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July 8, 2012
DESOTO, Texas - The inaugural Rivals Underclassmen Challenge featured nearly 200 of the nation's best prospects in the classes of 2014 and 2015, as well as a handful of members from the class of 2016.
There were several standouts at Sunday's camp, but one player had all the other prospects buzzing as he made play after play from his wide receiver position.
While other players flew in from all corners of the country, Mount Pleasant's KD Cannon simply made the drive from East Texas. After arriving early Sunday morning, Cannon was so impressive in one day that he earned overall camp MVP honors.
"It just shows that I've been working hard," the 6-foot-1, 160-pound Cannon said. "I'm always working to get better and this just showed that my hard work paid off."
Even though he has an impressive offer list including Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M, Cannon is not a name that has received much national attention. Though that will definitely change after his performance, even the confident receiver was surprised at how well he performed.
"I honestly wasn't expecting to do quite as well as I did," he said. "I have a lot of confidence, but there were a lot of really good DBs out here today."
The event was loaded with big-name defensive backs and as Cannon continued to perform well, they all seemed to want a piece of him.
"They were calling me out. There were a lot of them that were really good and they all said they wanted to go against me. I'm not going to back down from a challenge so I did it."
One player that wanted to go one-on-one against Cannon was Beaumont (Texas) Ozen cornerback Tony Brown. Brown was named the MVP of the defensive backs, but even he had trouble with Cannon.
"He was on fire today," Brown said of Cannon. "I got him once but he got me before that. All the DBs were talking - we thought we'd be able to hold him. We just couldn't do it today. I have to give it up to him. He is really good."
Cannon took over 30 reps in the one-on-one drills and won every single matchup except one.
"I got all of them," he said of the defensive backs at the event. "I only got beat on one rep all day. It was against (Brown) the second time we went against each other. That was the only pass I didn't get all day so I think I held my own for sure."
Brandon Harrison, the wide receiver coach at the Challenge, had high praise for Cannon.
"He's just a phenomenal athlete," Harrison said. "He made plays the entire day. Anytime the ball was in the air he came down with it. He just was special out there."
Though Cannon has many traits that make him a good receiver, Harrison saw one thing that really stood out.
"His speed is his biggest asset," he said. "It allowed him to get behind the DBs and go get the ball. He has great hands and runs good routes, but his speed is what sets him apart for sure."
Receiving the MVP award was not the only good news Cannon got after the camp. He also received one of the highest honors any high school player can achieve when he was invited to play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"It was a big honor to be invited to the Army game," Cannon said. "I've seen it on TV and I know that a ton of really good players have played in it so it's really cool that they invited me."