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June 2, 2013
Rivals.com, the nation's leader in football recruiting coverage, is bringing more than 100 of the country's top prospects to participate in the second annual Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour. The free, invitation-only camp for the nation's elite will feature top prospects at all positions from the classes of 2014 and 2015. Each position is loaded with talent, and today we take a look at the defensive backs.
Jamal Adams, Lewisville (Texas) Hebron; Shawn Burgess-Becker (2015), Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch; Minkah Fitzpatrick (2015), Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep; Nick Harvey, Richmond (Texas) Travis; Marlon Humphrey, Hoover, Ala.; Adoree' Jackson, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra; Laurence Jones, Monroe (La.) Neville; Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville Academic Campus; Iman Marshall (2015), Long Beach (Calif.) Poly; Tarvarus McFadden (2015), Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage; Rico McGraw (2015), Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth; Montae Nicholson, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway; Steven Parker, Jenks, Okla., Adarius Pickett, El Cerrito, Calif., Michiah Quick, Fresno (Calif.) Central East; Kendall Sheffield (2015), Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Marshall; John Smith, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly; Marvell Tell (2015), Encino (Calif.) Crespi; Kevin Toliver II (2015), Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian; Damon Webb, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
This could be an interesting weekend for Jackson for many reasons. He's originally from the East St. Louis area, so it's a sort of homecoming with family expected in town, and it's his first chance to work out in front of the entire Rivals.com team of analysts. Jackson has played in only one 7on7 tournament this offseason, and he didn't do camps. He could be a little rusty, but that shouldn't be much of an issue. He's like a human rubber band who has outstanding balance and athleticism, so even if he's a step late he makes up for it and makes a play on the ball. Jackson is so good he can be used in college on offense, defense or special teams.
Parker is an intimidating presence in the Jenks defensive backfield. He has shown himself to be a long, athletic safety who uses that length to his advantage to quickly close on the ball. Those abilities have caught the attention of several top programs and put him among the nation's top safeties. He was unable to attend RCS Dallas, and he will have a chance to really make noise with a strong performance in Chicago.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Jones is one of the bigger safety prospects in the country at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, and he has been a playmaker on both sides of the ball for a strong Neville squad. He has not done many camps this spring, but he is one of the few prospects making a second trip to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. In Chicago, he will have a chance to make his case for a fifth star with several top defensive backs in attendance.
MOST TO PROVE
Nicholson dropped quite a bit in our latest rankings mainly because of a lackluster performance at RCS Pittsburgh, where he seemed a bit uninterested. Focusing on the defensive side of the ball is key for him, and he will need to put forth a top effort to move back up the charts. He has the athletic ability, there's no doubt about that, but he will need to be a leader with so many young defensive backs attending the event.
BEST CHANCE TO BOOST STOCK
Smith made a huge jump in the latest round of rankings, but that doesn't mean he cannot go even farther up with a strong showing in Chicago. The Long Beach Poly standout is an outstanding wide receiver and safety, and that versatility has intrigued numerous college coaches across the country. He'll be one of the best-looking prospects on the field because of his size and muscle, and if he has a strong showing another bump in the rankings would not be out of the question.
UNDERCLASSMAN TO WATCH
In Orlando at the RCS, Toliver was one of the best defensive backs in attendance regardless of class. He has superb cover ability to go with great length and size. Some recruiting experts have him pegged as the top corner in Florida for the class of 2015. There is no doubt he has the tools to be considered among the state's best, but in Chicago he will have an opportunity to show he could be among the nation's elite as well.
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