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July 12, 2013

Underclassmen Challenge: The Farrell Awards


MORE: Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge

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.
Honorable mention: Savannah (Ga.) Country Day wide receiver Demetris Robertson always seems to be wide open and easily pulling away from everyone, and New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton Charter wide receiver Tyron Johnson made some amazing catches despite an early drop. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Prosper, Texas, wideout Zack English, who might not have FBC size but was simply dynamic and making people look foolish.

Physical prowess

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.
Honorable mention: Hoover, Ala., linebacker Darrell Williams has a great frame to fill out with long arms and broad shoulders, and 2017 star Dylan Moses, from Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab, looks like a high school senior even though he hasn't started high school. Offensive Line MVP Josh Wariboko is also a great-looking prospect, and defensive end Josh Sweat from Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith looks the part. Rockwall, Texas, running back Chris Warren looked like a million bucks, and Roanoke (Va.) Northside defensive tackle/offensive lineman Chance Hall is huge. There were many others because this was a great-looking group of prospects.

Mighty mouse

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.
Honorable mention: Markale Moses from Broken Arrow, Okla., isn't the biggest defensive back, but he played much larger. Hephzibah (Ga.) Aquinas scatback Ruben Garnett lacks ideal size but was very impressive in space, and Omaha (Neb.) North running back Calvin Strong is also undersized but has excellent potential.

Anger management

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.
Honorable mention: Josh Wariboko played with a mean streak, which belies his personality off the field, and Tyler Carr also went at it physically with his opponents. Tennessee commitment Jack Jones from Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland drove a few players outside the one-on-one area and got in a few pushes near the end of reps, showing a nasty steak that Vols fans will love.

Wake up

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.
Honorable mention: Tyler Carr plays at a school that isn't as heavily recruited as Hoover and he has more defensive film than anyone, but he still belongs in this category. He's a 30- or 40-offer offensive tackle and has only two. Watch for his recruitment to blow up soon. Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster defensive end Russell Ude has one offer from Boston College, and his Defensive Line MVP Award should lead to others. New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton Senior linebacker Arthur McGinnis should also have more than one offer.

Stickum

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.
Honorable mention: Stanley Norman caught the ball well, as did Demetris Robertson, and on defense Nashville (Tenn.) John Overton defensive back Ugo Amadi caught every errant pass in his direction.

[ MORE: Early offers polarizing issue for coaches, recruits ]

Spin it

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.
Honorable mention: Shreveport (La.) Calvary Academy quarterback Shea Patterson, an early Arizona commitment, showed he can spin it even as a 2016 prospect. Hays, Kansas QB Alex Delton also showed a live arm. Top quarterback Jarrett Stidham from Stephenville, Texas, also showed a strong arm in flashes.

The Snuggie

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.
Honorable mention: Nashville (Tenn.) John Overton defensive back Ugo Amadi is another prospect who came in under the radar but showed he belonged and should be getting offers soon. Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian cornerback Eric Lee and Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy standout Ashton White were also impressive. Darrell Williams deserves a nod here at linebacker as well.

High ceiling

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.
Honorable mention: Moses is an impressive prospect for a rising freshman and his potential is limitless, but he is hard to project positionally. Darrell Williams could raise eyebrows down the line, and the same can be said for Mesquite (Texas) Ralph H. Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson. On offense, Josh Wariboko has a high ceiling and quarterback Jarrett Stidham could be a great one someday.



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