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June 9, 2013
Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: MVPs
CHICAGO -- Damien Mama wrapped up another strong performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour, beating numerous top-rated defensive linemen, but the 6-foot-5, 360-pound prospect still was not tired.
As the event was wrapping up and players were congregating near midfield, Mama was performing a sketch one-on-one with Adoree' Jackson, the diminutive five-star cornerback from Gardena (Calif.) Serra.
This was going to be another win for Mama, the offensive line MVP during Sunday's Linemen Challenge at Soldier Field. He dominated some massive defensive tackles and ends throughout the day. Jackson would be no problem.
"It's pretty cool that I won," Mama said. "I just wanted to come out and compete and show what I can do.
"I just wanted to get reps. I don't like sitting around. I just wanted to show the coaches that I could be versatile."
Mama, who is being recruited as an offensive guard, also moved outside a lot to earn extra reps. He went up against Da'Shawn Hand, the top-rated prospect by Rivals.com who also earned the Defensive Line MVP at Sunday's Challenge, five-star Andrew Brown and many others.
Playing offensive tackle is not Mama's forte, but he did a noble job and was happy with his performance throughout the weekend.
Mama earned the Offensive Line MVP, Hand got the DL award and Hoover, Ala., cornerback Marlon Humphrey was awarded top defensive MVP, but arguably the top player on Sunday was Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain quarterback Kyle Allen, a recent Texas A&M commit.
Allen, the top-rated pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com, had a good, not great, performance during Saturday's one-on-one portion, but he heard a different tune leading into Sunday's event. The message Allen received was that he needed to do better, so he did.
"That's what everyone is saying," Allen said. "I didn't feel like I was bad yesterday. Everyone was telling me I wasn't doing well.
"Everyone was telling me I was bad yesterday and I didn't feel like I was bad, but I really got it going, got with my receivers and really did a good job with them."
That was especially impressive because Allen did not have much time to develop chemistry with his receivers. That didn't seem to matter. He worked well with Tennessee tight end commit Daniel Helm and numerous receivers all over the field.
"It is kind of feeling it out the first day, but today I felt comfortable with all my receivers. I saw them throughout the day really well, and we had the one-on-ones so I knew who I was going to throw to and we all got on the same page in the tournament," Allen said.