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June 28, 2013
Underclassmen Challenge: Ten awaiting offers
The second annual Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour will be held next weekend at DeSoto High School outside Dallas. Here is a look at the top 10 class of 2015 and 2016 players, listed alphabetically, expected to attend who do not have any offers yet but should cause quite a buzz at camp.
TEN WITHOUT OFFERS TO WATCH AT THE RIVALS UNDERCLASSMEN CHALLENGE
DB Kye Black, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne (2015)It is not unusual for prospects in northern Indiana to wait longer than their brethren in the Indianapolis area to receive their first college scholarship offers. College coaches tend to evaluate prospects in that region later than the bigger metropolitan areas of the Midwest, but when they do start looking seriously at Black there will be plenty who like what the 5-foot-10, 198-pound safety brings to the table. He was one of the most impressive performers in a deep group of defensive backs at the Cincinnati RCS in April and started at strong safety for an AWP team that took third place in the IMG National Championships.
RB Ruben Garnett, Hephzibah (Ga.) Aquinas (2015)Garnett comes from an area of the state that isn't heavily recruited so it's taken him a little while longer to get on the scene than other players in his class. He's a shifty all-purpose back who has put up big numbers already in high school and he performed well at the RCS Atlanta stop. Look for him to have a chance to show what he can do on a national level while facing some excellent competition in Dallas.
QB Tyler Hilinski, Upland, Calif. (2015)Hilinski sat behind his brother, Kelly, last season at Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. He recently transferred to Upland, which is loaded with talent, and Hilinski's recruitment could take off. He has one of the strongest arms in Southern California, and when he's on, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the state and all he might need is more exposure during the season to start landing offers. Hilinski had a strong showing on the 7-on-7 circuit this spring and even though he's sometimes a little wild with his passes, his upside is tremendous.
OL Cordel Iwuagwu, Houston (Texas) Westfield (2015)Iwuagwu is long armed, with quick feet, and he packs a mean punch. When I say he packs a mean punch I mean he has the kind of punch that can stop an opponent in their tracks. He has the frame to add some great weight and I think we'll see him add a few more inches before he graduates. Iwuagwu has yet to receive an offer but he is starting to attract attention.
DL Kingsley Keke, Richmond (TexAS) George Ranch (2015)Keke is a big guy at 6-foo-4, 270-pounds but he wears it well on his big frame. He is quick at the point of attack. He does a great job of getting inside hand position on his opponent and is able to stand his ground until he is ready to make a move. When he is ready to make his move he is able to get off the block and strike quick. He may not have offers but plenty of schools are watching him closely at this point.
OL Cody McPeek, Ashland (KY.) Fairview (2015)Even with the way recruiting has sped up over the past few years, it still takes a little longer to identify players in Kentucky. McPeek already has good size and strength and was a standout at the Cincinnati RCS stop. He's listed as a tackle but his future is probably at guard. If he can have another excellent showing like the one he had in April, it should only be a matter of time before teams pull the trigger on offers.
ATH Erik Pitts, Belleview, Fla. (2015)Pitts is an athletic prospect that lines up all over the field for his team. This spring he spent time at quarterback and showed off tremendous running ability rushing for 165 yards and a pair of scores in his spring game. Arizona State is checking him out according to his coaches. He runs a 4-flat shuttle to go with a 31-inch vertical. The athleticism is there and this will be a great event for him to prove he can be amongst the nation's top rising juniors.
DL David Ryslik, Hightstown (N.J.) Peddie School (2015)Although Ryslik doesn't have any scholarships right now, he is sure to be a FBS recruit. His size and athleticism allow him to dominate the competition at the high school level. Ryslik's potential is through the roof but there are aspects of his game he should focus on refining. He needs to be more explosive and aggressive at the snap and has to play with a lower pad level. One of the best things about Ryslik is his ability to find the ball when he is engaged with an offensive lineman.
LB Darius Smith, Florence, Ala. (2015)Smith may have been the best cover linebacker at the RCS events in the southeast this spring. He nabbed four interceptions in Birmingham showing defensive back cover skills. We want to see how he will fare against players outside his region. If he can prove he can stick with faster running backs in one-on-one situations then he will certainly boost his stock. The speedy defender should get more college looks this fall as he will benefit from playing with three-star BCS recruits Kendrick Doss and Cole Hardin.
RB Brison White, St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall (2016)The rising sophomore from Twin Cities power Cretin-Derham Hall matched top upperclassmen running backs like Jeff Jones and Chris James stride-for-stride at the Chicago RCS, in what was a breakout performance. White has an ideal build for a running back at 5-foot-9 and nearly 200 pounds already, but what really stood out in Chicago was his ability to hit top speed almost instantly. In one-on-one receiving drills he showed a great burst around the corner and linebackers were unable to stay with him down the field. Having just finished his freshman year of high school, White has plenty of time to accumulate offers and another big performance at the Underclassmen Challenge could hasten that process.