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, invitation-only camp for the nation's elite will feature top prospects at all positions from the classes of 2014 and 2015. Each position is loaded with talent, and today we take a look at the wide receivers and tight ends.
The four-star Lazard held onto the No. 1 ranking at the wide receiver position after a strong performance at the St. Louis Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour in April. Lazard measured in at 6-4.5 and 204 pounds, and his athleticism at that size is rare. A great leaper with outstanding body control, the Iowa State commit is an attractive downfield and red zone target. He possesses one of the softest pairs of hands in the country, and he is a technically sound pass catcher. The question on Lazard has been his top-end speed. He has shown quickness off the line of scrimmage and in and out of his breaks, but whether he can consistently get separation from the nation's top defensive backs will be watched closely in Chicago.
Jennings earned his fourth star by winning the offensive skill MVP award at the Pittsburgh RCS and showing more consistency with his hands, especially in the driving rain. Jennings feels he belongs in the Rivals100 presented by Under Armour, and this is his chance to prove it. The knock on him has been the drops, so if he shows good hands and the ability to separate against some of the best defensive backs in the country, he has a chance to move up.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Washington emerged early as one of the top tight ends in the country. He is known mainly for his abilities as a receiver, because he uses his long frame and athleticism to bring in acrobatic receptions. At RCS Houston he had footing issues throughout the day, but when he stayed up he showed glimpses of what makes him so special. In Chicago he will have a chance to shine, especially in seven-on-seven play because he can be a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers and DBs.
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:
Luatua has a lot to prove, and there's no better opportunity than at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. The big athlete has been underwhelming at camps and seven-on-seven tournaments this offseason, but when the La Mirada, Calif., standout wants to bring it he's difficult to stop. In this setting, with many of the best players on the field at once, Luatua will have the opportunity to show his skills. He's always a difficult matchup, because he's so big and runs so well, but Luatua needs to play at 100 percent all the time to boost his stock.
BEST CHANCE TO BOOST STOCK
Dixon is an elite vertical threat who gets to his top-end speed without wasted motion. He is a natural athlete with reliable hands who flashes big-play ability. We would like to see him do a better job after the catch and making people miss in the open field. If he can prove he is a consistent game changer out wide in Chicago, his stock could climb in the next ranking cycle in the summer.
UNDERCLASSMAN TO WATCH
Dear is an instant-impact playmaker from the backfield or lined up as a flanker. He has the ability to take a short slip or wide receiver screen the distance from anywhere on the field. He registered for RCS Birmingham but couldn't attend because of a minor leg injury. We want to see him against some of the nation's top prospects to see if the buzz around his early BCS offers is worth the hype.