Rivals Camp Series New Jersey: The Friedman Awards
SOMERSET, N.J. -- The New Jersey 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.
THE PSYCHIC - DARIAN CHESNUT
Chestnut is far from a new face, but he's clearly stepped up his game over the last few months. The 2021 cornerback has plenty of size and strength to handle bigger receivers, but he also has a knack for anticipating the throw. Chestnut was dominant on Sunday because of his ability to jump passes thrown in front of him and bat down passes at the last minute, like he knew what was going to happen ahead of time.
Honorable mention: Much like Chestnut, Tarheeb Still used his instincts to give him an advantage over receivers. He has a bit more length in his arms, so he knocked down a few more passes than Chestnut but didn't haul in as many interceptions. Ronald Holmes was very physical with receivers and disrupted their timing with the quarterbacks on a consistent basis. Keontae Jenkins also has great length but his quickness when breaking on throws set him apart from the rest.
WALKING GIANT - BENNETT PITCHER
Everybody noticed Pitcher when he walked into the camp. At 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, he looked like a future NFL left tackle but instead he was a stand out tight end. With a basketball background, Pitcher has outstanding hands, which he showcased in the bad weather, and is much faster than expected for a massive player. It would be shocking to see him remain a tight end through the rest of his recruitment but seeing his overall athleticism was very impressive.
Honorable mention: The next two biggest players at Sunday’s camp were Parker McQuarrie and Devin Willock. McQuarrie, a UCLA quarterback commit out of New Hampshire, stands 6-foot-7 and weighed in a 230-pounds. He’ll have no problem seeing over the offensive line in Los Angeles or pushing the ball down the field. Willock has gained an inch or two since last year and looked liked he was in much better shape. At 6-foot-5, 355 pounds, there is still work Willock needs to do but he has come a long way.
STOCK UP - ISAIAH RAIKES
Raikes didn’t win defensive line MVP, but he has shown a lot this offseason and seems to be in line for a bump up in the next rankings update. He is strong, quick, and uses some fairly advanced hand techniques to beat the man in front of him. He hasn’t been to a camp this year where he wasn’t one of the best defensive linemen in attendance and that didn’t change on Sunday.
Honorable mention: Still, like Raikes, has excelled in every setting this offseason, camp or 7-on-7 tournament. His instincts, ball skills, and length, not to mention his overall speed, have given plenty of talented receivers and quarterbacks problems. His performance on Sunday added to his improving resume. Jada Byers is well-known in New Jersey for his speed and ball skills. The way he used both in the bad weather on Sunday was impressive. Linebacker Cody Simon is already a four-star but he is putting together a nice case to get back into the Rivals250 on a permanent basis.
MR. CONFIDENCE - KYLE MCCORD
This was probably the deepest quarterback group of any Rivals Camp this year and one of the most impressive in the group is still a sophomore. Ohio State commit Kyle McCord is younger than the other big time quarterbacks that were there on Sunday but he didn’t mind. This award winner went out there on Sunday with all the confidence in the world, in the rain, and didn’t shy away from the competition.
Honorable mention: Raikes quickly saw how much success he was going to have against the interior offensive linemen and took advantage of the opportunity to show off everything he could do. Kenny Mestidor did the same thing. He played defensive end on Sunday and he had some great combinations, stringing together speed and power moves.
FANCY FEET - SHAKHI CARSON
This is a tough award to hand out because there were so many players with great speed and feet at the camp. Carson gets the nod here because of his impressive work during position drills and his consistency in one-on-ones. He excelled running various routes and has plenty of speed to pull away from any linebacker that tries to cover him.
Honorable mention: Speaking of fast receivers, Tedy Afful can get down field in a hurry. If he got a clean break off the line, Afful was more than likely leaving the defensive back behind as he streaked down the field. Rivals100 running back Jalen Berger was outstanding in the position drills portion of the camp. During one-on-ones, Berger had plenty of success, but his crisp route running skills made it look so easy for him.