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March 14, 2013
The Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour is a new series of invitation-only regional camps for selected participants who are considered among the best in the country at their respective positions.
It hits Texas Saturday in Houston and then heads to Dallas on Sunday. Rivals.com Southwest recruiting analyst Jason Howell tells us what we can expect on Day 1 of the Lone Star weekend.
Louisiana will shine bright
Houston may be in Texas, but Louisiana is ready to invade in a big way on Saturday. They standout group will be led by five-star New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette.
The 6-1, 225-pound back has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson and holds offers from every national football powerhouse in the country.
Fournette will be joined by New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr duo of defensive lineman Gerald Willis III and athlete Speedy Noil, who come in at No. 42 and 104, respectively, in the Rivals250. The nation's top tight end and LSU commitment, Jacory Washington, out of Westlake (La.) was one of the first to register for the event, and in the trenches are Rivals250 talents offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield (No. 131) and defensive end Davon Godchaux (No. 210).
Joining the Rivals250 group is a stout group of defensive backs who hold double-digit offers. New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine cornerback Jermaine Roberts, who holds offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State, and Nebraska, and River Ridge (La.) John Curtis duo Terrence Alexander and Mattrell McGraw, who both hold offers from Nebraska, Arkansas, Arizona, and Arizona State, among several others, will attend.
Receivers better be ready
The receiver talent in Houston is going to be strong with Rivals250 standouts Speedy Noil, Armanti Foreman and Keenen Brown leading the way, but they are going to have their hands full with a strong group of defensive backs.
In addition to Roberts, Alexander, and McGraw from Louisiana, several big names from around Texas will make their way to Houston.
Five-star defensive back Tony Brown, out of Beaumont (Texas) Ozen, registered for the event last week and if past performances are a sign of things to come, he will give everyone fits with his combination of size, speed, and footwork.
Rivals100 cornerback Darrion Johnson, of Brenham (Texas), is another to watch. He has shown on film he has some the cover skills to hang with the best of the best. However, do not sleep on Arrion Springs. The San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt safety is one of the most athletic prospects on the market and currently holds offers from Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.
Top two in Texas ready to compete
Houston is going to bring out several of the top prospects from around the region with thoughts of improving their stock or emerging on the scene. Tony Brown and La Porte (Texas) linebacker Hoza Scott are currently the top two players in Texas and already considered among the nation's, but like everyone else they will be looking to prove and improve on Saturday.
It is safe to say the competition will be fierce for all and Brown and Scott will have no problems finding prospects willing to accept the challenge.
As two of the top prospects in attendance, they will have targets on their backs. I am looking forward to a Leonard Fournette vs. Hoza Scott battle in running back vs. linebacker one-on-ones.
Top to bottom, quarterback might have more talent than any other position at the camp. There is not a true headliner, but the group has a lot of depth with Austin (Texas) Westwood's Bear Fenimore, Humble (Texas) Summer Creek's Aaron Sharp and SMU commitment and Houston (Texas) Lamar standout Darrell Colbert among the 2014 prospects already registered for the event.
The depth continues with Houston-area signal-callers Jarrett Hildreth, Ronald Monroe and Zach Cripps, San Antonio standouts Jeremy Jones and Cody Ennis, and last year's Rivals.com Underclassman Challenge QB MVP Quentin Gibson, out of Marrero (La.) Archbishop Shaw.
The talent does not stop with the 2014 class with several underclassmen planning to attend who already have the attention of college coaches.
Every camp will see some new prospects answer the bell. Heading into Houston, a few sleepers are already starting to surface.
When San Antonio (Texas) Warren defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao received his invitation to the Rivals Camp Series, he was waiting for his first offer, but had big-time film. A month later, he holds offers from Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Baylor, Houston, Nevada, Texas State, Tulsa and Houston.
Round Rock (Texas) offensive tackle Robert Castaneda picked up offers from Texas Tech and Kansas State last week before committing to the Wildcats. Six-foot-5, 225-pound Houston (Texas) Kinkaid wide receiver/tight end Mavin Saunders is a guy to watch. He has not received much publicity, but recorded 30 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns and holds offers from Florida State and Mississippi State. Six-foot-7, 320-pound Galliano (La.) South Lafourche offensive tackle Bailey Granier is also an intriguing prospect, who has been offered by Alabama, Mississippi State, Tulane, Louisiana Tech and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Of course there are also several underclassmen to keep an eye on. Headlining the list are Orange (Texas) West Orange-Stark 2015 safety Deionte Thompson, who recently committed to Alabama and Hidalgo (Texas) 2016 quarterback Shea Patterson, who has already committed to Arizona.
Houston (Texas) Clear Lake tight end Jordan Davis, Huntsville (Texas) wide receiver Morie Evans, New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr defensive end Isaiah Washington, and Shreveport (La.) Evangel offensive lineman Jerry Tillery all have big-time potential in the 2015 class, and Manvel (Texas) receiver Reggie Hemphill recorded eight receptions for 370 yards and six touchdowns as a varsity freshman in 2012.