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February 12, 2014
Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour preview
The second annual Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour is right around the corner, and if last year was any indication, several future All-Americans will be participating. In our inaugural RCS in 2013, which included camps in 15 different cities, there were 56 participants who were Under Armour All-Americans in 2014.
Registration has just recently opened up for this year's 16-city tour, but the level of talent that has already signed up to participate is extremely impressive.
Cowart, No. 4 nationally, will participate in the Orlando event, while Payne, No. 6 nationally, will participate in Birmingham. However, Cowart and Payne are not the only elite players at their position who have already registered to compete. At defensive end, four-star Keisean Lucier-South, who has upwards of 15 offers, will look to impress in Los Angeles, four-star Jalen Dalton will take his talents to Charlotte, while 2016's Shane Simmons will look to showcase his elite abilities at the D.C. event. At defensive tackle, the early registrants are equally impressive. Aside from Payne, Kendrick Norton, who is committed to Florida State, will participate at the Orlando event, Bryce English, who is committed to Texas, will make his way to Dallas, and Rashan Gary, one of top players in the Class of 2016, will compete in New Jersey.
At linebacker, there are also several impressive early participants. Headlining this group so far are four-star Arthur McGinnis, who will stay local and attend the New Orleans event, four-star Cameron Townsend, who has offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and USC, and will compete in Houston and three-star Tyriq Thompson, who is quickly piling up the offers and will make his way to Detroit.
[ MORE: Rivals Camp Series information/schedule ]
The defensive back position is one of the deepest in the early stages of the registration process. LSU commit Xavier Lewis will showcase his abilities in New Orleans, along with Class of 2016's Tre Jackson, who is already committed to Florida. In Dallas, Texas commit Jalen Campbell and fast rising Jamile Johnson will battle it out, while in Houston, Deionte Thompson will look to show everyone why he is an early commitment to Alabama. Another cornerback who has been piling up offers recently has been Maurice Smitherman, who will take his 23 offers to Birmingham, while Kaleb Chalmers will continue to try and prove his abilities in Charlotte and DuWayne Johnson will do the same in D.C.
Moving over to offense, the registration of running back Nicholas Brossette immediately gives that position a huge boost. The four-star talent will keep his talents in-state and compete in New Orleans, which is the first event on the calendar and is quickly becoming filled with elite talent. Joining Brossette in New Orleans will be 2016 back Devin White, who already has early offers from LSU and Alabama. Other elite running backs who are ready to compete include four-star Reggie Gallaspy and 2016 Robert Washington in Charlotte and 2016 Miles Sanders in Columbus.
At quarterback, Notre Dame commit Blake Barnett will be slinging the ball in Los Angeles, while a host of top level 2016 signal callers will be looking to make a great early impression including Feleipe Franks in Orlando, Brennen Wooten in Houston, Malik Henry in Los Angeles, Austin Kendall in Charlotte and Jarrett Guarantano and Brandon McIlwain in New Jersey.
The quarterbacks will be throwing to an equally talented group of receivers, led by four-star Preston Williams, who is committed to Tennessee and will take his abilities to Atlanta. Four-star Juwan Johnson, one of the more physically impressive receivers you will see in the nation, will compete in New Jersey, while Alfred Smith will make his way to New Orleans and Carl Tucker Jr. will travel to Charlotte. The younger classes will also be very well represented by several 2016 and 2017 receivers worth keeping an eye on. 2016's Darnell Salomon, who will compete at the Miami event, has positioned himself as one of the elite players at his position in his class with early offers from Alabama and LSU, while Reggie Hemphill is already committed to Texas. In the Class of 2017, Nathan Tilford and his early offers from USC and Arizona State will look to impress at the Los Angeles event.
[ IN ACTION: Best of the 2013 Rivals Camp Series Photo Gallery ]
At tight end, the Class of 2015 is highlighted with the registrations of Kyle Penniston, who will compete in Los Angeles, and Chris Clark, who will make his way to New Jersey. The younger talent at the position may actually turn out to be even more impressive, as 2016's Kaden Smith and Isaac Nauta have already done enough to be called elite talents at their position. Smith will compete at the Dallas event, while Nauta will also stay in-state and compete in Atlanta.
On the offensive line, leading the way is four-star Austin Clark, who has offers from programs like Clemson, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Penn State. Clark will be competing at the D.C. event. Four-star Zach Robertson will continue to try and solidify himself as the top offensive lineman in California at the Los Angeles event, while Kieffer Longson will look to make a statement in Northern California, and Tyler Higby and Michael Horton will look to do the same in Houston and Atlanta.
Finally, the athlete position always brings a unique blend of talent to every event. The Orlando event will have two of the best, as Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud III will both be there. Players like Derrick Dillon in New Orleans and Ryan Newsome in Dallas will be looking to raise their stock, as the offers have begun to accumulate quickly for the both. The Class of 2016 is already represented very well at the athlete position with Demetris Robertson and Steven Smothers. Robertson, who will compete in Atlanta, already has offers from elite programs like Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson and Texas A&M, while Smothers, who will compete in D.C., has reeled in early offers from Florida State, Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Definitely not to be forgotten, two Class of 2017 athletes are already signed up who will undoubtedly be names everyone will be talking about in the coming years. Dylan Moses is already committed to LSU and will be taking his unique talents to New Orleans, while Devon Hunter, who will compete at the D.C. event, has offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.
Mike Farrell is the National Recruiting Director for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.