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May 4, 2013
CLICK HERE for complete Rivals Camp coverage
What are the Rivals Camps? The first ever Rivals.com Camp Series sponsored by Under Armour will make it's second of two Illinois based stops on Saturday May 4th at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. Maine South is located just a stone's throw from O'Hare International Airport in the near Northern suburbs.
Who is invited? The Rivals Camps are invitation only and will feature the best of the best recruits in the region as determined by the Rivals.com network of national and regional recruiting experts. The Chicagoland area Rivals Camp will bring together roughly 200 recruits from several different states this Sunday. Registration is closed for this camp and no walk-up registration is allowed.
For more details on the Chicagoland Rivals Camp CLICK HERE for starting times and directions.
Why Chicagoland area for the Rivals Camp? The Chicagoland Rivals Camps will be the 15th and final stop on this nation-wide tour and Chicagoland makes sense for these camps on many levels. Chicagoland and Illinois has been producing some solid recruiting classes in 2013 and now 2014. The area as a whole is improving on a recruiting scale both regionally and nationally. Chicago remains one of the most accessible big cities in the nation. O'Hare airport is literally 10 minutes away from Maine South and the Chicagoland area is accessible via several different transportation means. Chicago is also the third largest media market in the country and Yahoo/Rivals.com has a recent partnering agreement with NBC Sports/Comcast Sportsnet.
Important for Chicagoland? The O'Fallon Rivals Camp a few weeks ago no question made a solid impression on the uppity ups at Rivals and showed that Illinois can and will support these camps both with overall talent and numbers as well as with support from the high schools and the state association. Chicagoland will hopefully increase the impression and the reputation for the Land of Lincoln when it comes to football. Illinois has been known as a basketball state for many years and while hoops is still top dog events such as this along with the recently announced Rivals.com 5 Star Challenge (which will feature the Top 100 prospects nationally in June at Soldier Field) will just increase the presence both regionally and nationally of football in Illinois.
Why go to the Rivals Camps? The Rivals Camps are a great place to compete against some of the top recruits in the nation. These invite only events will guarantee that you'll square off against the best of the best. The amount of recruits allowed to attend the Rivals Camps have been capped unlike other similar camps so player can expect to get plenty of work all day on Saturday. The overall coverage and exposure from the Rivals.com network is second to none just CLICK HERE to see some previous camp coverage. Rivals.com is the unquestioned online leader in football recruiting coverage and the Rivals.com audience literally doubles several other networks combined. Yahoo/NBC Sports which includes Rivals.com was recently named as the #1 most viewed sports network in the nation.
Also important to note: The Rivals Camps are NOT combines and unlike others this camp does NOT perform any testing or any timing whatsoever. The Rivals Camps are all football drill work and skills. The Rivals Camps feature the best players doing what they do best which is play football. Recruits are judged and evaluated performing football only related drills and one on ones. We leave the stop watches at home.
LB Clifton Garrett(6-foot-3, 225 pounds) Plainfield South- no question one of the nation's top linebacker prospects with more offers and interest growing by the day. I know what Garrett can do in these settings and I fully expect him to shine here. However, what I want to see from him and what I feel could earn him a fifth star is how well can he take his improvement in the winter and carry it onto the field in 2013? Garrett is still very inexperienced in football terms and if he can make the jump on the field this fall much like last season with Laquon Treadwell I have no issue with Garrett gaining that fifth star. A strong showing takes Garrett a step closer.
LB Nyles Morgan (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) Crete-Monee- many including myself seem to have Morgan just a slot below Garret for the state's top honors, yet Morgan takes a backseat to no one here. Morgan is the more game experienced prospect here and has all of the physical tools to be an elite college level linebacker. When it's all said and done and when the final rankings are in, I could see Morgan make a serious run for a fifth star and a top state ranking. Remember it's not where you start but where you finish. A good start begins here on Saturday.
TE Ian Bunting (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) Hinsdale Central-committed to Michigan. Bunting has the size. reach and ball skills to make most defenders look silly. Bunting just needs to show up and play on Saturday. It's going to be fun to see how well the highly recruited Bunting reacts when he's the hunted here as opposed to being the hunter just a few short months ago.
RB Justin Jackson (6-foot-0, 175 pounds) Glenbard North- Jackson just doesn't do too many of these type of camps so it will be fun to see how long it takes him to gear up when he's challenged. Jackson has great speed and tools and will do well in one on one situations. The biggest part of his game is his toughness and durability and those traits could bode well here on Saturday. Yet like most camp first timers an adjustment period is expected for him early.
DL Dylan Thompson (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) Montini Catholic- an Ohio State commit. Thompson was very strong this winter at the Core 6 Showcase and seems to just thrive in these events. While Thompson is all locked up his intensity is still there and is no question looking for a higher star ranking on Saturday. Thompson remains one of a handful of Illinois prospect who's early star rankings seem to be a bit low and that could change in a hurry starting on Saturday.
OC Brian Allen (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) Hinsdale Central-Allen pledged to Michigan State. Allen will just line up against a kid 3 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than him. That same bigger kid will snicker at Allen (6-foot-2, 270 pounds). Allen will then body slam that same kid into the ground early and often in one on ones. That same bigger kid won't snicker at Allen anymore.
OT Chase Gianacakos (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) St. Charles North- yet another Michigan State commit. Physically Chase is still a work in progress yet will be able to more than hold his own on Saturday against top competition. Gianacakos will no question get a real test here and this event will do nothing but get him better.
DT Enoch Smith Jr. (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) Chicago Mount Carmel- also a Michigan State commit. Enoch has a great mix of speed and power and will gladly go against bigger linemen and walk away more often than not with the win. It should be interesting to see if these Spartan teammates square off against each other on Saturday. It's the SpartanMag.com dream matchup.
Click here for more Top Headliners to Watch on Saturday.
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Coming: Underclassmen to Watch.
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