson, LBs Spencer Lytle and Jonathan Perkins, DB Chris Adimora and ATHs Jacob Turner and Trent McDuffie.
Everybody is going to be evaluated through drills, one-on-ones and much more, but these are some of the players who could be on the verge of breaking out.
SOPHOMORES WILL IMPRESS
The 2019 class in California is strong with a lot of talented players. This is by no means a rip on them. But the 2020 class is elite with a bunch of phenomenal players almost at every position and it’s going to be interesting to see how those players compete against the older group. It should be highly competitive throughout the camp.
Uiagalelei and Young are two of the best quarterbacks nationally. Wide receiver Johnny Wilson could be one of the best in the 2020 class and he was unstoppable in Las Vegas last weekend. Linebacker Justin Flowe is a physical freak who can hit and cover as well as any linebacker in the 2019 or 2020 class.