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June 5, 2013

Five-Star Challenge: Underclassmen to watch


MORE: Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge

CHICAGO -- The Rivals100 Five Star Challenge presented by Under Armour is so loaded with 2014 talent that the younger players from the class of 2015 often get overlooked on the roster. However, our Rivals.com national analyst team has its eyes on a few of them. Here are five who could stand out. (Prospects are listed in alphabetical order.)

DE Terry Beckner Jr., East St. Louis, Ill.
There may not be a deeper position group at the event than defensive line, and that includes the three underclassmen who will be competing. Physically, there is little concern the 6-foot-4, 270-pound Beckner will stack up with the class of 2014 defensive linemen at the event, and he has gone head-to-head with fellow Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge defensive lineman Dewayne Hendrix and fared well. This is Beckner's opportunity to make his case to be one of the early five-stars in the 2015 class.

OL Mitch Hyatt, Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett
Hyatt may be a bit light in the britches at 258 pounds, but he uses that to his advantage with quickness and athleticism and he has a great frame to fill out. His technique is excellent, his arm extension is well timed and effective, and he keeps those feet moving and doesn't lunge. He's in contention for the No. 1 overall OT ranking for next year, and this will go a long way toward determining that.

OL Sterling Jenkins, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Baldwin
Jenkins burst onto the scene in a big way at the Pittsburgh Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour event, and offers have been pouring in since then. Expect to see a very focused and driven Jenkins as he tries to reach his seemingly limitless potential. The scary part is that he is very raw but has incredible physical gifts. As he continues to face great competition, expect him to improve exponentially. He's a quick learner and will take so much knowledge away from this event, whether he wins a rep or not. However, don't bet against him with his amazing size and reach to pull a few upsets in the one-on-ones.

DT Daylon Mack, Gladewater, Texas
Mack enters the Five-Star Challenge with an offer list of who's who of college football. Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma have extended offers, along with Texas Tech, TCU, SMU and Baylor. The 6-2, 307-pound Mack is built like a rock and overwhelms opponents with his strength and explosiveness. The East Texas standout will have a chance to go up against the nation's best in Chicago, and the stage will be set for him to show just where he belongs among the best of the best. He earned defensive line MVP honors at RCS Dallas, so he has the goods and could easily use the platform to solidify himself among the elite of 2015.

DB Kevin Toliver II, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Toliver has superb cover skills, and he will get to show off his tools against the game's playmakers this weekend. If he was a rising senior, we feel he could be a top 2014 cornerback in the state of Florida. The future LSU Bayou Bengal has the size, speed and technique to stick with wideouts in one-on-one situations. He plays the ball well without interfering and maintains great position downfield with the ball in the air. This could be his coming out party to show why he is held in such high regard in the Sunshine State, and a strong performance could vault him into the discussion for the top defensive back spot nationally for class of 2015.



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