April 5, 2013

Rivals Camp Series Atlanta: Making the push

(1-on-1 drills from RCS Miami and Orlando presented by Under Armour)

MORE: Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour

The Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour is a new series of invitation-only camps for selected participants who are considered the best in the country at their respective positions.

On Saturday, the tour stops in Hoover, located outside of the Birmingham metro area, and will wrap up with a visit to the Peach State on Sunday in Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta.

Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Woody Wommack tells us what we can expect on Day 2 of the star-studded weekend.

1. Can Carter push for an even higher ranking?

After watching him dominate on the field last fall, it wasn't a very difficult decision to make Norcross (Ga.) defensive end Lorenzo Carter a five-star during the last round of rankings.

But after he helped his team to a berth in the basketball state championship game and continues to turn in impressive numbers at track meets on a regular basis, there's no doubt he's among the most versatile athletes in this year's class.

The Atlanta stop is loaded with big-time prospects across the board, but if Carter comes out and performs like he's capable of, he could start building a case to be even higher than his No. 9 overall ranking in the Rivals100.

Meanwhile, plenty of other big-name linemen figure to be looking to make a run at Carter, including fellow Rivals100 member Andrew Williams. With so many top prospects along both the offensive and defensive lines scheduled to be in attendance, one-on-ones figure to be quite the show.

2. Which running back will emerge?

With the nation's No. 15 overall prospect Jalen Hurd set to miss Sunday's camp while he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, there will be plenty of players looking to show their stuff in his absence.

Fellow Rivals100 running backs Adam Choice and Nick Chubb are both scheduled to be in attendance, with high three-star and recent Tennessee commitment Treyvon Paulk also on board.

Paulk's recruitment has blown up over the past few months and Sunday will give him a chance to show in head-to-head competition that he belongs in the Rivals250.

Meanwhile, Chubb and Choice are right at the top of the heap in terms of Georgia talent at the running back position and will have a chance to compete against one another for a second time this offseason. During the Rising Seniors event in December, both looked great and another solid outing could help both continue to rise.

3. Will anyone challenge Watson?

Deshaun Watson is a cool customer at the quarterback position, but how will he do with a target on his back? Watson is the nation's top signal-caller, but plenty of other quarterbacks are out to show they're on his level.

Last week in Orlando, prospects Alin Edouard and Zack Darlington performed well, and after Atlanta, the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour will head to Richmond and Charlotte, where the nation's No. 2 quarterback, Will Grier, will show what he can do.

In order to maintain his No. 1 spot, Watson will have to show the same type of skills that helped him lead his team to a state championship this past fall.

Among the quarterbacks looking to push Watson are three-star Syracuse commit A.J. Long, three-star Tyler Harris and three-star Cole Garvin. Watson recently wrapped up basketball season, so how much time he's spent perfecting his game is a big an unknown.

But with several high-quality skill players on hand, Watson will have plenty of weapons to deliver the ball to when it comes time for one-on-ones.

4. Can McMillan get his fifth star back?

When the initial class of 2014 watch list came out in November, linebacker Raekwon McMillan was one of 10 players to earn an initial five-star ranking. But after the Rising Seniors event, McMillan slipped ever so slightly, falling from the top 10 down to the No. 16 overall player in the Rivals100.

More importantly for McMillan, he lost his fifth star and now he's on a mission to get it back. With the aforementioned running backs in attendance, McMillan will get a chance to show that he's more than just a run-stuffer. He figures to get a stiff test in pass coverage one-on-ones.

The fact that he's ready to come and compete is a good sign, and with his sole focus on training this offseason, McMillan figures to be ready to roll come Sunday.

5. Can top underclassmen compete?

While the Class of 2014 talent can't be denied (15 members of the Rivals250 are expected to attend), there are a number of 2015 and 2016 players out to show that they belong as well.

The group is highlighted by class of 2015 offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, who already lists offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, USC and several other elite programs.

Also expected to be in attendance is 2016 defensive end/tight end Isaac Nauta, whose recruitment has seen him add Michigan, Florida and Tennessee offers over the past few months.

Other top underclassmen likely to attend include 2015 defensive tackle Trenton Thompson and 2015 quarterback Tyler Queen. Both players have early offers and figure to have plenty more before it's all said and done.




 

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