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April 21, 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 first of two Illinois based stops on Sunday April 21st at O'Fallon High School in O'Fallon Illinois. O'Fallon is located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis Metro area.
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 St. Louis Metro area Rivals Camp will bring together roughly 220 recruits from eight different states this Sunday. Registration will close for this camp on Thursday evening (April 18th) and no walk-up registration is allowed.
For more details on the O'Fallon Rivals Camp CLICK HERE for starting times and directions.
Why the O'Fallon/St. Louis Metro area? The Rivals Camps are set up to be a Midwest regional camp and the O'Fallon Camp alone with feature recruits from up to eight different surrounding states. O'Fallon High School has a terrific facility plus it's a very geographical friendly area for several surrounding states. Access is also easy via air, rail and car. The greater St. Louis Metro area has been a very strong overall recruiting area for the past several years which includes the Missouri/St. Louis side of the Mississippi River area along with the Illinois side via the Southwestern Conference schools. The St. Louis area historically has much warmer weather at this time of the year compared to the Northern part of the State of Illinois (but don't hold me to this).
Important for Illinois? No question the first ever Rivals Camps are very important for the Land of Lincoln to have elite level camps of this nature. For years the state has been less than friendly when it came to anything having to do with off season camps, yet the Cold War on various camps seems to be melting. Illinois will also have not one but two Rivals Camps this time with the second camp scheduled for the Greater Chicagoland Area on May 4th. Large overall participation numbers, a strong group of talented players along with cooperative schools and state association no question will go a long way towards making a positive impression on camp organizers.
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 Sunday. 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.
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.
DE DeWayne Hendrix (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) O'Fallon High School Hendrix, a four star ranked prospects has all of the makings of becoming an impact recruit at the next level. Hendrix has a combination of great physical tools and the size and frame that remains in high demand at the strongside defensive end spot. Hendrix already has offers from several top BCS programs yet a strong performance here could no question place Hendrix in the upper tier of recruits rankings talk.
TE Daniel Helm (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) Glenwood High School Helm is one of a handful of top flight tight end prospects in the Land of Lincoln's Class of 2014. Helm will have a real chance to make a definite case to separate himself from a pack of highly ranked and nationally recruited Illinois tight ends. Helm has great size and basketball type ball skills, yet Helm also can and will block as well as any tight end in this class.
RB Mikale Wilbon (5-foot-9, 190 pounds) Chicago DeLaSalle High School Wilbon is also part of a very strong group of running backs in the Illinois Class of 2014. Wilbon was able to separate himself from the pack this past winter at various combines. Wilbon also has a chance here to again show his overall combination of speed and power at an event featuring several elite type defenders. Wilbon has narrowed his favorites to Arizona State, Cincinnati, Iowa, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Could another strong performance here bring yet another higher level of interest and offers?
ILB Kyron Watson (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) East St. Louis currently ranked as a three star prospect, that current star ranking could change for the better maybe a few hours after this camp? Watson has seen his recruiting stock rise after his junior video tape hit the street. Watson has very impressive size and length and his overall speed and instincts are a positive. If Watson, like most linebackers at these events can prove that he can cover and hang with the running backs he can easily turn that three star into a fourth star quickly on Sunday.
DB Craig James (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) Edwardsville another local kid from nearby Edwardsville. James is a real burner who I consider more of an athlete type. James plays receiver and defensive back for the Tigers and James is also a dangerous kick returner. Whether James can consistently defend top flight receivers at the O'Fallon Rivals Camp on Sunday will no question play a big role in any further rankings. I honestly wouldn't bet again James here.
DB Greg Taylor(5-foot-11, 180 pounds) East St. Louis- Taylor last week gave Missouri his verbal commitment. The Tigers are getting a great athlete type who also has a great nose for the ball. The best part of Taylor's overall game? His willingness to lay the wood when required and to play a very physical corner. Nothing better than a speedy and physical corner with just a touch of East Side swagger.
LB Tori Millender (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) Belleville West- was impressed with Millender on the hoof this past winter at the Core 6 Winter Showcase. Plays well on tape and is a very solid linebacker. Playing the run is no issue here for Millender and if he can cover some elite level kids here he can have a big day on Sunday.
OT Luther Wright (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) East St. Louis a very reliable performer who has been a varsity mainstay for the Flyers since his freshman year. If Wright can show improved quickness, strength and balance and also can handle his own businessin one on ones he will no question benefit here on Sunday.
DE Matt Swaine (6-foot-7, 208 pounds) Rochester Swaine is a great all around athlete type here. Reminds me on the hoof a bit for former Rockets standout Riley McMinn (Iowa) at the same stage of McMinn's high school career. Swaine is a three sport athlete type who shows quick twitch and ability. The biggest issue here for Swaine is that he is very light and needs to add serious weight and bulk for the next level. If Swaine can bring some nasty and quickness in drills and one on ones he has a chance to open up some eyes on Sunday.
OL Nick Verbeck (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) Geneseo I've learned a few things over these many years of covering Illinois prep football. The most important lesson is to never question the toughness of Geneseo linemen. Verbeck shows great technique and power on tape and run blocking is never an issue with Geneseo kids. Pass blocking? Again that's the million dollar question here for Verbeck on Sunday. Geneseo throws the football about 20 times a year at best and if Verbeck can pass pro and show quickness he has a real chance to make a name for himself here.
OL Tanner Farmer (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) Highland Another local kid here. Shows some good things on tape yet how will Farmer do when matched up against a higher level of talent than what he see's week in and week out? A kid like Farmer will no question benefit from a camp like this win, lose or draw.
DB Micquell Cotton (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) O'Fallon Cotton has added recent offers from both Michigan State and Iowa State and is a very quick and athletic recruit. Cotton could also be recruited for any number of positions at the college level. Honestly it's just a matter of time before Cotton lands a star ranking and more love from Rivals. A strong day here on Sunday could really make a lasting impression on a more national level.
DE Terry Beckner Jr. (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) East St. Louis very, very interested to see how Beckner Jr. matches up here against older and elite level offensive linemen. Beckner Jr. on the hoof might be one of the best looking prospects in the entire 2015 class. Beckner Jr. has all of the physical tools your looking for in an elite/national level prospect. My biggest question is how well Beckner Jr. holds up again similar competition? Beckner Jr. could wind up being a top level national prospect with a strong performance here.
OT Gabe Megginson (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) Jacksonville had a chance to see Megginson last fall (yes I know where Jacksonville is thanks for asking) and while Megginson had some weight to lose and needed to add some strength, the raw tools and ability were there. I'm hearing Megginson has had a very strong off-season and we'll see just how strong once the one on ones begin on Sunday. Megginson should be very comfortable in pass pro since the Crimsons throw the ball quite a bit.
OT Quinn Oseland (6-foot-6, 305 pounds) Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin plays guard for the Cyclones and veteran head coach Ken Leonard but Oseland will no doubt play tackle at the next level. Has great size and physical makeup. Needed to improve his run blocking/point of attack/hands but his upside and potential is off the charts. Like his conference rival Megginson at Jacksonville, look for Oseland to also feel at home in pass protection. SHG runs a ton of shotgun spread and mixes in it's passing and run game quite well.DB ShawnTrez Spates (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) Decatur MacArthur I really liked Spates on video this winter. Spates has very good speed/quickness and flips his hips well in coverage. Spates plays quarterback and defensive back and has way above average football smarts and instincts on the field. The big question is can he hang with some seriously talented kids in this camp?
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