Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: The Farrell Awards
ATLANTA -- 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.
This award goes to the most intimidating looking player on the field. Bryson Eason is my pick because he’s a 250-pound linebacker with zero bad weight. Eason was banged up early but came back and showed toughness by returning to the field for 7-on-7. He’s a great looking prospect if he can stay healthy.
Honorable mention: Vernon Broughton is a great-looking kid and reminded one of our analysts of Myles Garrett, while Justin Flowe obviously looks great physically and guys such as Walker Parks are just hitting their stride when it comes to physical development. Wide receiver Troy Omeire is a huge wide receiver who could grow into a tight end and defensive end Braiden McGregor looks like a million bucks, even though he struggled.
This award goes to a smaller player who makes the biggest impact. This year it was Mookie Cooper, as he was very hard to check in one-on-ones and had a nice impact in the 7-on-7. Cooper may be small, but he’s sneaky strong and gets separation easily. Whoever lands him will be getting an instant-impact guy.
Honorable mention: Andre Seldon was excellent in coverage despite giving up many inches to most receivers, while wide receiver Lavon Bunkley-Shelton isn’t very big, but he made some great catches. Joshua Downs isn’t the biggest receiver, either, but he was excellent all day.
This award goes to the player who shows the most aggression and fight at the event, and to me it was five-star defensive lineman Bryan Bresee, who had violent rep after violent rep. Bresee is very athletic, but it’s his power that stands out to me and how aggressive and angry he plays.
Honorable mention: Javon Baker and Major Burns got into a scuffle, and Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell were both very aggressive all day. Offensive lineman Bryce Foster was very aggressive as well and finished his reps, and AJ Parks was very good as well being physical on the offensive line.
This award goes to the fastest player at the event and once again this year its Arizona defensive back Kelee Ringo, who ran a 4.36 40-yard dash on his first attempt and bested it with a 4.35-second 40 in the Fastest on the Field. Ringo was banged up during the early session and missed the 7-on-7, but he certainly showed off his speed early.
Honorable mention: Joshua Downs ran very well in the Fastest on the Field, Mookie Cooper flashed his speed and I was impressed with the speed of Bijan Robinson and Jalen Berger at running back. Javon Baker also flashed some speed.
This award goes to the strongest and most powerful player at the event. Offensive lineman Bryce Foster, a 2021 prospect, won the Bench Press contest with an amazing 26 reps. It’s scary to think how strong he’s going to be in a few years, and he showed off that power in the one-on-ones.
Honorable mention: Chris Morris played with power as an offensive lineman and anchored well, and Isaiah Raikes was very physical as a defensive tackle. Stephen Dix is very athletic and played physical, and Javion Cohen also knocked a few people down.
SHOT OF JOLT
This award is in remembrance of the greatest soda ever, Jolt, which was loaded with caffeine and always brought energy to the table. Defensive tackle Isaiah Raikes took more one-on-one reps than any defensive lineman at the event and showed off some good quickness and surprising agility.
Honorable mention: Savion Collins took a ton of reps, even though the 2021 defensive lineman struggled most of the time. Javon Baker was always hustling and even seemed to skip the lunch break to throw the ball around. Linebacker Justin Flowe was all over the field as well, and so was Noah Sewell and both of them took offensive reps as well. Lavon Bunkley-Shelton, Marcus Rosemy and Derek Wingo were a few others that brought the energy.
This award goes to the quarterback who threw the best ball throughout the event – or “spun it” the best. To me it was Tennessee commit Harrison Bailey, who looked like a different quarterback from a year ago. He’s lost weight, sped up his delivery and threw a nice, catchable ball all day long. He was the best quarterback at the event when you combine one-on-ones and the 7-on-7.
Honorable mention: No. 1 prospect for 2021 Brock Vandagriff throws a very nice ball and will be a huge quarterback in a couple of years, and Kyle McCord throws a really nice ball. Bryce Young also spun the ball well.
This goes to the quarterback who locked in on his target the most, and it led to a few bad decisions. Even though he’s the No. 1 player in the 2021 class, Brock Vandagriff made some bad decisions early and threw quite a few picks. He’s new to 7-on-7 football, so it was impressive how well he caught on and led his team to the title, but early on he was staring some guys down or just not seeing open receivers.
POISE UNDER PRESSURE
This award goes to the quarterback who was the best under pressure, and Vandagriff did a great job recovering from some early picks to lead his team to the 7-on-7 title. And he did it all by himself, as his backup, Jack Miller, didn’t participate in the 7-on-7.
Honorable mention: Bailey was very good in the 7-on-7 and certainly deserves props, even though his team finished second.
This award goes to the player with the best natural footwork at the event. To me it was Bijan Robinson, who can really shake defenders with his footwork. Robinson is one of the best running backs in the country and showed it by setting up defenders with ease.
Honorable mention: Class of 2021 prospect Kamren Kitchens has good feet, and Darrion Green-Warren was smooth in his backpedal. Jaylon Jones, the best defensive back at the event, was also very smooth in footwork and transition, and I really liked the way Derek Wingo moved his feet at linebacker.
This award goes to the player with the best hands, and to me it was Lavon Bunkley-Shelton, who made some very impressive catches, including a one-hander that had everyone talking. He’s not the biggest receiver in the world and needs to get stronger, but he will catch anything thrown his way.
Honorable mention: Marcus Rosemy showed off some good hands, as did Arik Gilbert at tight end, even though he got hurt and missed the 7-on-7. I like the way Javon Baker catches the ball, and Jordan Johnson was impressive as well. Bijan Robinson and Jalen Berger showed off good hands and Joshua Downs was smooth. On defense, Derek Wingo showed off great balls skills for a linebacker, and Antonio Johnson made a ton of nice catches.
This award goes to the defensive back who blanketed receivers the most at the event, and to me it was Jaylon Jones. Jones was on the hip of almost every receiver he covered at the event and showed off excellent instincts and closing speed when needed.
Honorable mention: I liked the way 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes covered in space, and Andre Seldon was good in the one-on-ones and in the seven-on-seven. Avantae Williams looked good at times as well, and Bryson Washington had his moments.
This award goes to the player who had the most interceptions on the day, and it was linebacker Derek Wingo. Wingo showed off great ball skills all day and played with a ton of energy and is excellent in coverage.
Honorable mention: Darius Snow had a nice interception, as did Andre Seldon, Curtis Jacobs, Phillip Webb and Omari Porter, among others. Isaiah Johnson also had a nice interception, and so did Kamren Kitchens.
This goes to the player who showed he could play numerous positions or was perhaps playing out of position at the event. Donell Harris entered the event as a 2020 for the first time after re-classifying from 2020, and I’m not sure what position is best for him. He was overmatched a bit as a rush end by bigger tackles, but he looks like he’d be a great linebacker and he also stood out at tight end/wide receiver. His future is on defense for sure, but at what position?
Honorable mention: Noah Sewell said he weighed in at 271 pounds and was great at linebacker, but can he play at that weight in college and beyond? And if not, what position does he play? Wide receiver Jaquez Smith, a 2021 prospect, worked out with the tight ends, but is clearly a wide receiver. B.J. Ojulari is a linebacker to me, but he took reps at defensive end and seems to prefer playing with his hand down.
JEKYLL AND HYDE
This goes to the player who can look great one rep and then struggle the next. While I like Avantae Williams when he’s on, he can struggle and get lost at times. I love his upside, but he’s still not very consistent and needs to work on that. He could also be a guy whose position you question, as he could easily be a safety or a corner.
Honorable mention: Jaxon Smith-Njigba looked great in drills and had a few very good reps here and there in 7-on-7, but he disappeared at times as well. Wide receiver Koy Moore was expected to have a big day - at least by me - and he flashed his skills here and there but then went silent. Even though he’s the No. 2 player in the country, Justin Flowe really had an up-and-down day, as did Kelee Ringo. But aside from Williams, I would put Marc Britt up there, as he was really good in 7-on-7 but was up and down in every other aspect.
GOTTA WEAR SHADES
This goes to the underclassmen with the best upside, and to me it’s Amarius Mims, the 2021 offensive lineman from Georgia. He has great upside and looks a bit like Greg Little of Ole Miss fame. He’ll be a five star down the line if he continues to develop.
Honorable mention: Linebacker Keith Brown is a thick linebacker who showed a lot of promise, and Isaiah Johnson showed some promise as a defensive back. Quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Brock Vandagriff also both have great promise. Running back DeAndre Boykins could make a case for being the best running back at the event. Offensive lineman Bryce Foster was very good as an interior lineman, and I like the athleticism of linebacker Terrence Lewis from Florida. Tony Grimes was excellent at cornerback for a 2021 prospect, and Donovan Jackson impressed me for 2021 along the offensive line.