Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: Programs with top commit performances
ATLANTA – The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and Rivals Underclassmen Challenge featured nearly 225 of the top high school football prospects in the country last week. A number of those prospects had already declared their college prior to arriving, and a couple made their declarations at the event.
Here are the schools whose commits fared the best in Atlanta.
FIVE-STAR CHALLENGE COVERAGE: Analysis from Atlanta | MVP spotlight | WR vs. DB Part 2 | WR vs. DB Part 1 | OL vs. DL | RB vs. LB | Sherrod Covil commits to Clemson during Five-Star Challenge | The Gorney Awards | Rumor Mill
FIVE-STAR CHALLENGE INTERVIEWS: Lebbeus Overton | Oscar Delp | Shawn Murphy | Cade Klubnik | Jaylen Sneed | Dante Moore | Beau Atkinson | Justin Williams | Jeadyn Lukus | Dillon Tatum | Tawfiq Thomas | Trent Ramsey | Cayden Green | Travis Hunter
1. OHIO STATE
Although none of Ohio State’s three committed prospects in attendance for the Five-Star Challenge walked away with awards, all were in contention and among the top performers at their position.
Five-star commits CJ Hicks and Gabe Powers were part of a deep linebacker group that saw some of the best performances at the entire camp. Hicks showed his range in defending the run and pass, while Powers recaptured the form that saw him win position MVP honors at the Indianapolis Rivals Camp.
On the offensive line, four-star Ohio State commit Tegra Tshabola proved again to be tough competition for opposing defensive linemen. His strong set and long reach make getting past him and to the quarterback a difficult task. While he can be very effective at right tackle, his best position at the higher levels may end up being offensive guard.
Florida athlete commit Isaiah Bond secured the first hardware of the Five-Star Challenge when he bested 16 other runners to place first in the Fastest Man Challenge and earned the championship belt. Considering the talent at the event, it was another testament to how legit Bond’s speed is. Listed as an athlete, Bond worked at receiver during the Five-Star Challenge and made several impressive catches, showing he is more than just a burner.
Florida had two other commits at the Five-Star Challenge. Four-star cornerback Julian Humphrey struggled in some of the earlier position and agility drills, but when the one-on-one session started he was among the best in coverage, securing an interception and several deflections. Defensive end commit Francois Nolton, meanwhile, looked improved after having some struggles at other camps earlier this month.
It is not surprising to see the home-state program making the list of teams with top commit performances, however the Bulldogs only had one commitment competing at the Five-Star Challenge. Marquis Groves-Killebrew put on for the home-state team, winning Defensive Back MVP honors after locking up the top receivers at Thursday’s event. Defensive back was one of the deepest positions at the camp, and Groves-Killebrew proved he could run with the fastest receivers while making several impressive plays on the football.
We are also giving Georgia credit here for the performance of class of 2023 commit Pearce Spurlin at the Underclassmen Challenge on Friday. Measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Spurlin is explosive enough to work on the outside, but the mismatch opportunities he creates at tight end are likely too appealing for him to play elsewhere in college. He was an extremely tough cover for linebackers at Friday’s event, and was in the mix for the Receiver MVP award all the way down to the end.
The Clemson commitment contingent in Atlanta added another member when four-star safety Sherrod Covil announced his pledge to the Tigers at the end of Thursday’s Five-Star Challenge. It was the culmination of a successful day for Covil, who again proved to be one of the most competitive defensive backs in the 2022 class. While he can definitely man the safety position, Covil also shows strong promise as a nickel cornerback.
Covil’s future teammate, offensive tackle Collin Sadler, took home the belt for the Strongest Man after punching out 21 reps of 225 pounds in the Bench Press Challenge. Quarterback commit Cade Klubnik injured his shoulder near the end of his junior season, and still looks to be working his way back. No one threw a prettier ball than Klubnik when he had time to set up and get everything in order, but he struggled with consistency and ball placement when throwing to receivers.
5. PENN STATE
Although Penn State had just one commit performing in Atlanta, the Nittany Lions could not ask for more than to bring home an MVP award. Four-star commit Kaden Saunders earned Receiver MVP honors after posting one of the top performances at the camp, regardless of position.
The speedy slot receiver will remind Penn State fans of former standout KJ Hamler, and this most recent effort highlights a string of strong performances for Saunders this spring.
6. IOWA STATE
Like Penn State, Iowa State had just one commit in Atlanta, and he came away with position MVP honors as well. Rocco Becht was the class of the quarterback group on this day. He has a quick, efficient release, spins a beautiful football and gets it out in time for his receivers to do something with it after the catch.
Currently rated three-stars, Becht is one of the biggest stock-risers coming out of the Rivals Challenge week and looks to be a perfect fit with Matt Campbell in Ames.
LSU tied for the most commitments in attendance at the Five-Star Challenge with three. The best performance from their trio was probably offensive tackle Will Campbell, who came into the event ranked No. 30 overall in the 2022 class. Campbell worked at left tackle and showed he could handle the elite defensive ends competing at Thursday’s event.
Four-star cornerback Laterrance Welch certainly looks the part from a physical and technical standpoint. He did not win a lot of his reps, though did make a great breakup of a pass after running stride-for-stride with speedster Isaiah Bond on a deep route. Five-star safety Jacoby Mathews, meanwhile, was really quiet at the Five-Star Challenge. We did not see him take many reps.