MORE UNDERCLASSMEN CHALLENGE: Full coverage
The bulk of the roster for the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge will feature prospects from the class of 2014, but class of 2015 prospects who have already emerged as likely Division I players have also been invited. Here is a look at 10 to know heading into this weekend's event in Dallas.
Rivals Underclassmen Challenge: Top 2015 prospects to watch
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RB Rodney Anderson, Katy, Texas
When four-star running back Adam Taylor went down with a season-ending injury in the opening game of the 2011 season, the opportunity arose for Anderson to make his mark early for the class 5A power. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Anderson responded by posting 1,169 yards and 16 touchdowns against the top competition in Texas. Alabama is already looking and Anderson has connections with the Crimson Tide.
CB Andrew Ashley, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel
With prospects such as Louis Young, Blake Countess and Kendall Fuller recently coming out of the Washington, D.C., area school, Good Counsel is becoming known as a consistent producer of top defensive back talent. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Ashley is looking like the next big thing at the position for the Falcons. Learning from the likes of Fuller this fall will undoubtedly help his game.
QB Michael O'Connor, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor School
A native of Ottawa, Canada, O'Connor is transferring to the Baylor School in Tennessee for the 2012 season to improve his game and visibility. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound signal caller is already one of the most visible prospects in the 2015 class, sporting offers from Michigan State, Mississippi State, Toledo, Buffalo and Akron. O'Connor has been active on the camp scene this summer, and contributes to a strong crop of passers headed to Dallas.
TE Kyle Penniston, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
The tight end position is making a resurgence in college football, and that is evidenced in the recruitment of the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Penniston. He picked up his first scholarship offer of the process last month from Florida State after its coaches had a chance to see him work out during the spring evaluation period. Penniston already has great size for the position, and he has shown in other camps this summer he has the hands and athleticism for the position.
LB Sherrod Pittman, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast
There may not be a rising sophomore in the state of Florida who has created as much early buzz as the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Pittman. Florida State and UCF have already offered, and all the big-name programs in the South know his name. Pittman will complete in a linebacker corps at First Coast this fall that also features Florida commit Daniel McMillian and Florida State commit Tyrell Lyons.
OL Zach Rogers, Lewisville (Tex.) Hebron
It is a rarity to see freshmen starting at the class 5A level in the state of Texas, especially along the offensive line where size and technical development takes longer to achieve than other positions. That makes the emergence of the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Rogers this past fall for Hebron High all the more impressive. He will get a chance to further his development this weekend in Dallas by facing some of the nation's top defensive linemen.
RB Jordan Scarlett, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School
Scarlett plays in a pass-heavy offense at University School and splits carries with rising junior Lajuan Hunt, but people around the University School program who get a chance to watch the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Scarlett in practice on a regular basis say this kid is going to be big-time. He'll get plenty of opportunities to showcase his skill set in Dallas, and strengthen the buzz that is already growing about his game.
OL Tyree St. Louis, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Tech
The state of Florida does not produce a ton of big-time offensive line talent compared with other positions in the field, so when a player such as St. Louis comes along with the size, the frame and the makings of elite Division I talent, people take notice. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound tackle prospect already boasts an early scholarship offer from Arkansas State, and he'll be able to cement his standing as a rising star in the 2015 class this weekend.
QB Ricky Town, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Southern California has produced so many good quarterbacks over the years that everyone is on the lookout for the next passer from that region. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Town just may be that prospect in the class of 2015. He is already drawing attention from schools all the way out on the East Coast, and his size and skill set appear capable of setting him up to lead the crop of quarterbacks in Southern California for the class of 2015.
LB R.J. Williams, Hooks, Texas
Williams was named Newcomer of the Year in his East Texas district as a freshman after posting 63 tackles and two sacks from his linebacker position in 2011. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Williams still has plenty of physical growth and development ahead of him, but he already shows outstanding strength and he runs well. Those who have seen him say he is the real deal, and he'll showcase that potential this weekend in Dallas.
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