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Rivals Camp Series Atlanta: How Sunday will impact the rankings

ATLANTA – The Rivals Camp Series hit Atlanta over the weekend and there were plenty of top prospects in attendance. With the event in the books, Rivals national recruiting analyst John Garcia Jr. takes a look at the impact some performances could have on rankings.

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MORE FROM ATLANTA: WR/TE Rumor Mill | RB Rumor Mill | QB Rumor Mill | Breaking down Julian Lewis' performance | Garcia's Takeaways | Position MVPs | Christian Garrett interview | Julian Lewis interview | Darrell Johnson interview | Top performers from the Rivals Combine Series

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CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | State

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NO. 1 WON'T BE EASY TO UNSEAT

The more the conversation at the top of the Rivals250 continues, the more it stays the same at the top. Ever since reclassifying to the 2025 cycle, Julian Lewis has not only held on to his No. 1 quarterback ranking, but he’s been tabbed as the top-ranked prospect nationally. This spring, Rivals has been able to see him in action on multiple occasions and just like he showed Sunday in Atlanta – Lewis just has ‘it.’

That subjective term relative to the quarterback position has evolved over the years, but Lewis shares some common traits with top prospects at the position despite his youth (he’ll enroll at his college of choice at 17 come January). While there isn’t an overwhelming physical power trait to his name, just about every other element of quarterbacking includes something Lewis already does well. From mechanics to processing and even literally growing since we saw him in the fall – measuring in at about 6-foot-1, 187 pounds Sunday – Lewis feels like a safe bet.

Campers joked and jeered toward Lewis taking home Quarterback MVP honors on Sunday, another sign of success, and he offered a short smirk in getting his hands on the trophy. The passer known for ball distribution, anticipation, timing and accuracy has a quiet confidence about him that can grow on you, too. Looking back at previous top-ranked quarterbacks and especially at No. 1 NFL Draft picks at the position such as Bryce Young, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Jared Goff and others, we’re starting to see more and more in common with Lewis and the group than before.

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GOLD BALL WINNERS SHOULD LEAD TO SWIFT RATINGS

Samuel Turner
Samuel Turner

At these events we’re often asked about the awards process and what goes into it. The answer is simple: It’s about the camp. Best performers will be lifted up, especially if they maintain that status when Rivals Camp Series events get to the showcase portion of the camp to wrap up the competition. As usual, more under the radar names contended with known commodities and it will help accelerate the ratings and/or rankings process for the few who made a statement.

Three come to mind immediately following the Atlanta Rivals Camp, each winning Gold Ball awards for competing well enough at their position to earn MVP consideration. The most obvious of the group was Samuel Turner, the Peach State wideout who has seen his offer list multiply early this year. It didn’t take long to see him winning reps at all three levels, executing smooth routes and finishing with strong hands in the process. He has a great frame at a verified 6-foot-1, near 200-pound build and he used it to win at the top of the route and at the catch point. Turner broke out at a 7-on-7 in February and took the next step at the Rivals Camp.

Two more under the radar prospects are hitting their recruiting stride just as they turned heads in Atlanta. Quatorius Walker worked with some of the most urgency throughout the camp. He was hungry for reps at linebacker and impressed in every camp setting, even getting a one-on-one rep with Super Bowl champion Brandon Jacobs after a dominant performance in the cat and mouse drill. Walker was steady in coverage en route to his own Gold Ball and he has already added to his offer list since camp broke. Walker’s offers are on the Power Four bubble at the moment.

The path has been similar for Gold Ball winner and Moody (Ala.) quarterback Charlie Johnston, who stood tall and delivered some downfield strikes despite the cold and wet conditions.

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INTERIOR LINEMEN PROVING WORTH

Kail Ellis
Kail Ellis

The offensive line group was plenty stout to kick off the event on Sunday, especially among the interior projections. Positional MVP and Auburn commitment Kail Ellis worked a great base and redirection technique at center, guard and even tackle despite adding good bulk to his frame at 6-foot-4, 305 pounds. His teammate and fellow Cass (Ga.) High School star Bear McWhorter, an Arkansas commitment, also has a potential tackle build though he worked most comfortably inside.

Another in the running for an award Sunday was a 2026 talent in Zykie Helton, the one-time Alabama commitment who looked like he had the best footwork of the entire bunch. Already tabbed as the No. 1 center in the class, Helton continues to show off his quickness and pop this offseason despite working at 251 pounds following considerable weight loss due to Crohn’s disease. Georgia appears to be the leader for the in-state star, who continues to win battles against bigger rushers despite his new and compact frame.

A pair of out-of-state participants in the class of 2025 worked multiple positions but look more like road grater guards come college in Jamin Brown and Michael Dean. Brown decommitted from Baylor on Saturday as Vanderbilt and others push while Dean holds a half dozen offers ahead of what should be a big spring for the 317-pounder at Wellington (Fla.) Palm Beach Central.

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RUNNING BACK MVP SHOWS OFF LAYERS

Bo Walker
Bo Walker

The running back group Sunday included a wide variety of body types and play styles, making for good competition against a stacked linebacker group into the afternoon. As the pass coverage portion of the competition rolled on, though, Bo Walker separated himself from the group and was named Running Back MVP of the Atlanta Rivals Camp for the second-straight spring.

Walker has been a mainstay at state power Cedar Grove High School as a balanced, leverage-savvy back who isn’t easy to corral in the wash or in space. But the Georgia commitment continues to show he can do much more in the passing game, whether blocking competitively despite his 5-foot-8 height. Now up over 210 pounds, he is stout – yet still swift.

As a route-runner, it was tough for Walker to be contained and he finished through the football despite the conditions. He later showed off better top-end speed than expected with some easy downfield wins, even taking some reps as a slot receiver with similar success. Perhaps long overdue, Walker will be under consideration as an all-purpose back in the next rankings update.

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FIVE MORE STOCK UP PERFORMANCES

Already a blue-chip cornerback projection, we missed some live evaluations of Arnoux because of an ankle injury he dealt with in 2023. The former Tennessee commitment is back at it and it didn’t take long to notice him at work Sunday, where his combination of length and instincts put a lot of pressure on receivers at the line of scrimmage and at the catch point.

Arnoux equally impressed with his long speed and ball skills, all combining for a near MVP effort for the modern boundary cornerback projection.

Blackshear was one of the most impressive recruits on the hoof at nearly 6-foot-1, 200 pounds and his play took the conversation that way soon after. Sure, he won with power at the catch point and in coming out of his breaks, but Blackshear also worked third level wins in which he stacked smaller and faster defensive backs as well.

With more room to fill out and strong hands, he is overdue for a move up the ranking ladder.

We’re not settled on the positional debate for the NFL legacy, who worked as a speedy edge on Sunday, but the pass-rushing ability is undeniable for Britt. The 2026 prospect is compact and likely to work off of the football at the collegiate level, but there is twitch and savvy present in how Britt gets after tackles. He bends to quickly for bigger tackles and he also works with an intriguing level of pound-for-pound power at just over 6-foot, 212 pounds.

Cain was able to make a dent in some of the best blockers’ records Sunday with his wide variety of activity in coming off the ball. He is quick on his tweener 6-foot-2, 265-pound frame, able to win with a near 6-foot-6 wingspan on his extension or with some of his power combinations.


One of several prospects who made the trek from the Miami area, White was another skill player who racked up wins against strong competition. The Maryland commitment, who is still being courted by many, has a 6-foot-5 wingspan and he used it to reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage and make up ground thereafter. White also impressed with his patience despite a big frame, almost serving as a counter to his own aggression, yet effectively helping to get pass catchers off balance all the same.

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