by Dave Miller
June 10, 02013
There have been numerous Rivals camps across the country throughout the spring, but the headliner was over the weekend in Chicago, as the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge at Soldier Field took place.
Invites to the camp included Da'Shawn Hand, a defensive end from Virginia who is the top overall player in the Class of 2014, as well as Deshaun Watson, a dual-threat quarterback from Georgia who is currently committed to Clemson.
Here are some notes from the weekend event:
— All of the talk coming out of the showcase centered on the performance of quarterback Kyle Allen, who recently committed to Texas A&M. One of the best pro-style signal-callers in the 2014 class, Allen performed well during Saturday's one-on-one competition but fared even better Sunday working with his receivers and tight ends. That comfort level is not always prevalent for quarterbacks at some of these camps because they are throwing to players for the very first time in many cases, but Allen seemed to develop good rapport with his targets. He has a strong arm, good mechanics and carries himself well. He stood out from the rest of the four- and five-star prospects and was named the offensive skill MVP.
— There was a strong group of running backs in Chicago this weekend, but Joe Mixon may have stolen the show. The 6-1, 208-pound Freedom High School (Oakley, CA) product has the ability to make even the best defenders miss with his array of moves in space, and he should be able to contribute to a program from day one. The fact that he excels at blitz pickup is a bonus for whichever team lands him.
— Athlete Michiah Quick of Central East High School (Fresno, CA) displayed his two-way talent this past weekend. The 6-foot, 170-pounder, who is considering offers from major programs such as Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC, could play corner or receiver at the next level. The Irish may have the edge in his recruitment because he wants to stay on offense and their staff believes in him as an offensive performer. Speaking of ND and receivers, commit Justin Brent had a nice weekend in Chicago and earned rave reviews.
— Damien Mama was named the Offensive Line MVP during Sunday's Linemen Challenge, as he held his own against numerous star defensive tackles and ends. Mama is being recruited as an offensive guard but also moved outside at times this weekend. Da'Shawn Hand earned Defensive Line MVP honors, while cornerback Marlon Humphrey was awarded top defensive MVP honors.
Other recruiting news
— Mark Richt and his staff hosted a camp at Georgia over the weekend, which was attended by over 300 recruits. At the conclusion of the drills, the Bulldogs received two commitments, wide receiver Gilbert Johnson from Miami, FL, and offensive lineman Jake Edwards from Colorado. The 6-3, 185-pound Johnson has good size, very good hands and gets good separation from corners. He joins fellow 'Dawgs wideout commit Krenwick Sanders in the 2014 class. Meanwhile, the 6-4, 282-pound Edwards is the Bulldogs' first lineman commit for 2014, and he could project as either a tackle or a guard.
— J.C. Jackson, who is one of the best pure athletes in the 2014 class, committed to Florida over the weekend. The 6-foot, 185-pounder from Immokalee High School (Immokalee, FL), who decommitted from Florida State earlier, is an explosive playmaker who could play cornerback and offer help as a returner. He's very fast and could cause problems in the slot if he plays on offense at the next level.