The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas this weekend in Indianapolis with many of the nation’s top prospects set to attend. More participants in this year’s event come from Texas than any other state, but which college programs will be keeping the closest eyes on them?
The team that has had the greatest momentum recruiting in-state recently in 2018 has been the Longhorns - and much of that has just been within the last few weeks – and plenty of the players at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge are still being courted by Texas. Wide receiver Brennan Eagles seems the most likely to commit to the Longhorns from this group, as there has been a lot of smoke recently with him and UT. Cornerback Jalen Green recently told Rivals.com that he and D’Shawn Jamison are both considering committing to the same place, and Texas is pretty high on the list for both. Jamison’s teammates, five-star cornerback Anthony Cook and Rivals100 receiver Al’Vonte Woodard, are also targets for the Longhorns, and both are expected to be big playmakers at the camp.
The Aggies have had their fair share of recruiting momentum as well recently with the commitments of 2018 four-star safety Leon O’Neal and 2019 quarterback Grant Gunnell. Both will have a close eye kept on them, as O’Neal is a nice day in pass coverage away from a third consecutive move up in the Rivals250. Gunnell has played some 7-on-7 and should fare well, but there are varying opinions as to how high his ceiling can be as a passer. He’ll have plenty of great options at receiver, but there will be better defensive backs than he’s seen all in one place as well. A&M has also been in the picture for a long time with Woodard as well as 2019 receiver Theo Wease, who decommitted from Oklahoma earlier this spring and has emerged as a big Aggies target.
The Tigers are also hoping to yank a top prospect or two out of Texas, but they are in the mix for many of the same players as the Longhorns. Certainly, Cook would be a jackpot win for Clemson, even if he would be the only recruit landed from this group. Eagles made a special trip out to Clemson just to pick up his offer in person, but whether or not that’s indicative of its ability to wrestle him away from much closer options remains to be seen. O’Neal certainly had flirtations with Clemson and Green is in the picture as well, but perhaps the most likely grab out of the Lone Star State recruits is Verone McKinley. The four-star cornerback has kept up his interest in the Tigers even as teams on the West Coast continue to creep into the picture as well.
Although he’s not a Texas prospect, Oklahoma prospect Ron Tatum is currently committed to the Longhorns and turned in a top performance at the Dallas regional camp in April. The Sooners have started showing him a lot of attention and would love to keep one of the state’s top prospects at home. Otherwise, 2019 prospects could be the most compelling ones to watch from Texas for Sooners fans. Allen teammates Elton Ndoma-Ogar and Wease have no doubt discussed Wease’s previous commitment to the Sooners. Rockwall safety/linebacker Anfernee Orji could end up being the player between he and his brother, Alston, that the Sooners pluck from Texas after the latter committed to Vanderbilt just a few weeks ago.
Ole Miss was one of the first teams to make a significant play for inside linebacker Chad Bailey, who has still yet to truly break out with some big-time offers. He’s a great fit as an SEC type of linebacker, and he’s been working to further his relationship with LSU as well. Woodard is another player that the Rebels have stayed close to despite wide receivers coach Grant Heard’s move to Indiana this past offseason. Speaking of LSU, the Tigers would love to be the upset pick for either Cook of Green, as both are bigger defensive backs that have the look of other top corners from LSU teams past. As previously mentioned, Rivals100 linebacker and Five-Star Challenge invite Alston Orji announced his commitment to Vanderbilt; will that be enough to sway his younger brother, Anfernee, to do the same? Vandy fans would likely be happy enough getting one out of the two, but picking up both would be a major win for the Commodores.