Rivals.com, the nation's leader in football recruiting coverage, is bringing more than 100 of the country's top prospects to participate in the second annual Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour. The free, invite-only camp for the nation's elite will feature top prospects at all positions from the class of 2014 and 2015. Each position is loaded with talent and today we take a look at the defensive linemen.
Da'Shawn Hand is the nation's No. 1 overall player so he's obviously the headliner here and he will certainly be called out by many offensive linemen. Hand has some serious competition for the No. 1 slot this year so he will need to raise his game and have a dominant performance but we know he is fully capable of that. Hand's athleticism and balance will be tough for any opponent because even when you lay mitts on him, he can still recover and beat you.
If Godchaux puts on the kind of show he put on at the RCS Houston, the term "Sleeper" and "Godchaux" will never be seen in the same sentence again. Godchaux is the kind of guy who will step off the plane in Chicago and immediately catch attention. He just looks the part of a defensive end. In Houston Godchaux surprised with his quickness off the edge and the variety of moves he had in his arsenal. In Chicago the Plaquemine standout will see an increased level of competition and could continue to raise his stock with a strong performance.
KEEP AN EYE ON
An outside contender for a potential five-star move at some point in the future is O'Fallon, Ill., defensive end Dewayne Hendrix. The 6-foot-4, 264-pound lineman showed very few weaknesses when he took home the defensive line MVP at the St. Louis area RCS back in April. He has the speed and agility to rush the passer, and is exceptionally strong at the point of attack. Hendrix made a 128-spot jump in the Rivals250 during the May rankings update, and could be in line for another move if he shows well alongside the likes of Hand, Lorenzo Carter and Andrew Brown.
RIVALS100 FIVE-STAR CHALLENGE BY POSITION
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge will be held June 7-9 in Chicago. Rivals.com will break down a different position each day this week. Here is the series schedule:
Holmes hasn't added a lot of size over the last year as expected and the potential comparisons to Jonathan Allen have switched more to Eli Harold because Holmes is a lean, athletic prospect who excels on both sides of the ball. While Allen filled out, Holmes hasn't as of yet and he struggled with stronger prospects at the RCS in Richmond. He will need to show that he's not a one-trick pony as an outside pass rusher and that he can get off initial contact.
BEST CHANCE TO BOOST STOCK
Following a spring of early hype, McDowell came into last year's Five-Star Challenge and more than held his own against the top defensive linemen in the classes of 2013 and 2014. This year McDowell is making his encore performance at the Five-Star Challenge and the question is, can he pick up his fifth star? Currently ranked the No. 23 prospect in the country, McDowell is on the cusp, and the word is he has become an even more impressive physical specimen through weight room work this off-season. At 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, has he continued to maintain the explosiveness to play on the edge, or has he gotten so big that a move inside is inevitable?
UNDERCLASSMAN TO WATCH
Before Mack ever made it to the RCS Dallas the word was out. He has quickly become a must-have target for college programs around the region. He is built like a tank and has a scary combination of quickness and strength. His go-to move is the bull rush and it is often overwhelming for even the best; however, it will be fun to see what kind of adjustments he is able to make with the step up in competition.