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June 14, 2013
Five-Star Challenge: Top underclassmen
While much of the focus of the second annual Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour was on the class of 2014, there were many 2015 stars who stood out and, at times, stole the show. Here's a look at the top 10 from the camp, led by California quarterback Josh Rosen.
RIVALS FIVE-STAR CHALLEGE TOP UNDERCLASSMEN
1. QB Josh Rosen, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John BoscoRosen only participated in the camp portion of the event on Saturday, where he went through position drills and instruction and then threw in the one-on-ones and he made quite an impression. He was arguably the best quarterback on the field that day and at worst he was third, impressive for a sophomore. While we didn't get to break down his abilities in the 7-on-7 tournament, everyone came away impressed with his arm strength, release, accuracy and footwork.
2. WR DaMarkus Lodge, Cedar Hill, TexasLodge was Mr. Consistency in Chicago. He caught everything in his area and was able to create separation against just about everyone he went up against. All in all, his was a stellar performance and he proved he is a prospect to watch in 2015. He boasted the best hands of anyone at the event.
3. OL Mitch Hyatt, Suwannee (Ga.) North GwinnettHyatt was very athletic for a big man. He was very natural in his movement and has the frame college coaches love. He is going to pack on some good weight over the next few years. He also showed during one-on-ones he is more than potential with some wins over the best 2014 has to offer. In fact, beating Da'Shawn Hand and Lorenzo Carter can be added to a resume that already included besting Robert Nkemdiche.
4. DB Tarvarus McFadden, Plantation (Fla.) American HeritageAs the top underclassman defensive back at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, McFadden showed a number of skills that could make him one of the highest-rated prospects in the 2015 class. The 6-foot-3, 188-pound McFadden has an impressive mix of length and good instincts and great speed. During the 7-on-7 tournament on Sunday, McFadden was a key part of the defensive backfield for his team. He had two interceptions and multiple pass breakups.
5. LB John Houston, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero SerraAt 6-foot-3 and just 202 pounds, Houston is nowhere near reaching his potential ... and yet, in a setting that featured the top upperclassmen in the country, the class of 2015 prospect was among the weekend's top playmakers, regardless of class. Houston already understands how to use his length in pass coverage, and he recorded an interception and several pass breakups during Sunday's 7-on-7 tournament. He also can run, showing great sideline-to-sideline speed.
6. DB Kevin Toliver II, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity ChristianToliver is very calm, cool and collected at defensive back, a trait that will bode well for the LSU commitment down the line. While he didn't make many big plays on Sunday during the 7-on-7 tournament, he made some amazing plays on Saturday, including a one-handed steal from receiver Ermon Lane. His reaction to the play (essentially none, as if it was something he does every day) speaks volumes about his confidence and he showed great feet and good instincts in solo coverage.
7. OL Zach Rogers, Lewisville (Texas) HebronRogers is stout and strong and more than held his own. He is a high school tackle who projects to guard because of his size, and he showed great technique and a high-end motor over the weekend in Chicago. He competed well and was in business mode all weekend. He was one of the more consistent linemen when it comes to moving his feet and he doesn't back down from anyone.
8. WR Christian Kirk, Scottsdale (Ariz.) SaguaroKirk started his prep career as a running back, and you can see the influence of that position in the way he runs with the football after the catch. But the 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior-to-be has made the transition to slot wide receiver and is becoming very effective in that role. He displays excellent hands, but what really sets Kirk apart is how quickly he changes direction and his ability to get to top speed in an instant.
9. RB Jacques Patrick, Orlando (Fla.) Timber CreekPatrick is a huge running back, something that seems to have become more the norm these days, and he can move. He showed good footwork in drills, reliable hands on Saturday and he's a solid route-runner although most of his work is done near the line of scrimmage. An athletic prospect, Patrick has excellent upside and runs with good leverage despite being a taller player.
10. DT Rasheem Green, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero SerraGreen showed a lot of quickness for a prospect his size. He shot his hands very well, was able to get offensive linemen off him quickly and he made some great counter moves. He was four of five in one-on-ones on Sunday during the Big Man Challenge and showed a great first step.