June 11, 2013

Rivals Five-Star Challenge Breakdown: FSU targets

Rivals Five-Star Challenge (FSU Recruiting) Launch Page

The best of the best were on Soldier Field in Chicago over weekend for the Rivals Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour. The invitation only event featured over a dozen Florida State targets. Here is a wrap-up of their performance.

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FSU target performance breakdown
RB Jaques Patrick (2015), Timber Creek (Orlando, Fla.)

Patrick was listed as an alternate for this event because the number running backs at the event, but you never would have been able to tell that with his strong performance. He was at his best in the one-on-one portion of the camp. No one had an answer for covering him. That includes match-ups with Tre Williams, Raekwon McMillian and Clifton Garrett. Patrick won all of those match-ups. During the event registration, he wore an FSU shirt. It was the third consecutive event did this. Patrick also revealed that FSU-UF were his top two schools at this point. He will camp at FSU in July. .

WR Artavis Scott, East Lake (Tarpon Springs, Fla.)

National rank: No. 81

Position rank: No. 11

Scott was one of the most consistent game breakers in on-on-one coverage on Saturday. He had little trouble exploding out of his routes and getting separation. There weren't many defensive backs that were able to stay with him because of how he hits that second gear of speed once coming out of his routes. Scott finished with six touchdowns in two days. On the recruiting front, he's not that focused on schools right now but FSU, Clemson, Central Florida and Michigan are some of the main schools mentioned. He plans to visit FSU in July during the camp, but will likely not participate.

WR Malachi Dupre, John Curtis (River Ridge, La.)

National rank: No. 58

Position rank: No. 7

Dupre showed to be the total package when you look at size, speed and his hands. Out of all the receivers, he was the most consistent. He didn't drop any passes in the position drills, caught the ball at its highest and lowest point and was just as spectacular in one-on- ones where he also shifted to another gear coming out of his routes. He is a bit of a long strider, but he covers a lot of ground with his speed and that certainly stood out this past weekend. Most consider LSU as the team to watch, but said FSU is very high on his list and he plans to visit in July.

WR Travis Rudolph, Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

National rank: No. 153

Position rank: No. 22

It's hard to not put Rudolph in the same company as Dupre and Scott with how fluid he was in his route running and the explosiveness he showed coming out of his routes. Like Dupre, he showed very good hands. Rudolph's game is quite similar to Rashad Greene in how he glides through his routesm but also catches anything close to him and has good elusiveness out in space. Rudolph told Warchant that he plans to visit FSU this summer and has been impressed how FSU uses their young receivers. 2013 signee has been in Rudolph's ear about the 'Noles. The main competition at this stage is Auburn and Florida.

WR Josh Malone, Station Camp (Gallatin, Tenn.)

National rank: No. 38

Position rank: No. 3

Malone didn't have a lot of fanfare coming into this event, but he also didn't disappoint either. He was sharp on his routes, not as crisp as Dupre or Scott, but still solid for the day. Where Malone excels is his long reach and his quickness out in space for a long rangy 6-foot-4 receiver. There were times where he wasn't near the ball, but because of his long reach, he found a way to close on the play with his acceleration out if his routes. Not a lot going on with his recruitment except he has a strong relationship with Randy Sanders and Jay Graham - both are former Tennessee assistant coaches. Malone said he's very high on the 'Noles and plans to visit in July. If FSU pushes, as expected, it will be a major player.

WR Ermon Lane, Homestead (Homestead, Fla.)

National rank: No. 32

Position rank: No. 2

It was a tale of two different days for Lane, who on Saturday was inconsistent, but flashy inside the red zone with his leaping grabs and even one hand stabs in the position drills. There wasn't a lot going on with the one-on-one's during the early portions of the camp. That changed on Sunday where Lane hauled in nearly six touchdowns and was the go-to guy for Team Rivals. Lane was much more assertive on Sunday with how he got separation. On late Monday evening Lane informed Warchant that he plans to attend FSU summer camp on Thursday. This will be the second year in the row has visited FSU's camp. Alabama, Miami and Florida are the main competition. Alabama is the team to watch early on, but this is a tight battle.

OL Demtrius Knox, All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth, Tex.)

National rank: No. 87

Position rank: No. 1 (OG)

Knox didn't take home the MVP award for top OL, but he probably should have if you base his performance on the one-on-one portion of the camp. He was the most consistent offensive lineman with how he got off the line with a solid initial punch on all the DTs and showed the quickest feet out of any lineman in attendance. Knox beat Da'Shawn Hand once and defeated another five-star Andrew Brown four times in one-on-one drills. He was arguably the biggest surprise of the event with how much he has improved his lower body quickness. Knox plans to visit FSU this summer. Although he did arrive wearing an Ohio State hat, Knox said that was mainly done for show. UCLA and Ohio State are the main competition. Knox also indicated there's a good possibility he ends up at the same school as teammate running back Daniel Gresham. FSU is very high on the list for Gresham.

OL Damian Prince, Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)

National rank: 10

Position rank: No. 2 (OT)

Prince got off to a slow start on Saturday after losing an early match-up to five star DE Da'Shawn Hand twice. However, he settled down after that and won the majority of his battles the rest of Saturday. He showed more power than Knox, but sometimes would be so quick to make a big punch off the line of scrimmage that it would affect him sitting down on the blocks and moving his feet the way he wanted. He also had to slightly adjust to the speed of the tackles, which was very quick. On the second day, Prince was strong to start off with beating Da'Shawn Hand and Malik McDowell. Not as strong of a showing as Prince might have wanted, but still right up there, just behind Knox and Damien Mama for top performer at the position. On the recruiting front, Prince plans to visit FSU on June 20 and that should be a two day trip. He is close friends with Ronald Darby and E.J. Levenberry. In addition, FSU has been recruiting him the longest and we are told FSU side feels good about their position with Prince.

DT Derrick Nnadi, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.)

National rank: No. 34

Position rank: No. 2

Nnadi was a little short, probably around the same height as Jacobbi McDaniel coming out of high school. However, Nnadi was also the most consistent DT in one-on-one drills. He did a very good job being the lower man through the blocks and used the rip technique move better than any defensive tackle, then just let his quickness take over in gaining the upper hand with leverage in the pass rushing situations. Much like Prince, he started slowly, but Nnadi won more battles than any at the tackle position for one-on-one's. His height might be a concern compared to most. Nnadi said that FSU is one school he's very high on but I get the impression it's a Virginia/Virginia Tech battle unless FSU can change his Mom's mind about staying close to home.

DT Andrew Brown , Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)

National Rank: No. 7
Position rank: No. 1

Another prospect that had two days of very different performances. On Saturday, Brown was inconsistent losing match-ups to Knox, Prince and Bars. He won about 50% or shortly over that, but you could tell he got a little frustrated in adjusting to the different speeds of the guards and tackles he was facing. However, when Brown made a few adjustments late on Saturday, he certainly showed the monster he can be by ripping through just about every lineman with a strong swim and rip move to the quarterback. The first step for Brown is deadly when he uses his hands right. Nothing really new on the recruiting front except that Brown plans on visiting in July and has a very strong bond with FSU assistant coach Odell Haggins.

DT Thomas Holley, Abraham Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

National rank: No. 84

Position rank: No. 4

I have to admit Holley was one of my favorite tackles to watch during the one-on-one part of the camp. The reason being is how much he used his hands fighting off blocks and how quick he ripped through the initial blocks. His technique is lacking compared to Brown and Nnadi, but his physical skills are there, maybe even higher. He was one of the strongest tackles I saw out there this weekend. Usually when you have the strongest, that means the quickness or the stiffness is there, but I didn't see that with Holley. He was quick, fluid but just needs to fine tune his technique and the moves he makes. Holley will visit FSU for the June camp and has the 'Noles very high on his list. In fact, I would say they are a major player for the lead at this time.

DE Malik McDowell, Loyola (Detroit, Mich.)

National rank: No. 23

Position rank: No. 3 (Strongside)

McDowell worked at both tackle and end, but looked more comfortable and in control as a defensive tackle. McDowell weighed in at 305 pounds and you could tell that extra 10 pounds he added hurt his quickness off the edge. If he's going to play that position, he's going to have to shed some pounds. McDowell was much more effective inside the tackle position where he was too quick to handle for most of the guards he matched up with. He revealed to Warchant on Saturday that his father grew up a big FSU fan and that had him looking at the 'Noles a bit closer. He has not made visit plans yet, but McDowell knows he'll be checking out the Seminoles. Michigan is the team to watch and the biggest competition.

DE Jalyn Holmes, Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.)

National rank: No. 197
Position rank: No. 23

Holmes was the second most effective end in two days of competition, right behind all everything end Da'Shawn Hand, who certainly was the most consistent and dominant prospect in Chicago. What stood out about Holmes is the quickness he showed with being a defensive end that already has the body size to play in college at 6-foot-4 and over 230 pounds. He did tend to use the rip too much to the outside and that hurt him getting more wins or sacks for the one-on-one's. However, when he stuck with his quickness and lightning fast lateral movement, Holmes was clearly at this best. The body size stood out, but how flexible and the footwork were his strongest attributes. FSU is in solid position. He plans to visit FSU in mid-July.

DE Lorenzo Carter, Norcross (Norcorss, Ga.)

National rank: No. 5

Position rank: No. 1 (Weakside)

With this type of event, you have to be careful in watching not only the top performances, but which players adjust the quickest to mistakes. Carter was a prime example of this as he got a little beat up by the bigger lineman early into the event or for the first two reps on Saturday. However, as the afternoon went on, he started winning the leverage battle by using more of a two step, then rip move when going after the wins. That totally switched the momentum for his performance both late on Saturday and early Sunday. It forced the tackles to back off and then Carter just had to let his athletic ability or skill dominate the event. Carter is expected to visit FSU on June 15 and this visit will be vital as he's bringing his Mom on this trip. FSU side feels pretty good about their chances at this stage despite most saying Alabama could be the team to beat. Reason for optimism would be Carter's family's relationship with Fisher and Charles Kelly and the fact that FSU is in good shape with teammate Myles Autry.

DE Kentavius Street, Rose (Greenville, N.C.)

National rank: No. 18

Position rank: No. 2 (Strongside)

Street was right up there with Holmes in having a good performance in the one-on-one's. He showed a great burst off the edge and used his hands very well. However, the one concern is where he lines up on the next level. I personally believe he would be better suited lining him up as a 3-4 technique guy as an outside linebacker, but also letting him be a pass rushing specialist because his burst is very strong. I'm told FSU likes him, but he is a tweener, so his stock has started to dip a little with some schools like Georgia, LSU and FSU because of that. Finding the right fit is the concern. He had a strong performance though with how quickly he can rip off the edge. He has very strong first step and when he learns to use his hands more with inside moves, his game should move up even higher. What hurts him is when he falls in love with the spin move and forces himself too wide on the pass rush.

LB Kain Daub, Sandalwood (Jacksonville, Fla.)

National rank: No 65

Position rank: No. 6 (ILB)

As we said on Saturday, the weaknesses or concerns for Daub's skill set have to be dropping down. The one concern was how well he can cover backs and receivers as an outside linebacker. Daub certainly proved his worth on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, he had five pass breakups and one interception in 7-on-7 competition. Daub then averaged two pass breakups a game for the four games his team played on Sunday. He did an excellent job keeping the receivers on his hip so at the very worst he would be able to make a play on the football with pass deflections. This was the strongest the FSU commitment has looked all year in cover situations. He cut off any openings in the middle of the field (which he's been a little inconsistent with) and gave no windows for passing on the edges or the deep fly routes. Daub will attend the Opening event later this year and will attend both FSU summer camps (as an observer and recruiter).

LB Ricky Deberry (2015), St. Christopher's (Richmond, Va.)

He worked at linebacker today from what I could see and did well with the position part of the event. Deberry wasn't awful in pass coverage as he made some pass breakups, but I think Ricky is more natural at the end position because of his current size. He's very powerful, that part of his game showed up a lot of times. He picked up an offer from Florida State early Friday morning before taking off on a flight to Chicago for the event. Deberry has a long standing relationship with Jay Graham. It's very likely he attends the July summer camp.

S Montae Nicholson, Gateway (Monroeville, Pa.)

National rank: No. 127

Position rank: 13 (Safety)

Nicholson has a great burst in the secondary and certainly one of the quickest safety prospects I noticed out there this weekend in Chicago. He has great athletic ability and what really catches your eyes is his closing speed and if it's close, his hands are like a spider web - he catches nearly everything. He didn't get a lot of action until 7-on-7 where he nabbed two picks. On Sunday is when his game started to really emerge because of how he forces the passing windows to be so small. FSU has a very solid shot. No leader or teams to battle with. Possibly Ohio State, but having Cosentino is a big plus.

CB Adoree' Jackson, Serra (Gardena, Calif.)

National rank: No. 9

Position rank: No. 2 (Corner)

On Saturday, Jackson was the top performer and the quickest cornerback out of any prospect in attendance. His make up speed is truly astonishing with how he can close on the football. Not as big as some of the other corners at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, but he has great feet, footwork and sticks coming out of his breaks very well when he closes on the football. Jackson was always in position to make a play on the football. Cover skills are quite familiar to former Pahokee standout Janoris Jenkins with his ability to read the quarterback. Jackson tells me he knows for sure he'll be attending an FSU game, if not more than one. He had a big smile when talking about FSU defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and also was very impressed with the FSU track program.

DB Marlon Humphrey, Hoover (Hoover, Ala.)

National rank: No. 11

Position rank: No. 3 (Corner)

There's no question his winning the MVP award for defensive backs was no fluke. Humphrey looked like the most college ready defensive back that I saw out there this weekend. He had the most picks with three for the two day event and countless pass deflections. He looks like a safety prospect, but runs like a speedy corner and has big time size to take any pounding he would receive on the college level. There is not too many complaints I would have for what he did this weekend. He was patient in coverage situations, didn't jump too many routes and was dominate in Press coverage, which he excels at. Humphrey is considered a strong Alabama lean, but he did name FSU in his top three, along with South Carolina and Alabama. He plans to visit FSU in July.

DB Jalan Tabor, Friendship Academy (Washington, D.C.)

National rank: No. 20

Position rank: No. 5 (Cornerback)

If there was a Jeremy Pruitt type defensive back at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, it would be Tabor, who is a physical corner in how much he likes to play press coverage and how aggressive he is in attacking the football. That aggressiveness cost him a few times - he got beat early in the event on Saturday. But on Sunday, Tabor started to use more patience, dropping back more in coverage and it paid off with a lot of pass deflections, two near interceptions during the final day of competition. Tabor says he doesn't have a leader at this point, but that it's likely he will visit FSU and UF in August.

DB Kevin Toliver (2015 - Committed to LSU), Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.)

If there was a Jeremy Pruitt type defensive back at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, it would be Tabor, who is a physical corner in how much he likes to play press coverage and how aggressive he is in attacking the football. That aggressiveness cost him a few times - he got beat early in the event on Saturday. But on Sunday, Tabor started to use more patience, dropping back more in coverage and it paid off with a lot of pass deflections, two near interceptions during the final day of competition. Tabor says he doesn't have a leader at this point, but that it's likely he will visit FSU and UF in August.

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