Rivals Camp Series D.C.: Prospects now on the radar
ALDIE, Va. – The cream rose to the top at the Washington D.C.-area stop of the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas, with multiple five-stars taking MVP honors. There were still, however, several under-the-radar prospects who made a name for themselves on Sunday.
Rakim Jarrett was one of the five-stars who ultimately won his position MVP honors, but he was almost beat out for that award by a little-known sophomore from Baltimore. Austin is a slight-framed receiver who weighed in at just 147 pounds, but he posted a big performance on Sunday. Using quickness and superb route-running skills to create separation, Austin caught every good ball thrown his way. He also showed surprising strength, out-muscling several defensive backs for catches where the ball was not thrown in the right spot.
At 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, Baldwin is a smaller defensive back geared more toward the nickel, which would allow him the opportunity to make a lot of plays as he did during Sunday's camp. The 2021 prospect holds early offers from Rutgers and Tennessee, and has frequented Knoxville quite a bit. He showed the type of anticipation and ability to break on balls that would translate well to the SEC.
A 2021 defensive end that grabbed my attention was Gilliam, who at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds showed some really impressive highlights rushing off the edge. Gilliam is assembling a strong offer sheet with overtures from Michigan, Michigan State and Pitt, among others. He is explosive off the ball and beat some of the top upperclassmen tackles he lined up against in the showcase.
In a camp that featured plenty of big linemen, Green was the biggest. Impressive considering the 6-foot-7, 389-pound offensive linemen is still just a sophomore. Young offensive linemen who grow that quickly tend to be awkward, but Green looks comfortable in his frame and moves very well for a player of his size. He will need to work on lateral quickness and polishing the finer points of the position, but colleges are going to flock to his school for a player with his athleticism at that size.
The best tight end at the camp, Hibner was a relative unknown heading into the weekend. Standing over 6-foot-3 and close to 220-pounds, Hibner looked like a terrific receiving tight end. He is pretty fast for a player that size and linebacker had a tough time keeping up. When you also consider how big his catch radius is, it's no wonder quarterbacks loved getting paired up with him. Expect college coaches to take a closer look at Hibner.
Hunter's offer sheet is littered with small-school and a few Power Five offers, but had some nice reps during one-on-ones. He's undersized at about 6-foot and 300 pounds, but he flashed good technique and an effective swim move, which I think will do the 2020 defensive tackle well moving forward.
The 2020 wide receiver holds offers from Southern Miss and Rutgers, but was one of the top-performing pass catchers during Sunday's event. Time and time again, James showed off an ability to adjust well to off-the-mark passes and make contested catches down the sideline. I was impressed with his hands and his entire body of work.
The most interesting story to come out of the weekend in Washington, D.C. was that of Kalonji, a recent Congo emigrant who holds 14 scholarship offers despite never having played a down of organized football. Obviously Kolanji is on someone’s radar to have earned 14 scholarship offers, but he was not a prospect known to the wider recruiting world before this weekend and did not have a Rivals profile before appearing at the Rivals adizero Combine on Saturday. Kolanji is undoubtedly raw, but he also is undoubtedly skilled and will be a fun prospect to watch develop in the coming years.
One quarterback who impressed was Williams, and he may have taken the most reps of any signal-caller in attendance. The Maryland 2020 passer has some mechanical issues that can be worked out, but throws a good ball with great accuracy and continually came up with some of the better highlight-reel passes of the day. While I'd like to see Williams improve his throwing motion, which I think would lead to more consistent "good" throws, it's very clear he has good arm strength and anticipation. Navy and Notre Dame of Ohio are his first two offers.
Just a freshman, Williams has the skillset to develop into one of the better interior linemen on the east coast. On Sunday he did a great job of holding up against older, bigger, and fast defensive linemen. Baylor, Rutgers and Virginia have already offered Williams but don't be surprised when you see his recruitment hit another gear.