Rivals Camp Series Philly: Teams that should be pleased
The seventh stop of the Rivals Camp Series was in the Philadelphia area last weekend at Coatesville High and a bunch of top regional prospects showed out. Here are the five teams that should be pleased, based on what recruits said and how top targets and commits performed.
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Coach Jeff Hafley’s name was mentioned often by top recruits at the camp as Samson Okunlola recently visited campus and three-star wide receiver commit Jaedn Skeete was one of the best players at the event as well.
Another player to watch moving forward who is receiving national attention and who is from New England is Brookline (Mass.) Dexter 2024 offensive tackle Liam Andrews, who needs to add weight but could be a star player down the line. Hafley has put the Eagles back on the map and players across the Northeast have taken notice.
A lot of the best prospects at the camp had plenty of positive things to say about Michigan, including the two best offensive linemen there in four-star Samson Okunlola and 2024 No. 1 offensive guard Jordan Seaton. Okunlola might take an official to Ann Arbor, although he wasn’t giving away any details on his destinations, and Seaton had the Wolverines, along with Oklahoma and Oregon, high on his list.
Tosin Babalade, Kenneth Woseley, Michael Van Buren and Kyle Altuner were some others that had positive things to say about the Wolverines.
Numerous high-level prospects in the 2023 and 2024 classes talked highly of the Nittany Lions during the weekend. That’s not surprising, given the camp was less than three hours from State College, but it was striking that almost every recruit we talked to mentioned Penn State as a serious contender in their recruitment.
Omillio Agard, Stone Saunders, Kevyn Humes and Kyle Altuner were only a few, and standout 2024 QB Michael Van Buren said some of his best relationships were with the coaches there. Winning in-state and regional recruiting battles - and not letting SEC teams in the door - is key for the Nittany Lions if they want to make a run to a Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff.
Only a few years ago, not many of the top players at a Rivals camp even regionally were speaking highly of Rutgers, but that has clearly changed and it was evident this past weekend. Three-star commit Yazeed Haynes was arguably the best receiver at the event, as he showed off speed, length and playmaking ability, and interior offensive lineman John Stone backed down from no one. The Sewell (N.J.) Washington Township standout was always looking to battle a defensive tackle.
Many of the top prospects from the Philly area and into New Jersey spoke highly of the job the Scarlet Knights are doing and the turnaround that coach Greg Schiano is managing there.
Richard James, a 2024 three-star defensive tackle from Camden, N.J., was at Sunday’s camp and by Tuesday afternoon he was committed to West Virginia. He might not be the only prospect from that high school to pick the Mountaineers as four-star DE James Heard has West Virginia high on his list, along with Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Heard was the best edge rusher at the event, and he loves the defense in Morgantown.
So many others either mentioned coach Neal Brown’s program or have offers there, including three-star DB Saboor Karriem from West Orange, N.J., who could be one of the biggest sleepers in the Northeast.