Simmons' Takeaways: Atlanta 3 Stripe Camp loaded up front
AUSTELL, Ga. — The Atlanta stop of the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas is in the books and, despite some less-than-ideal weather, the event was again as deep and talented as any in the country. The competition was stiff at every position as highly regarded prospects clashed with rising stars. Below, Rivals.com Southeast analyst Chad Simmons shares the storylines that stood out to him from Sunday.
WEBB IS IN ANOTHER WORLD
Clay Webb is just different. In many ways. The five-star offensive lineman out of Oxford, Ala. was expected to dominate, which he did, but he may just be on another level. Maybe even in another world. Not on did he do what most thought he would — won offensive line MVP and earned invite to the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas, but he also revealed that he loves to build Legos in his spare time. He is not on Twitter, he does not report offers and he never reveals his visit plans. In short, he is just different.
Webb loves to read history and science fiction books when he isn't on the football field, winning wrestling matches or eating Bojangles. Webb is rare, both on and off the field. There are simply not many like him as a recruit.
MURPHY IS SPECIAL
As soon as Myles Murphy walked in Sunday morning, he turned a lot of heads and quickly created a buzz. He measured in a hair under 6-foot-5 and he weighed 257 pounds, but had a very studious look thanks to his glasses and quiet, reserved demeanor.
Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and South Carolina are some of the schools that have offered, but it’s shocking that he does not more offers at this point. After just a couple of reps in the rain Sunday, it was easy to see that he is a special prospect. He was winning with ease at times. Murphy did not talk trash or celebrate each victory. Instead, he just ran to the back of line and got ready to compete again.
Rivals.com has Murphy as an early four-star defensive end, but the freak out of Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove performed today like he needed that fifth-star on his profile.
All that play or follow high school football in Georgia know about the Marietta Blue Devils. They have talent up and down their roster, and a number of the program's players were in attendance Sunday. I could talk about more than half a dozen, but I will focus on three.
Four-star 2020 quarterback Harrison Bailey, who earned an invite to the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge, showed once again why he has offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee and many others. Bailey was strong through the rain, especially with the deep ball and it is scary to think who he will get to throw to this fall.
Arik Gilbert, one of the few early 2020 five-stars, worked at tight end on Sunday and made it look easy at times. He was running past linebackers and he showed strong hands. He actually came out and said Tennessee may be his top school at this time with Georgia, Miami, USC and others still right there too.
Class of 2019 wide receiver Ramel Keyton also impressed Sunday. He is a long, fluid playmaker that can adjust to the ball as well as anyone. Keyton is high on Auburn and Tennessee.
There are plenty of other talented offensive weapons at Marietta, and some were on display Sunday, but this trio should scare a lot of opposing defenses this fall.
STRONG DEFENSIVE LINE
As good as the offensive line group was Sunday with guys like Webb, Keiondre Jones and Amari Kight leading the way, the defensive line group was even more impressive thanks to its mix of size and speed.
On the outside, Myles Murphy (2020) and Derrick McLendon won with inside and outside moves. Each impressed in every way. McLendon’s name has been picking up some steam lately and he was winning a lot more than losing Sunday. Murphy is a name you will read a lot more about in the coming months. Some of the other ends who had some success were Andy Boykin (Auburn commit), Zykeivous Walker, B.J. Ojulari, Brent Randolph and Damarjhe Lewis.
On the inside, Jayson Jones led the way. He checked in at 6-foot-6, 340 pounds and the mountain out of Calera (Ala.) was the only defensive lineman to defeat Webb. Jones is all about power. There are some that talk about offensive line when his name comes up, but he is focused on being the top defensive lineman he can be. He is set to commit July 4 and he has Alabama and Georgia on top.
CLEMSON DUO SHINES
The Clemson Tigers had a pair of commitments impress Sunday. On one side of the field, Jaelyn Lay had people talking about his frame, how he moved and what he could do as an athletic tight end. On the other side of the field, Brannon Spector was working defensive backs, getting separation and catching everything in reach.
Spector may not be flashy, but he is consistent and he is quicker than some may expect. He was one of the best route-runners there. He caught balls along the sideline, he worked the middle and he was able to get behind some of the defensive backs. The biggest takeaway was his hands.
Lay measured in at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, but he looked bigger. He had big arms, he was physical and he was tough to deal with. To see what Clemson did with Jordan Leggette and how they featured him, it is scary to think what Lay can do in that system. He is still refining his game as a route runner and just being more consistent with his hands, but he has a lot of ability and Clemson could turn this pair into stars.