Rivals.com returns to Connecticut this Saturday as the Northeast Five-Star Showdown presented by ForttSports takes place at BlueStreak Sports Training in Stamford. Headlining the group of athletes from New England, New York and New Jersey will be teammates Camren Williams and Armani Reeves of West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial.
Williams, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, ended his recruitment with a commitment to Penn State in late March. Williams chose the Nittany Lions over Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Wake Forest. The talented linebacker will lead the deepest position at the event on Saturday.
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Quickly making a name for himself in the recruiting world is linebacker Abner Logan of Brookline (Mass.) Dexter School. Logan holds offers from Florida International and Massachusetts, but after his very impressive showing at the Nike Camp at Penn State, that number is sure to increase. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Logan is very athletic and powerful for his size. Another 2012 linebacker who has been under-recruited to this point is Austin Calitro of Danbury (Conn.). Physically impressive at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Calitro has the potential to turn heads on Saturday.
The underclassmen are also well represented at the linebacker position. Leading the way is 2013 Razhonn Gross of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep. A bit undersized at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Gross is quick to the ball, plays with great instincts, and is powerfully built. Another sophomore making his way from New Jersey will be Quashae Hendryx of Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School. Hendryx, 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, is more of a prototypical middle linebacker prospect, and moves very well from sideline to sideline. Also coming from Don Bosco Prep is freshman Mike D'Alessandro, who has made some early noise at the New Jersey powerhouse.
While Williams ended his recruiting process early, for Reeves he is still very wide open. Currently with more than 15 offers, including from Michigan, Boston College, Iowa, Penn State, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Stanford, Reeves is one of the more sought after cornerbacks in the region. Possessing lightning-quick feet, fantastic instincts and impressive speed, Reeves will continue to be a top target for many top programs.
Making an early statement two weeks ago at the Nike Camp at Rutgers was 2013 cornerback Tre Bell of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep. Competing against top 2012 talent like Wayne Morgan, Elijah Shumate and Nate Smith, Bell still walked away with the MVP at the position. Currently 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, Bell is positioning himself nicely as the next top recruit out of the St. Peter's Prep program.
Anchoring the defensive line will be 2013 defensive tackle Greg Webb of Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek. Webb, who recently transferred to the South Jersey school, jumpstarted his recruiting process by picking up his first two offers recently from Connecticut and Syracuse.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Casey Cochran is hoping to prove that he is one of the top quarterbacks in the region. Holding an offer from Boston College, Cochran has showcased his abilities at previous events, and has the experience and talent to once again impress everyone on Saturday. Pushing Cochran on Saturday will be two younger gunslingers who hope to make an early impression. Class of 2013's Myles Nash of Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek has already made a name for himself this spring at both the Elite 11 Camp at Penn State and the Nike Camp at Rutgers. Also, 2013's Boeing Brown of Brookfield (Conn.) has all the tools to become a top prospect in the region next year. Currently 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Brown has a strong arm, quick release and good mobility.
Competing against the talented linebacker group will be several impressive running backs. Shaquell Jackson of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall was slowed by an injury in recent months, but will try and use the event as a jumpstart to his recruiting process. His teammate, 2014's Kahlil Lewin, is an very powerfully built prospect, especially for his age. Utilizing his strong lower body, Lewin is still deceptively quick, and had a great burst.
Also coming from Brooklyn is Michael Abanikanda of Thomas Jefferson High. With previous stops at the Army All-American Combine and the Nike Camp at Rutgers, Abanikanda has the experience and talent to shine at this event.
Malik Golden, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, of Cheshire (Conn.) Academy is another player who has seen a serious increase of interest over the last month. The athlete will likely work out at wide receiver during the event, where he should be able to showcase his speed, athleticism and size. Coming from Rhode Island, Davon Robertson of St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket will be one of the top tight end prospects at the event. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Robertson was already able to impress at a Badger Sport 7-on-7 event in New Jersey back in February.
On the offensive line, Tim Donahue of Farmindale (N.J.) Howell and Tyler Loring of West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial are the types of players who have the potential, size and skill set to gather a number of offers during the spring evaluation and summer camp season.
For more information about attending the camp, e-mail Mike Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.