Rivals Camp Series New Orleans: The Spiegelman Awards
HARVEY, La. -- The Rivals 3 Stripe Camp Series presented by adidas in South Louisiana is in the books. After evaluating the talent on hand in New Orleans on Sunday, here are the Spiegelman Awards.
There are multiple prospects deserving of top honors, but Moore was unstoppable at Sunday’s camp. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest receiver, but he often shows off his elite athleticism, explosiveness out of the breaks and precise footwork, which allows him to easily separate from defensive backs and make athletic grabs down the field. A Rivals100 prospect, Moore’s stock remains on the rise as he heads to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas this summer. He’ll have a chance to ride this momentum against elite competition in Atlanta and further climb the rankings.
Johnson has been a well-known name in the Baton Rouge area for years, but he showed up to New Orleans with improved footwork. That allows the three-star to run crisp routes and make some spectacular grabs, particularly in the red-zone drills. Johnson, affectionately known as “Tonk,” has early offers from Texas A&M, Tennessee, Memphis and Louisiana Tech, but I expect his stock to rise when spring ball arrives. Coaches will see a bigger, more polished pass-catcher with some game-breaking moves in the return game at Southern Lab.
Normally the middle man on the John Ehret defense, a slimmer version of Jenkins lined up at four- and five-technique on Sunday and was very impressive in the trenches. The diet version was quicker off the ball with some great pass-rushing moves and some speed to get around the edge or beat tackles inside. Jenkins plays close to 300 pounds, and at that weight he can overpower opposing linemen at defensive tackle. The lighter version on Sunday showed his range at a defensive lineman.
Just a class of 2021 prospect, Williams is putting himself into rarefied air early on this spring. At 6-foot-2, the safety boasts a freakish wingspan that he uses to his advantage in these camp settings. Williams moves very well for his size, showing shades of current LSU safety Grant Delpit as a big coverage safety that is also very physical in the run game. Williams covered over the top and in the slot on Sunday and didn’t miss a beat.
In a loaded group of receivers in Louisiana’s 2021 class, Knox stole the show on Sunday. The Southern Lab pass-catcher was a force in the red zone, running great routes and making plays for his quarterback on difficult routes. Sue, Knox has a few drops here and there, but he made up for it with excellent footwork in the corner of the end zone and on routes. He’s consistently getting better at his craft and offers from Tennessee, Arizona State and Colorado are his early Power Five offers.
Deciding a defensive back MVP wasn’t an easy task. Vance, an Arkansas pledge, took home the hardware after putting forth his most impressive camp effort to date. Vance shadowed receivers up and down the field, broke on shorter routes and covered well down the field.
Morris takes home The Brick award because, simply, he was a brick to opposing defensive linemen all day. He was too strong for defensive ends and moved well laterally for speedy edge-rushers. He didn’t miss a beat. Morris is going to be in the five-star conversation because blind side protectors of his caliber don’t come around often.
Van Pran is the No. 3 guard in the country and plays center for Warren Easton, but no matter where you plug the Rivals250 lineman in, he continues to shine. Van Pran packed a powerful first punch in linemen one-on-ones and showed off his ability to move backward with ease and protect. The versatility and the fluid movement were among the traits that earned Van Pran a ticket to the Five-Star Challenge.
Roy showed up to New Orleans about 15 or 20 pounds lighter than his typical playing weight and played with a different game. Usually, a defensive tackle that’ll overpower people in the trenches, the Rivals250 tackle used technique and speed to get by opposing interior linemen on Sunday, showing off a whole new aspect in his arsenal. He showed up at 286 pounds at the camp and his quickness was noticed.
Add West to your notebook for the 2022 class. The soon-to-be sophomore defensive tackle has grown-man strength and overpowered several upperclassmen during Sunday’s camp. For a 329-pounder, West moves very well and is athletic for his size. He holds an early offer from Colorado and several other Power Five teams have him on their radar, including LSU.
LSU seems to be set at the quarterback position for years to come with Finley on deck. The big pocket passer made some spectacular throws throughout Sunday’s camp and it’s evident he can make every throw in the playbook. What stands out is how he commands a huddle and works with his pass-catchers, which will pay dividends down the road. Finley has a big arm and can rifle passes in, but perhaps his most impressive trait is the touch he throws on certain routes.
If you have not heard of Ibieta yet, then listen up. The New Orleans three-sport athlete is a very athletic quarterback that turned heads on Sunday with some great throws. He shows great anticipation and can put the ball right on target. He’s tall and has a feel for the position. Tulane and Northwestern State are his early offers, but more schools will come calling this spring.
Jackson is an early LSU defensive line commitment out of North Louisiana. He’s 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds -- and may be a nice get for Ed Orgeron. However, we tested Jackson out at left tackle during one-on-ones, and while he was a little green, his long reach and natural athleticism showed in pass protection. It was only five or six reps on the offensive side of the ball, but Jackson’s future might just be at tackle, which would solve a lot of the Tigers’ issues up front for years to come.