Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: The Farrell Awards
INDIANAPOLIS - The Rivals100 Five Star Challenge presented by adidas is in the books, so it’s once again time for the Farrell Awards. Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell hands out the hardware after another great event.
PHYSICAL PROWESS: DE KAYODE OLADELE
This goes to the player who looks the best getting off the bus (or in this case coming through registration), and no one looked better on the hoof than Kayode Oladele. He may be raw on the field but the former Florida State commit looks like the perfect hybrid linebacker/pass rusher.
Honorable Mention: Ani Izuchukwu looks the part with almost zero body fat but, like Oladele, he is raw and more of a hybrid player. Wide receivers Kevin Austin and Terrace Marshall look great at that position and Isaac Taylor-Stuart looks huge at cornerback. Offensive lineman Clay Webb looks the part of a future star.
MIGHTY MOUSE: DB MAX WILLIAMS
This goes to the smallest player who made the biggest impact and that was defensive back Max Williams. He closes on the ball very well and plays bigger than expected. A wide receiver usually wins this award, but not this year.
Honorable Mention: Shaun Shivers was the smallest player out here and was fun to watch but was clearly underutilized by his team. Wide receiver Elijah Moore isn’t the biggest guy but he’s fast and he started off strong. Jaelen Gill isn’t huge but won the Running Back MVP Award over some serious talent.
ANGER MANAGEMENT: OL KARDELL THOMAS
The winner of this award is the prospect who plays with the most passion and anger and that was 2019 offensive lineman Kardell Thomas who had a few dust ups during and after reps. At one point it looked like he and defensive tackle Rick Sandidge were going to go at it but both exchanged a friendly hug after a rep that went well past the whistle.
Honorable Mention: Clay Webb was aggressive on offense although he missed the evening portion with a shoulder injury. Sandidge was also very physical and aggressive and Trey Hill also threw his weight around. Justin Dedich isn’t the biggest lineman but he was really aggressive and didn’t back down from bigger guys. Jowon Briggs is aggressive for a younger player and Darnell Wright was also a big-time aggressor for a 2019 prospect.
JET PACK: DB ISAAC TAYLOR-STUART
This award goes to the player who showed off the best straight-line speed and looked like he had rockets on his back. Isaac Taylor-Stuart won the Fastest on the Field with amazing laser times and showed off that on the field.
Honorable Mention: Elijah Moore showed off his incredible speed numerous times throughout the day. Ja’Marr Chase also showed off some speed as did Amon-Ra St. Brown. James Cook was the most sudden running back at the event in drills, while Jaelen Gill was the fastest around the corner in 7-on-7. Xavier Williams is hard to check as well with his speed. Brennan Eagles also showed some serious speed as did Brandon Shivers.
BEAR MARKET: OL NANA ASIEDU
This award goes to the prospect that hurt his ranking the most and the tough choice here is offensive tackle Nana Asiedu who was beaten regularly and looked like he didn’t really want to compete that hard in the afternoon, likely out of frustration. He wasn’t dominated by any stretch but he just seemed a step slow all day.
Honorable Mention: Quarterback Matt Corral didn’t look like a top 10 player nationally. Five-star K.J. Henry could slide as well, although it’s doubtful he will lose his fifth star. Derrik Allen struggled a bit, and linebacker Zakoby McClain's ranking might be a bit high. Wide receiver Xavier Williams and linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu were inconsistent.
BULL MARKET: OL DELONE SCAFIE
This goes to the player who raised his stock the most and no one improved their standing more than Offensive Line MVP Delone Scafie. He isn’t the tallest tackle and could be forced to play guard in college, but his arm extension is excellent and his footwork was flawless.
Honorable Mention: D’Shawn Jamison is a guy I felt pushed the needle a bit on his ranking as did defensive back Isaac Taylor-Stuart, linebacker David Reese, wide receiver Kevin Austin and defensive end Tyreke Smith. Late addition Javeyon Morton held his own as a mid-level three star. Defensive back Chris Smith handled himself well as did Linebacker MVP Richard Jibunor.
SHOT OF JOLT: DB LEON O'NEAL
This award, named in honor of the greatest soda ever created, goes to the prospect that showed the most energy and pep in his step. Leon O’Neal, the Texas A&M commitment, showed energy from the moment he arrived until the end. This kid will be a fan favorite in College Station.
Honorable Mention: Amon-Ra St. Brown was hustling from start to finish, Sandidge showed a ton of energy and took a million reps as did Dedich and Reese. Defensive back Al Blades seemed to be having a ton of fun and was always engaged. Cornerback Chris Smith as well as safety Trey Dean were always looking to prove themselves.
SPIN IT: QB TREVOR LAWRENCE
This goes to the quarterback who throws the prettiest ball and "spins it" better than anyone else. There’s a reason Trevor Lawrence is the No. 1 player in the 2018 Rivals100. Every pass comes off his hand smoothly and there are no wobblers. There were some talented quarterbacks at the event but Lawrence threw the best ball.
TUNNEL VISION: QB JUSTIN ROGERS
This isn't an award you want to win, as it goes to the quarterback who locked in on his targets way too often and that was Justin Rogers this weekend. Rogers made some great plays but also tended to go to his first read too often and at times it wasn’t the best choice.
Honorable Mention: Bailey did lock in on a few guys too often and it cost him in the interception department. Jalen Mayden had the same trouble as well sometimes.
THE WINDUP AND THE PITCH: QB GRANT GUNELL
This award, if you can call it that, goes to the quarterback with the most deliberate delivery -- not a good thing. Texas A&M commitment Grant Gunnell needs to tighten his release quite a bit and make quicker decisions as he was just a second too late on many passes.
Honorable Mention: Jalen Mayden has a lot of upside but also needs to get the ball out quicker. Justin Fields has a nice release but needs to make it a little more compact as well.
POISE UNDER PRESSURE: QB JUSTIN FIELDS
The quarterback that doesn't get rattled gets this award and that was Justin Fields this weekend. Not only did he win the Quarterback Challenge under some duress in front of everyone but when it came down to one play to win the 7-on-7, he made the perfect pass to St. Brown to win it all for his team.
Honorable Mention: Lawrence was very impressive, especially after his team lost their first two games. Jalen Mayden threw two touchdown passes in the title game. Grant Gunnell was key to his team’s race to the title game despite a bad interception near the end.
FANCY FEET: RB JAELEN GILL
This goes to the prospect with the best footwork, regardless of position, and I’m going with Jaelen Gill. Not only was he excellent in drills and the cat and mouse drill, but he made people miss in 7-on-7 which is hard to do. His route running flashed those excellent feet.
Honorable Mention: Class of 2019 wide receiver John Dunmore showed off some excellent start-stop ability. James Cook, Asa Martin and Ricky Slade all had good feet for running backs. On defense, D’Shawn Jamison, Anthony Cook, Al Blades and Jalen Green were all smooth in their defensive back footwork.
STICK UM: WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN
This award goes to the player with the best hands and there were many who made great catches but Amon-Ra St. Brown made some amazing catches. In addition to his tournament-winning catch in traffic, he also made a great adjustment to a ball thrown slightly off the mark by Fields in the end zone for a score and he laid out nicely for a long Mayden bomb. I didn’t see him drop much of anything.
Honorable Mention: There were a lot of drops early but the receivers got their hands straight in the evening. Ja’Marr Chase made the catch of the morning when he got his feet tangled with Josh Proctor but still caught the ball while on his back. Class of 2019 wide receiver Jadon Haselwood made numerous nice catches as did fellow 2019 Theo Wease. Kearis Jackson had a very steady day catching the ball. Big tight end John Fitzpatrick was reliable. Kevin Austin made a ton of nice catches, as did five-star Terrace Marshall. Jaiden Woodbey made plays on the ball on both offense and defense.
THE SNUGGIE: DB D'SHAWN JAMISON
We could call this award "the blanket," but it doesn't sound as cool. This is for the defensive back who provided the best overall coverage at the event and was all over wide outs. I’ll go with D’Shawn Jamison in a close one here as he not only excelled in the one-on-ones but he was all over the field in the 7-on-7 play.
Honorable Mention: Al Blades had a good day and was the only guy to really give St. Brown trouble. Class of 2019 Max Williams showed flashes as did fellow 2019 Derek Stingley. Woodbey had a nice day as well. Devonta Lee was the surprise of the day, filling in at defensive back due to injury and coming away with three interceptions. De’Gabriel Floyd, Richard Jibunor, David Reese and others were solid at linebacker and the aforementioned Green and Cook were also good.
MR. PICK: WR DEVONTA LEE
This goes to the player who had the most interceptions over the weekend and was the biggest threat to pick off a pass and surprisingly it was Devonta Lee who was forced into dual duty due to injury on his team. Known more for his offensive play, he had three picks including a huge one in the title game that helped his team win it all.
Honorable Mention: Jalen Green had a nice interception as did Woodbey. Joseph Charleston had a key interception for his team. There weren’t a lot of interceptions with the quality of the quarterback play, but the ones made were big.
WHAT POSITION: DB JAMIEN SHERWOOD
This award goes to the player you look at during warmups and simply assume plays a position other than his own. There were many big defensive backs at the event but Jamien Sherwood looks like he could easily grow into a linebacker. That’s a big kid trying to cover not only outside receivers but guys in the slot.
Honorable Mention: Dominick Watt is a big kid and he could end up playing defense if needed and he would be a nasty linebacker or strong safety. Kearis Jackson will probably play offense in college but he could be a hard-hitting safety. Ani Izuchukwu and Kayode Oladele played defensive end at the event but looked more like linebackers.
JECKYLL AND HYDE: OL JOHN CAMPBELL
This award goes to the prospect that looked great one moment and simply overmatched at other times and offensive lineman John Campbell is my pick. Campbell can look like a million bucks on a rep and then let his technique get sloppy and get beaten easily. His ceiling is very high but you can see that much refinement is needed.
Honorable Mention: Xavier Williams can be maddening because he can get open so easily but he drops passes too often. Defensive tackle Michael Thompson can look great for a string of reps and then look average. Alontae Taylor can make a nice grab and then disappear for a long time, and the same can be said for Micah Jones. Penei Sewell has great upside but his technique is erratic from rep to rep.
GOTTA WEAR SHADES: WR JADON HASELWOOD
The future is so bright ... you get the message. This is about the underclassman prospect that has the highest upside. It was a really tough call because there were many but I’ll go with Jadon Haselwood. I thought he started a little bit slowly but came on at the end of the morning session and by the 7-on-7 he was one of the most productive targets.
Honorable Mention: Max Williams has been mentioned before. Wide receiver Trey Knox had his moments as did Wease and other wide outs. Jowon Briggs really stood out as a 2019 on the defensive line and Clay Webb was excellent for 2019 on offense. This camp was loaded with young stars so there are too many to name.
MEDIC: DB KALON GERVIN
This is for the player or players who, unfortunately, got bit by the injury bug at the event. Defensive back Kalon Gervin missed most of the event with a turf toe injury.
Honorable Mention: Tight end George Takacs missed the evening portion of the event due to a hip injury, Webb had to bow out of the afternoon session with a shoulder injury and Michael Thompson also missed reps in the afternoon to injury.
MOST DISAPPOINTING: QB MATT CORRAL
This is a tough award to hand out but I would say it would have to be Matt Corral for me. I entered this event expecting a battle between the big three five-star quarterbacks but Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields distanced themselves quickly. Corral arrived late and played on little if any sleep and you could tell. His usual decisiveness was not there at all and he took a few “sacks” in 7-on-7 (time ran out) that he’d never take otherwise.
Honorable Mention: Linebacker Amari Gainer didn’t have as great a camp as I expected after seeing how he can cover in space last year at our Underclassmen Challenge and this spring in Orlando. Shaun Shivers wasn’t quite as sudden and fast as I expected and I was surprised he didn’t run away with the Fastest On The Field award. Nana Asiedu and K.J. Henry didn’t live up to expectations either based on previous performances.