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July 12, 2013
Underclassmen Challenge: The Farrell Awards
The second annual Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour took place this past weekend, with more than 200 prospects from around the country from the classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017 performing in the Texas heat. Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell was on hand and, as has become customary for big events, he breaks down the best and worst in his Farrell Awards.
Lightning in a bottle
Stanley Norman, Culver City, Calif.: This award goes to the most dynamic and exciting player at the event, the guy who gets everyone's attention when he touches the ball.
While there were many players who fit the category, Norman gets the nod here. Norman was dynamic on offense, getting in and out of his breaks with ease and creating separation, and on defense he showed excellent ability to turn and run, get his head around and make plays on the ball. However, it was his offensive skill that wowed everyone and led to his Offensive Skill MVP Award.
Tyler Carr, Southside, Ala.: This goes to the player who looks the best getting off the bus -- or in this case coming through registration -- and no one looked better on the hoof than Carr, who stands roughly 6-foot-6 and checks in at about 300 pounds with no bad weight. Carr looks like a college lineman already, and he stood out physically in a strong group of offensive linemen.
Zack English, Prosper, Texas: This goes to the smallest player who made the biggest impact. Oddly enough, there weren't too many undersized prospects at the event, even though this was for underclassmen.
English certainly fit the bill. Listed 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, he might be smaller, but it was his size and quickness that made him so difficult to check.
Matthew Burrell Jr., Fredericksburg (Va.) Chancellor: The winner of this award is the prospect who plays with the most passion and anger. Maybe it was because the players were so young or it could have been the heat, but there weren't many guys who seemed to play with a consistent edge. Burrell came the closest as most of his reps ended with his opponent on the ground. At times it was because he wrestled them down, but most of the time it was because he finished the drill with a mean streak.
Darrell Williams, Hoover, Ala.: This award goes to the player we feel should have more offers at this stage and sent a wake-up call to college coaches. Williams plays at a powerhouse program in Alabama and is a teammate of five-star Marlon Humphrey. What's my point?
Dozens of college coaches from major programs have been through Hoover this spring, and only Florida State, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Southern Miss have been smart enough to offer. While four offers is nice for a 2015 prospect at this stage, it's amazing that neither in-state power has offered.
Flynn Nagel, Lemont (Ill.) Marist: This award goes to the player with the best hands, and it's a tough call because no one wowed with his consistency. However, Nagel had a very good camp and showed excellent hands in drills and in one-on-ones. If he didn't complete a play, it was likely an errant throw. He always catches the balls out front with his hands.
Ty Storey, Charleston, Ark.: This goes to the quarterback who throws the prettiest ball and "spins it" better than anyone else.
While there wasn't a quarterback at the event with a rocket arm, Storey gets the ball out with zip and he uses his size and strength to power the football. He has tremendous upside as he continues to get bigger and stronger and when it comes to arm strength and making all the throws.
Markale Moses, Broken Arrow, Okla.: We could call this award "the blanket," but it doesn't sound as cool. This is for the defensive back who provided the best overall coverage at the event. Moses was not high on the radar coming in to the event, but during one-on-ones his number kept coming up when it came to big plays. He always seemed to be around the football, and he showed good instincts and the ability to stay on the hip of his opponent.
Tyler Carr, Southside, Ala.: This award goes to the prospect at the event who has the most potential to be a college and NFL star. You'd think Dylan Moses would be that guy with all the hype and he makes honorable mention, but he's too young to even make a proper projection on a position. Carr hasn't played much along the offensive line, but based on what I saw Sunday, and with his size, frame and power, he has the look of someone we could be watching in the NFL down the line.