Rivals Camp Series Charlotte: The Friedman Awards
FORT MILL, S.C. -- The Charlotte edition of the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas is in the books. After evaluating the talent on hand on Sunday, take a look at the Friedman Awards.
STOCK UP - TRENTON SIMPSON
Trenton Simpson is already fairly high in the Rivals250 but his performance warrants a move up the rankings. He is every bit the 6-foot-3 he is listed and played fast and physically. A player with his skill set is a great fit in a number of defensive schemes and that flexibility is very valuable to college coaches. Simpson’s patience and explosiveness helped him excel in every stage of Sunday’s camp.
Alex Huntley is also in the Rivals250 but isn’t ranked as highly as he should be. His quickness at the snap was very impressive for a defensive tackle and he showed of some advanced hand techniques. Offensive lineman Trai Jones earned an invitation to Sunday’s camp after standing out at the Rivals adizero Combine presented by adidas on Saturday and he didn’t disappoint. He is as strong as they come and did a great job staying patient in his pass set while knocking defenders off balance with his punch. He will be adding a rating soon. Anthony Carter is another offensive lineman that impressed. He moved great for a player of his size and did a nice job of keeping defenders at a distance using his long arms.
NEXT UP - DRAKE MAYE
Drake Maye already has a long list of offers already and he has been steadily improving as he’s gotten older. The towering quarterback has a big arm and has no problem firing passes to any corner of the field. Mechanically, Maye doesn’t waste much movement and the ball really jumps off his hand. He was one of the two best quarterbacks at the camp on Sunday and he will be one of the more coveted quarterbacks in the 2021 class.
The 2021 class in North Carolina looks very good and it’s led by DeAndre Boykins (running back MVP), Evan Pryor, Gabe Stephens, and Will Shipley. Boykins was outstanding on Sunday. His shiftiness, explosiveness, and great hands propelled him to a MVP performance. Right on his heels was Pryor. He has very good hands and much of what he does looks effortless. Stephens is a versatile prospect that started his career as a cornerback before moving to safety and now a full-time linebacker. He has a long frame and his speed really gave him an edge. There is a ton to like about Shipley but this versatile offensive weapons can line up in the backfield or slot and be a mismatch for whoever guards him because he is so fast.
THE BEAST - DEMONTE CAPEHART
This award goes to the guy who may not have the best technique but he beats up his opponents with his size, strength, and plays with reckless abandon. That is exactly what Capehart did on Sunday. The Rivals100 Clemson commit has a huge frame that is filled out well but he doesn’t carry much bad weight. He has a ton of upper body strength and used his big arms to swat the hands of would-be-blockers off of him. On one rep during one-on-ones he connected with an offensive lineman’s shoulder instead of his elbow or wrist and the offensive lineman went flying to the side.
Darryle Ware holds an offer from Coastal Carolina and some Power Five schools are keeping an eye on him but more offers are in his future if he keeps playing like he did on Sunday. The 6-foot-2 linebacker was almost overly physical during the tackle-fit drills and during the one-on-one portion of the camp, he made a living knocking running backs off their routes, disrupting their timing with quarterbacks. Freshman defensive tackle Kaevon Freshwater has above average size for a player that young but his quickness was really eye-catching. He exploded out of his stance on every rep and ran through the arms of the offensive lineman on multiple occasions.
BRIGHT FUTURE - RAHEIM JETER
This award is for a player that is a freshman or younger that looks like a guy that will eventually be a household name. Even casual football fans know who the best quarterbacks are and Raheim Jeter has the physical gifts and skill set to put him on that track. Currently in 8th grade, Jeter already holds an offer from Memphis and they will probably end up looking smart for being the first to offer him. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback has plenty of arm strength and he delivers accurate passes on a consistent basis.
As mentioned above, Freshwater has the potential to end up a national recruit. He saw his brother, Traveon Freshwater, go through the recruiting process before ending up at East Carolina. Wide receiver Jaleel Skinner caught everybody’s attention when he walked through registration. The freshman from Greer, S.C. is close to 6-foot-6, 200-pounds and his arms are so long he can basically tie his shoes without bending at the waist. He was a really tough matchup for any defensive back he matched up with during one-on-ones. Don’t forget the name Nemo Squire either. This freshman running back is on the short side but he is already muscle-bound and is as twitchy as they come. He gave linebackers fits in the open field.
FANCY FEET - DEANDRE BOYKINS
Boykins, the running back MVP from Sunday, made linebackers look silly during one-on-ones as they tried to keep up with his routes. They subtle, quick steps his takes coming out of his stance and going into his cuts had defenders’ heads spinning. Unsurprisingly, Boykins had no problems creating separation for quarterbacks to easily get him the ball with room to run after the catch. Boykins was very fast during the bag drills in the beginning of camp and rarely took a false step.
It’s not often you hear of a defensive lineman that has fancy feet but Rivals250 defensive end Jacolbe Cowan pulled off a few spin moves during one-on-ones that really surprised some people. The nimble big man had no problems quickly changing directions and keeping offensive linemen off him. Even though Twan Flip measured in a 5-foot-5, 145-pounds there was barely anybody that could keep up with him in the open field. He may be small but his speed footwork are top notch.