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Tuesdays with Gorney: Breaking down the Rivals Camp Series in Dallas

The Rivals Camp Series in the Dallas area took place over the weekend and a bunch of top regional prospects were in attendance along with National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney. Here are some of his thoughts in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney:

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MORE FROM RCS DALLAS: The Gorney Awards | Lone Star State prospects shine at the Rivals Camp Series in Dallas

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CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series

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THOUGHTS ON QUARTERBACKS

Jake Strong
Jake Strong

Quarterback commits from Baylor and Texas Tech worked out Sunday at camp and I would give the edge to Austin Novosad over Red Raiders’ pledge Jake Strong but it’s definitely not a runaway competition.

Novosad, who pledged to the Bears in mid-December but is being pursued by Texas A&M and others, was so sharp during a very windy day, the ball never sailed on him and he spun it really well deep. Ranked No. 11 at pro-style quarterback, Novosad definitely made an argument for someone who should be in the top 10.

Strong was solid, too. The Texas Tech pledge made all the throws, was more than capable in windy conditions and while he’s a little unassuming in camp settings, the Justin (Texas) Northwest standout had a strong day and definitely left a good impression. Moving up from No. 20 at pro-style quarterback feels like an inevitability.

Nobody in the camp was better or more consistent than Allen, Texas, 2024 quarterback Michael Hawkins, who has Michigan, NC State and SMU offers but could be among the upper echelon of quarterbacks in his class. Marcos Davila, Cole Welliver, Princeton commit Weston Smith, Parker Leise and young guns Kelden Ryan (2025) and Kane Archer (2026) stood out as well.

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WIDE RECEIVERS LOOKED GOOD

Hawkins Polley
Hawkins Polley

Texas and Oklahoma could be battling it out for Jaquaize Pettaway and that could make for an interesting time because the Houston (Texas) Langham Creek prospect is really talented and can really make a lot of plays. He showed off good hands, the ability to catch short, intermediate and deep balls and keep corners guessing all day. This could come down to another rivalry recruiting battle between the Longhorns and Sooners.

Mikal Harrison-Pilot had a solid day but the four-star from Temple, Texas, didn’t completely dominate and it wasn’t his fault. He got behind numerous cornerbacks all day and was open but the ball got caught up in the wind so the highlights weren’t there. Is he a receiver? Is he a defensive back? How about both.

Baylor tight end commit Hawkins Polley had an impressive performance. If there are 31 tight ends in the class better than him I’d be very surprised. He runs good routes and has a big catch radius so he should be used a lot in the Bears’ offense. Another tight end who stood out was Frisco (Texas) Wakeland’s Tripp Riordan along with Rockwall, Texas, four-star WR Noble Johnson.

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LINEMEN PUT ON A SHOW

Connor Stroh
Connor Stroh

What I love most about TJ Shanahan Jr. is his on-field performance and domination but just as much is his demeanor, his mentality and his focus on wanting to prove himself every time he’s on the field. He has the laser focus on kicking you-know-what and taking names. There have been a lot of guys over the years who have been big and tough and mean and Shanahan is right up there with them as someone who thrives when tested physically.

He was very good again on Sunday and proved himself as the No. 1 offensive guard nationally. There is an SEC feel to his recruitment but others are also making an impression so it’s too early to name one leader.

The linemen play at Sunday’s camp was really impressive. Connor Stroh is a massive human being and after learning his mom, dad, aunt and uncle all went to Texas A&M and he landed an offer from the Aggies over the weekend, that puts them in good shape.

Arkansas commit Kaleb James had his moments, four-star Ashton Porter was much more physical than last year at this time and Terrance Green is a great-looking kid with a lot of upside potential.

Jaydon Chatman did not get as much pub as others over the weekend but he has a whole lot of talent and moves well for someone his size and then Brione Brooks was the surprise of the OL/DL. If he gets in better shape, he has the footwork and aggressive style to be a contributor somewhere.