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Rivals Recap: RCS New Orleans

JEFFERSON, La. – Stop three of the 2016 Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour was in the New Orleans area. Sunday’s event drew talent from a number of different states and attracted some high-profile prospects with reputations, as well as some lesser-known players looking to make names for themselves. Below are news and notes on some of the day’s most impressive individual performances.

MORE: Live from New Orleans | Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour



Florida-based offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood justified his Rivals100 rating by dominating lineman one-on-one work. Leatherwood was a brand name of sorts heading into the camp and backed up his reputation by winning all but one rep during the competition. The camp’s offensive line MVP, Leatherwood could play guard or tackle at Alabama but might project best as a guard. He has a thick build with incredibly power. As he learns to polish his technique and clean up his footwork, Leatherwood could be an All-SEC type player. Leatherwood helped his already sky-high stock on Sunday.

Running back Cam Akers, who recently backed off his pledge to Alabama, also justified his lofty ranking on Sunday. Akers took home the event’s running back MVP award after shining in one-on-one work. Akers’ size and speed make him hard to cover in the flat, and the burst he showed devastated any linebacker that attempted to cover him down field. The Mississippi-based Akers is a complete back who is just as dangerous catching the ball as he is carrying it out of the backfield.

Four-star receiver DeVonta Smith holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia LSU and Ole Miss. On Sunday, he showed why he has such options. The day’s wide receiver MVP, Smith was consistently impressive from start to finish, shining in drills before making a number of spectacular plays in one-on-ones. Smith has long arms that make him seem bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame, he also crates separation with sharp cuts.


Offensive tackle Nick Brahms arrived at the event with little fanfare and a few scholarship offers. The Navarre (Fla.) tackle nearly walked away with MVP honors anyway. Brahms was edged out by Leatherwood at the last minute but was in the thick of the MVP discussion all afternoon. Brahms has an incredibly strong base and the kind of raw upper-body strength that coaches love. His footwork is pretty developed for a prospect of his age and he was as effective as the much higher-ranked Leatherwood, even if he doesn’t have the same massive size.

A three-star prospect, Michael Lee used Sunday’s camp to show he might be undervalued. He turned in a performance that saw him make at least two interceptions and jam a handful of receivers at the line. Lee shined in coverage and showed the kind of quickness that allows him to recover from most minor mistakes. At 5-foot-11, Lee has good-enough length and looks smooth in a backpedal.


Alabama-based quarterback Jacob Free took home the day’s quarterback MVP award. Free, who has impressive height, seemed to get better as the day progressed. His has a strong arm and seemed to develop more and more touch as he got into a groove. After an uneven start, Free was more consistent than any quarterback in attendance during the event’s second half. Louisville, Temple, Troy and others have extended scholarship offers to Free.

The day’s linebacker MVP award went to Memphis (Tenn.) Whitehaven High's Aubrey Miller, who moves incredibly well and boasts a frame equipped with long arms. Miller was solid in coverage and showed an ability to move well laterally. Miller’s strength is his versatility, which will only improve as he adds more muscle. Defensive line MVP honors went to Morris Joseph Jr.