RCS Indianapolis: How Rivals camp, other events will impact rankings
Last weekend featured a couple major events around the country. The Rivals Camp Series event in Indianapolis drew some of the best prospects in the nation, while other players made their way to different events.
Rivals.com analysts Nick Harris and Adam Friedman take a look at the important rankings-related questions developing through all of the live camp evaluations.
MORE RCS INDY: Prospects that are now on the radar | Analysts' commitment predictions | Teams that should be pleased | Prospects' commitment predictions | Recruiting Rumor Mill | Awards from Indianapolis | Positional MVPs | Combine stars
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series
MORE RESPECT FOR THE MIDWEST
Rightfully so or not, the Midwest is often referred to as "flyover country" but there were plenty of players at the Indianapolis Rivals Camp on Sunday that would make anybody stop and pay attention. All of the MVPs turned in impressive performances but at the top of that list is Rivals250 defensive back Amare Snowden. He looked underrated based on his performance this past weekend and the dual-sport star wasn't even 100-percent healthy.
Baseball could be a big part of his future and it was easy to see some of those skills come through over the weekend. Snowden covers a ton of ground in the secondary but he is such a smooth runner that he doesn't get enough credit for how explosive he can be. Like an outfielder on the baseball diamond, Snowden tracked the ball in the air extremely well and it helped him get his hands on the ball more than a few times.
After seeing three-star receiver Fredrick Moore, three-star defensive back Cameron Calhoun and four-star offensive lineman Paris Patterson, it's puzzling why they haven't gotten more national attention. Moore has an impressive offer sheet but he'll be moving up the priority list for college coaches once they take a closer look at his film from Sunday. He has good size, soft hands and has great overall speed and explosiveness. Calhoun is a name college coaches are familiar with but the West Virginia commit should see an uptick in interest soon. The defensive back was very active on Sunday and competed on every rep.
If Patterson plays the rest of his high school career like he did on Sunday, he'll be able to choose to play for any college he wants. The guard from East St. Louis, Ill. Was outstanding in pass protection and nearly won the MVP award. Patterson looked to be in decent enough shape but certainly moved laterally with ease and his heavy hands stopped oncoming defensive linemen in their tracks.
Quarterback Zane Flores, a three-star committed to Oklahoma State, also deserves recognition here. He made everything look easy and was really the only quarterback that stayed largely on target despite the windy conditions.
HOT AND COLD WEEKEND FOR UNDERCLASSMEN IN INDY
A lot of underclassmen impressed on Sunday, many of whom performed better than the upperclassmen. Receivers I'Marion Stewart, Nicholas Marsh and Jeremiah McClellan are all slotted fairly close together in the 2024 Rivals250 and each of them performed up to or very close to their ranking. Their playing styles are also very similar. None of them are huge receivers and each of them have above average speed and explosiveness. They catch the ball consistently, using their hands instead of their bodies. Marsh is a little bit of a long strider and seem a little less refined than the other two when it comes to his route running skills but he still had no problems creating separation.
The bread and butter for the Midwest are the offensive and defensive linemen produced there and they did not disappoint on Sunday. Rivals250 defensive lineman Brandon Davis-Swain committed to Notre Dame the day before camp and he had a stellar showing. The versatile prospect probably would have won the MVP award had he tweaked a muscle during 1-on-1s. He can rush off the edge but has the technique and strength and play all across the line. Rivals250 defensive tackle Eddie Tuerk is the prototypical strong-as-an-ox Midwest defensive tackle that plays with a mean streak and tosses offensive linemen aside. He could easily end up on the offensive line at some point in his career and have just as much, if not more success. Write down the names Ethan Utley and Amir Leonard-Jean Charles. Both are 2025 defensive linemen with a ton of upside and will be national recruits by the end of the year.
On the other end of the spectrum, a couple underclassmen that arrived with high expectations left us wanting more. Rivals250 prospects Tayvion Galloway, Amari Jefferson and Isaiah Marshall are well-known 2024 prospects who have had solid performances at other events this offseason but they did not look comfortable against the level of competition they faced on Sunday. Galloway, in particular, has made headlines throughout the spring but he had a difficult time finding his rhythm. The linebackers and defensive backs blanketed him most of the day so he had a tough time reeling in catches. Jefferson and Marshall have plenty of potential but the windy conditions and tight coverage from defensive backs made it a long day for them.
BIG MAN, BIG EXPECTATIONS
There was a lot of excitement among the analysts to see Miles McVay workout on Sunday. The No. 56 prospect in the Rivals250 has made waves throughout his career and posted plenty of highlight plays. He did the same on Sunday, tossing defenders around and enforcing his will against the linemen trying to get by him. The beauty and value of the spring camp season is getting to see highly rated players from all over the country compete in similar drills against other top end prospects.
McVay isn't the first nor will he be the last highly ranked offensive lineman that participates in the Rivals Camp Series this spring and there have been others ranked lower than him that have performed better and look as though they are ahead of him from a development standpoint. McVay isn't shy about competing during the offseason so there will surely be other opportunities for him to showcase his skills and show why he should remain one of the highest ranked players in this class.
OBSERVATIONS FROM A LOADED WEEK AROUND THE LONE STAR STATE
Some of the region’s best young talent worked out this past Sunday and Lake Belton (Texas) 2024 four-star wide receiver Micah Hudson made his presence known in a big way. He showed flashes of former fellow Central Texas elite pass-catcher Garrett Wilson. Having a conversation about the top prospect in Texas in the 2024 class without mentioning Hudson would be criminal.
It’s going to be a big “prove-it” season for Willis (Texas) 2024 four-star quarterback DJ Lagway as he continues to show steady improvement in his throwing mechanics and footwork as the offseason goes on. With a nice weaponry finally around him for his junior season, Lagway will have the opportunity to prove his high ranking.
Silsbee (Texas) 2024 four-star wide receiver Dre'lon Miller got major headlines and rightfully so after a strong performance that featured his physical play and elite separation and vertical ability. His physical profile allows for some versatility and potentially running back or somewhere on defense. A true athlete status could be in the works if he decides to take that route.
A PAIR OF THREE-STARS ON THE RISE
Two 2023 three-star prospects that could be on the verge of earning their fourth stars include Friendswood (Texas) outside linebacker Braylan Shelby and Galena Park (Texas) North Shore linebacker/safety hybrid Jayven Anderson. Each possesses great athletic ability for their respective positions and backed it up with their physical play on the field from 2021. Shelby has a twitch in movement that makes life difficult for opposing offensive lines when he rushes the passer while Anderson’s positional versatility makes him an invaluable asset at the next level.