Rivals Camp Series Atlanta: Simmons' predictions
The Rivals Camp Series presented by adidas kicks off its second half of the 2018 circuit this weekend in Atlanta. Chad Simmons leads up Rivals' team that will be on hand for coverage of the talent-laden stop of the Rivals Camp Series circuit. Here he has five predictions for Sunday's Rivals 3 Stripe Camp.
Webb will dominate
Clay Webb will come out there Sunday with his shorts pulled up and dominate the competition as it seems like he does every time he’s at an event like this. Webb is the No. 1 center and No. 12 overall prospect on Rivals in the 2019 rankings and he is one of those prospects that just doesn’t have many questions or concerns around his game on the next level. He is so strong. He is so stout. He is so driven. He is so hungry. He takes teaching well. He competes so hard. There is a lot to like about Webb and that is why Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee are in pursuit. He is one of those kids that has playing on Sundays written all over him. He was a Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge participant a year ago and he’s likely to be back this year.
2020 signal callers shine
Last year it was Harrison Bailey, who took home the Quarterback MVP award at this camp and he was up against Trevor Lawrence, Matt Corral and Emory Jones. This year, look for the depth at quarterback in Bailey’s class, 2020, to show.
Moving over to Alabama, two very intriguing prospects will be in Atlanta. Kristian Story is already a four-star on Rivals and he recently committed to Tennessee. He is a star at quarterback for Lanett High School, but he is a great athlete who could project at numerous positions in college. Robby Ashford is set to take over at Hoover this year and the big athlete with a canon for an arm could really make a statement with his performance this weekend. He already has offers from schools Georgia and NC State, so the talent is known. He has been a back-up to an upperclassman his first two years, so this will be his year.
CLASS OF 2020: Top 100
Defensive linemen surprise
You always have surprises at each camp. You have new names emerge. You have guys that out-play their ranking. You have a prospect that picks up offers right after his camp performance.
Who will be that guy this year?
Camp recently received his first offer from Tennessee Tech and Georgia reached out to him early last week. Varner has offers from Arkansas State, Buffalo, Tulane and a few others. Fann is still waiting on his first offer.
Camp and Fann are interior guys and Varner is a defensive end. Each will see their offer lists grow in the near future and it could accelerate with a strong camp performance Sunday. Each is strong, each has a motor and each is excited about competing this weekend, so don’t be surprised if one or more in this group performs at a high level.
Tight ends shine
There will be some tough matchups for linebackers and safeties Sunday in Atlanta.
Having to line up to cover Clemson commit Jaelyn Lay, Tyler Fromm, Garmon Randolph or 2020 five-star Arik Gilbert will not be fun. All are very athletic tight ends who can run, who know how to get open and who have size to make plays.
Each is at least 6-feet-5, each has long arms and each is a natural athlete.
We have seen a lot of Lay and Gilbert, so Fromm and Randolph are two that really have a chance to move up the rankings. Fromm has seen his offer list grow in a big way recently with offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, USC and others rolling in. Randolph added offers from Florida State and Penn State last week, so he is on the rise.
Gilbert is one of just a handful of five-stars on Rivals for his class and the scary thing about him is, he may be even better on defense. He is still a raw talent, but his upside is why he’s ranked where he is and why he can pick any school in the country and commit to it at this time.
Mann makes a name for himself
Emmanuel Mann plays at Jordan High School in Columbus (Ga.) and he is one of the most talked about athletes in his area that does not have the offers to match. He has the talent and this weekend could be the start of his coming out party. He should draw a lot of eyes in May, when spring practice starts and his recruitment could go to the next level. Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State have been in contact with Mann and all will have coaches at his school in the coming weeks. He is a quarterback at heart, but he is a true athlete who could end up on either side of the ball. He is a very talented prospect that nobody is talking about that could change that this weekend.