Rivals Underclassmen Challenge: Prospects shine in Atlanta

Uncategorized

ATLANTA – The 2022 Rivals Camp Series came to a close on Friday with the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Atlanta. Some of the best young football prospects in America made the trip to show off against outstanding players from different regions of the country. Check out this breakdown of the positional MVPs from the day.

QUARTERBACK MVP: Kamari McClellan

The loaded quarterback group featured multiple four-star prospects but McClellan was the most consistent from start to finish. The 2024 Rivals250 prospect out of Alabama has a smooth delivery and showed off impressive accuracy during the position drills portion of camp. McClellan has one of the best performances in the long toss competition too. During 1-on-1s and into the skills showcase, McClellan was on target and did a nice job of throwing receivers open against tight coverage. Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama hosted him recently and each of these teams figure to be serious contenders for his commitment.

*****  

RUNNING BACK MVP: Jayden Scott

Jayden Scott

Jayden Scott

Scott rose to the top of a talented group of running backs, showing toughness during the blitz pickup drills and savvy route running skills during one-on-ones. The 2024 back out of Georgia may not be a complete burner but he is sudden and showed great footwork during position drills. Scott’s quickness helped him create a lot of separation with the linebackers during one-on-ones and that made it easy for quarterbacks to get him the ball. On downfield routes, Scott did a nice job of avoiding the linebackers as they tried to disrupt his timing. South Carolina, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke are just a few of the programs that Scott visited recently.

*****  

WIDE RECEIVER MVP: Winston Watkins

Winston Watkins, Jr.

Winston Watkins, Jr.

The race for the receiver MVP award was really tight but Watkins edged out the competition. The 2025 Texas A&M commit is so explosive off the line of scrimmage that barely any defensive backs could even stick with him. Watkins runs crisp routes and does a good job faking out defensive backs with subtle shoulder or hip movements. Quarterbacks loved getting paired up with him because they knew they’d have big windows to throw the ball into. Ohio State, Texas and Georgia have all offered Watkins since the beginning of May and he wore Clemson gloves at camp on Friday.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS A&M FANS AT AGGIEYELL.COM

*****  

OFFENSIVE LINE MVP: Eddy Pierre-Louis

Eddy Pierre-Louis

Eddy Pierre-Louis

It isn’t often interior linemen win MVP at these events but Pierre-Louis was outstanding. He narrowly beat out 2025 lineman Douglas Utu for the award but he earned the trophy by literally throwing around some of the defensive linemen he faced during one-on-ones. Pierre-Louis still has some technical quirks to smooth out but he was so effective against even the best defensive linemen. Once he got his hands on the oncoming pass rusher, the rep was over best Pierre-Louis was so strong and he could control where the defensive lineman went. He also won the bench press competition with 26 reps of 225-pounds. Teams from around the country are working hard to get him on campus before the season starts.

*****  

DEFENSIVE LINE MVP: Marquise Lightfoot

Marquise Lightfoot

Marquise Lightfoot

Lightfoot wasn’t one of the headliners coming into the event on Friday but he certainly left as one. The Illinois native was already set to rise in the rankings during the next update and he proved that move correct with how he played during 1-on-1s. Standing tall at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, Lightfoot has the ability to bend around the edge on outside rushes and knows how to use his hands to keep offensive linemen from slowing him down. His strength surprised some offensive linemen and his ability to quickly close the space between him and the offensive lineman made it hard for them to adjust their hands or slide to stay in front of him. Notre Dame, Illinois and Michigan are just a few of the programs doing well recruiting Lightfoot.

*****  

LINEBACKER MVP:

Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams

Williams and Sammy Brown were neck and neck for the MVP award but Williams was slightly better during one-on-ones. Williams was able to force more bad passes from quarterbacks because his long arms allowed him to knock down passes that running backs and quarterbacks didn’t think he’d be able to get. The USC commit did a great job covering down the field as well. It’s not something linebackers are often asked to do during game situations but Williams was very effective when defending wheel routes and seam routes, coming down with at least one interception and knocking down multiple passes. Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Oregon are some of the teams trying to pry Williams away from the Trojans.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

*****

DEFENSIVE BACK MVP:

Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins

Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins

Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins

Defensive back may have been the deepest position at Friday’s camp, which makes Dunbar-Hawkins’ performance all the more impressive. The Rivals250 prospect out of California locked down almost every receiver he faced on Friday using a combination of technique and instincts. Dunbar-Hawkins did a great job anticipating the routes receivers were running and jumping in front of the receiver to make sure they couldn’t reach the pass. He had multiple chances for interceptions but ended up batting the ball away more times than not. Texas A&M, Georgia and USC are just some of the major contenders for Dunbar-Hawkins.

Leave a Reply