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March 20, 2013

RCS Dallas: Five things we learned

MORE: Rivals Camp Series coverage

DALLAS -- The second weekend of the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour wrapped up Sunday and many top story lines emerged from the events. Here are Five Things We Learned from the camp at Cedar Hill High School near Dallas.

1. Sample size is a funny thing

Two of the camps most touted prospects didn't have their best days at the event. That's not to say the receiver KD Cannon and quarterback Jerrod Heard didn't show their elite-level talent in flashes. It's only to say they weren't the unstoppable forces many expected to see.

For differing periods of time, both Cannon and Heard lived up to the billing. Cannon rattled off a few lopsided one-on-one victories in a row, and Heard's arm strength looked impressive while throwing on the run during drills.

The consistency we have grown accustomed to seeing out of both, however, was missing. Nobody is jumping to conclusions based on a few hours of camp reps, mostly because both have proven themselves on other occasions. It should, however, be noted that both players are human and capable of having off days.

2. Knox is never satisfied

Demetrius Knox holds more than 15 offers and has long been committed to Texas, but that didn't stop him from making the trip to Dallas and flattening defensive linemen.

There's something to be said about a player who always want more. In this case, his motivation was an MVP trophy and an invitation to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, and Knox left with both. It would have been easy for the four-star prospect to mail it in or skip the camp all together. Instead, he took as many reps as any player in attendance and played with a chip on his shoulder all afternoon.

Everyone knew Knox was talented before he showed up for the event, but his drive was a pleasant surprise.

3. Daylon Mack is just getting started.

Daylon Mack is what his growing offer list suggests he is, and that's dominant. He took home the defensive line MVP trophy for good reason. Nobody had much luck blocking Mack, just a sophomore, in Dallas. And while he never ran up against Knox, he mopped the floor with everyone else.

Five of Mack's six scholarship offers are from schools inside the state of Texas, but the word on him is spreading. If his performance in Dallas taught us anything, it's that it's only a matter of time until large programs try to convince him to cross state borders for college.

Mack looked the part of a 30-plus offer player, and he'll get there long before he's ready to sign a letter of intent.

4. Lodge's stock will rise in a hurry

Mack was by no means the only sophomore to make a splash in Dallas. The camp's offensive skill MVP was also an underclassmen. DaMarkus Lodge, a relatively unknown sophomore wide receiver, took everyone off guard by winning all but one rep during one-on-ones.

It's amazing how polished Lodge is considering his young age. His initial burst off the line of scrimmage is impressive. He takes contact well and is able to use the aggression of defensive backs against them while creating almost immediate separation when pressed.

Lodge measured 6-foot-1 at the weekend camp, but with a few years to grow and a father who checks in at 6-foot-5 or so, his upside is sky-high.

5. Size matters ... most times

Being vertically challenged will no doubt stunt the growth of offer lists for both Marcus Perkins Jr. and Willie Iveryt. Fair or not, it's part of college football recruiting. It didn't hinder either in Dallas, though.

Both 5-foot-9 wide receivers landed on the list of top performers at the event. Perkins, who weighs just 165 pounds, nearly took home the MVP trophy after torching defensive backs with straight-line speed all afternoon. Perkins is one of the fastest prospects in America and reminded everybody of that fact over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Ivery was successful playing both receiver and running back. Ivery is not quite as fast as Perkins but moves well enough to totally overwhelm linebackers and challenge even the rangiest defensive backs.

Both undersized prospects will likely garner significant offer lists before all is said and done. Each could shine in college given they are placed in the right roles.



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