CHICAGO - For the second annual Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour, our analysts drafted the participants into four teams: Team Rivals, Team Yahoo!, Team Flickr and Team Tumblr. Teams will earn points based on their performances in Sunday's 7-on-7 Tournament and Big Man Challenge.
Here's a scouting report on each team along with the rosters.
Strength: Defensive line. Team Rivals went hard in the trenches
and added both Da'Shawn Hand and Andrew Brown from the top of
the Class of 2014 rankings.
Daylon Mack may prove to be one of the top
players in the Class of 2015 and
DeWayne Hendrix has made a major move
up the board since his Rivals Camp Series performance. There is size and speed
here which will help in timed events as well as 1-on-1 reps.
"With Hand on the outside and Brown and Mack battling in the middle there are
few reps those three are expected to lose. Hendrix is the wildcard but has
continued to impress. This is clearly the best group of defensive lineman of the
four teams." - Mike Farrell
Concern: Linebackers. A position that is often hard to project
performance in the 7-on-7 portion still leaves a lot of questions for Team
Rivals. Raekwon McMillan is the five-star among the group but he is a
true inside linebacker and that could be a mismatch against tight ends or
"There are a lot of talented kids at the position on this team but the real
worry is how they work in space." - Farrell
Headliner: Da'Shawn Hand. The No. 1 player in the Class of 2014
has heard and read all about the players who are gunning for his ranking and has
maintained his quiet confidence. The odds are that his training and talent will
be on display this weekend as he is set to prove that he belongs atop the
Most to prove:
Sam Mustipher. The
commit had a up-and-down performance at the Rivals Camp Series in Newark and was
often guessing and over extending on plays. With the talent that will be on
Soldier Field he could get exposed if his fundamentals are not improved.
2015 to Watch: Daylon Mack. Already in the mix for the top
player in Texas for the Class of 2015, Mack could prove to be the best defensive
tackle in his class. In some lineman groups he would be the headliner already as
a rising junior.
Don't be surprised if...Kevin Toliver emerges as the
best defensive back from the entire event. He has that type of top-end talent.
Strength: Defensive backs. There is a strong mix of size,
speed, and ball skills on this roster. Marlon Humphrey is one of the
biggest players at the position in the entire event while Jamal Adams,
Damon Webb, and John Smith are ball hawks. Class of 2015
prospect Iman Marshall should feel comfortable with this group as he is
teammates at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly with Smith.
Concern: Wide receiver. There is not a lot of size in this
group as Adonis Jennings is the tallest player, measuring in at
6-foot-3. The rest of the group takes a dramatic drop with Justin Brent
at 6-foot-1, Travis Rudolph at 6-foot and both KD Cannon and
Malik Dear being listed at 5-foot-10. The speed could be an advantage
but there isn't really a go-to player in the group.
Kyle Allen. Allen made a major move up the
Rivals100 rankings following a great showing at the Rivals Camp Series event in
Phoenix and is now the No. 1 pro-style quarterback on the board. He could push
Deshaun Watson for the top overall quarterback with a strong showing in
"Having the top pro-style quarterback was very important for this team. The
receiver group is worrisome but if anyone is going to be able to pick apart
defenses in this setting it is Allen. In a 7-on-7 quarterback is the most
important position and he is among the best in the country at delivering a good
ball." - Mike Farrell.
Most to Prove: Adonis Jennings. To Jenning is not listed inside
the Rivals250 and it is his mission to open the eyes of the analysts that will
be in attendance. There is major opportunity to do that with this group of
receivers as he is one that may emerge as a redzone threat with his size.
2015 to Watch:
Mitch Hyatt. Hyatt has the size at
6-foot-5 and is a very strong player at a solid 258 pounds. He is not the
biggest offensive lineman but he has very good footwork. He will have the chance
to go against more experienced players all weekend and this could be an
opportunity to improve his already very good game.
"Hyatt is the best player in the offensive line group for Team Yahoo! and may be
in the running for the top offensive tackle in the country next year. He is a
young talent that will benefit from being here and could dramatically improve
his national perception with a good weekend." - Farrell
Don't be surprised if... Justin Brent becomes the
Tyler Boyd of the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. He has
the size and speed to catch the ball in all areas, can stretch the field, and
runs good routes. If he builds a quick bond with Allen the pair could carry this
team offensively like
Christian Hackenberg and Boyd did last year.
Strength: Balance. There is not one group that really stands
out above the rest as the team was well put together. It has five players ranked
as five-stars mixed through the roster with Deshaun Watson,
Elijah Hood, Damian Prince, Lorenzo Carter and
Adoree' Jackson all being ranked between No. 5 and No. 13 nationally. That balance
could prove to be a winning formula or a middle of the pack finish with no one
group able to carry the load.
"This is a well balanced group that has star power but maybe not the depth at
any one position. Top to bottom it is a group that could show to be the best on
the weekend because of that. There isn't a reliance on one position group but
also there isn't one position group to rely on. It is a curious mix." - Mike
Weakness: Linebacker. This is a group that stands out from the
balance as the spot with the most concern. Kalen Ballage has made an
impressive move from three-star to Rivals250 since the Rivals Camp Series but he
isn't a true linebacker and he certainly hasn't seen the type of talent he will
in this setting. Kain Daub did not move well in space at his Rivals
Camp Series stop and Derik Calhoun is one of the shorter players at his
position in the event.
Headliners: Lorenzo Carter. The top-ranked player on the team
is one that has been earmarked as one that could push Hand for the top overall
spot in the country. He is long and athletic with very good speed and lean on
the outside. His frame still allows for more weight to be put on but at this
level he could be impossible to stop.
Most to prove:
Tyler Luatua. Luatua is listed as a
tight end but is working in with the receivers group, and that may put him at a
disadvantage, but the questions about him had begun before the event started. At
6-foot-4, 230-pounds he has the size and strength to be a factor and needs to
prove that he wants to be here and compete.
"There have been a lot of questions about how much Tyler Luatua wants it. His
effort has been lacking at a lot of events and he looks like he is often going
through the motions. He has flashed a lot of talent but also shut it down at
times. We want to see consistency and intensity from him." - Farrell
2015 to Watch:
Minkah Fitzpatrick. Team Flickr has Steven Parker and 5-foot-10
Adoree' Jackson who will be asked to cover the speedy slot receivers in many
contests, which will leave Fitzpatrick on an island covering one-on-one. He is
very talented and will enjoy the opportunity as will those that want to analyze
his ability and ball skills.
Don't be surprised if... Davon Godchaux emerges as an
MVP of the team. He is a pure speed rusher which will play well in the
one-on-ones and the timed strength events. He also a chip on his shoulder and
wants to show that he among the nation's elite.
Strength: Wide Receiver. Easily the most complete group of
receivers in the group belongs to Team Tumblr. The group has size with
Allen Lazard (6-foot-5) and Malachi Dupre (6-foot-4) and speed with
Christian Kirk and
DaMarkus Lodge. Team Tumblur also has a
great combination player in
Jamil Kamara. Adding to the group is
Leonard Fournette and
Dalton Schultz. Fournette is one of the
smoother pass-catching backs in the country and Shultz enters at 6-foot-7 and
could be a redzone force.
Concern: Quarterback. Jerrod Heard is not the most
accomplished passer in the event and with quarterback being the prime position
in 7-on-7 he could prove to be a pressure point. Heard can throw the ball and
has good touch and having the biggest targets of any team in the event could
help him along the way as well.
"We know that he is not
Tyrone Swoopes -- and that Heard is a more
polished passer coming into the event -- but there is a natural comparison with
him being a dual-threat quarterback, from Texas, with some concerns about
delivery." - Mike Farrell
Headliner: Allen Lazard. He is the biggest receiver on the
field and the highest rated as well. That combination should theoretically make
him the toughest match up and one that should make it very hard on the secondary
of the other teams. He is the closest receiver to earning his fifth star and
showing out in this setting could make the case much easier to close.
Most to prove:
Shaun Dion-Hamilton. Hamilton had a
very good Rivals Camp Series event and moved up the rankings because of it; now
he has to follow that up with a good national showing and prove that he was
deserving of the upward movement. Linebacker is a tough spot to stand out in a
positive way in the 7-on-7 format but being alongside Dillon Bates
should make this group the best linebacker duo in the event.
2015 to Watch: Christian Kirk. Kirk may be one of the fastest
players in the field of prospects and he may emerge as a consistent, underneath
threat this weekend. Many outside of the Southwest do not know who Kirk is but
that can easily change.
"Kirk is a little waterbug that is very tough to cover. He really is an ideal
player to have paired with the group of giant wide receivers on this team with a
chance to work all over the field and stand out." - Farrell
Don't be surprised if... Dalton Shultz becomes the key to the
team. His combination of size and speed is tough to cover. Shultz has the
ability to get downfield as well as box out players attempting to cover him.
While there isn't an O.J. Howard at the event, Shultz could be a go-to
target like Howard was last year.