The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas is this weekend with over 100 of the top prospects in the country strutting their stuff and trying to live up to their ranking or earn a better one.
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell lists 10 things he’ll be keeping an eye on at the event.
1. Who comes away as the best quarterback?
Five-star Emory Jones couldn’t make the trip, but the other three 2018 five-stars, Trevor Lawrence, Matt Corral and Justin Fields, will be on hand battling it out for bragging rights. Thrown in high four-star 2019 quarterback Grant Gunnell, a recent Texas A&M commitment, and 2020 star Harrison Bailey, and you have an intriguing group.
2. Can Amon-Ra dominate?
Amon-Ra St. Brown has been as dominant as a player can be on the camp and 7-on-7 circuit to the point where many of our analysts think he’s a shoe-in for the MVP Award at his position before a pass is even thrown. St. Brown recently moved to No. 1 in the state of California and No. 1 at wide receiver in our recent rankings, and many expect him to live up to that.
3. Who will be the top underclassman?
Georgia wide receiver commitment Jadon Haselwood is the early favorite for underclassman domination, but keep an eye out for Bailey, fellow wide receivers John Dunmore, Trey Palmer and Theo Wease, among others. LSU offensive line commitment Kardell Thomas will try to throw people around as usual, and undersized cornerback Max Williams is dynamic and fun to watch. My bet is that someone from outside this highly hyped group will emerge and surprise.
4. Can anyone top James Cook at running back?
The Florida State commitment comes in with a ton of talent and a famous last name, but two Big Ten commitments, Buckeyes pledge Jaelen Gill and Nittany Lions commitment Ricky Slade, have a ton of talent as well and are perhaps more versatile for this setting. Asa Martin is no slouch either and will be looking to join the trio in the Rivals100.
5. Which program will be happiest when the day is done?
A lot of teams have multiple commitments at the event, but Ohio State will be the happiest. Even without Jones, they will be repped by Gill on offense and on defense they are loaded with Teradja Mitchell, Brenton Cox, Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor. I have a feeling there could be multiple position MVPs in this group.
6. Who will make the biggest move in the rankings?
To make a big move you can’t be that highly ranked which is why a guy like Lawrence has everything to lose and not much to gain when it comes to rankings. Several others at the event are in a similar boat. I’m going to go out on a limb and say tight end John Fitzpatrick, who plays in an offense that rarely throws the ball but has shown impressive ability in camps and 7-on-7 this spring, will be the rankings winner. He’s a big target, and even though tight ends don’t get utilized enough at these events, my hunch is that he will open eyes.
7. Which player has the most boom-or-bust ability?
My man John Campbell is highly ranked at No. 124 in the country and showed flashes of greatness at our Orlando camp, but he also showed some very raw aspects of his game. He’s coming into the event hungry and with a chip on his shoulder, and that could either lead to a great performance or perhaps trying too hard and getting frustrated.
8. Who's going to be the best lockdown corner?
Anthony Cook is the highest-ranked at No. 2 in the nation and No. 9 overall, but often times it’s someone you don’t expect. I’m going with Chris Smith, the Georgia commitment who was a mid-level three-star before his recent bump to a four-star just inside the Rivals250. He has sneaky speed and great ball skills and he could surprise many.
9. Which big man can dominate?
Thomas is a guy to watch since he’s so physical and loves to throw people around, but my hunch is Tyreke Smith, who has size, length and amazing athleticism. All he lacks is experience, and he will either step up to the challenge this weekend or at worst hold his own. Perhaps he’s an odd bet to choose dominance, but why not take a shot in the dark?
10. Who can earn his fifth star?
Anyone can - that’s why it’s called the Five-Star Challenge. Those closest to the honor include defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart, offensive lineman Penei Sewell, defensive end Brenton Cox and linebacker Amari Gainer. My bet is Gainer, who hasn’t added all the weight we’d like yet but can cover like a blanket for a linebacker with his length.