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March 21, 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.
On Saturday, the tour makes a stop in Lakeland, located outside of the Orlando metro area, and then heads to Coconut Creek, just north of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area, for the Sunday finale.
Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Kynon Codrington tells us what we can expect on Day 1 of the Sunshine State weekend.
1. Can Kain Daub make a case for a fifth star?
The Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood inside linebacker is a physical 'backer with excellent size and strength.
We've seen him a couple of times in the offseason camp and 7-on-7 circuit and he has looked more comfortable in pass coverage, which is an area of concern for him, according to the Rivals.com analyst team.
The Rivals100 prospect is very good in the short box and attacking downhill. If he continues to show he can cover and stick with running backs out of their junction point on angle routes, he may make a strong argument to get a bump in the next rankings release.
On the recruiting front, Alabama and Florida State were among his top two a month ago. Daub mentioned Oregon as a school he wants to check out, but distance could be a factor. He visited Miami for a junior day, but the 'Canes may be on the outside looking in.
2. Which running back will step up?
The headliner of the group is Rivals250 all-purpose back Tony James. James boasts plenty of big-time offers, with Kentucky and Ole Miss coming in recently. Look for Florida and Miami to try to keep him home.
Harrington has flashed some BCS ability this spring, winning running back MVP at the Orlando NFTC last weekend. Arizona and Indiana have pulled the trigger on the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast standout.
Rodriguez and Nelson were teammates last year at Daytona Beach (Fla.) Seabreeze, but a lot has changed since their respective junior seasons. Rodriguez has transferred to crosstown rival Mainland, and Nelson is coming off a knee injury that caused him to miss significant time. Rodriguez holds BCS offers from Boston College and Wake Forest, while Nelson has offers from Duke, Georgia Tech and North Carolina, among others.
3. No-fly zone
The quarterbacks may have a hard time connecting with the wideouts during one-on-ones, as the defensive back group features some solid athletes.
Kyle Gibson is trying to follow former five-star and USC signee Leon McQuay III as the next premier back-end defender from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. The four-star cover corner picked up a Notre Dame offer in February.
Jacksonville (Fla.) Atlantic defensive back Step Durham is very physical in press coverage. During his junior year, he didn't get tested much because the opposing team chose to go away from his side of the field. The four-star prospect with double-digit offers will look to make an impact on Saturday.
Virginia Tech recruit Javon Harrison is signed up as a defensive back, but he could slide over to wide receiver. The Hokies are doing their best to hang on to Harrison as some new schools have continued to recruit him, with LSU showing serious interest. Other notables include Kendall Gant, Trey Marshall and Kendall Randolph. Gant will be on familiar turf as the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour will take place at his high school. Gant reports offers from Alabama, Florida and Ohio State, among others.
And last but not least is T.J. Harrell, who plays all over the field but projects on defense. Harrell has 20-plus offers, and most schools want to get him on campus and find a position for him later.
4. Battle in the trenches
Rivals100 defensive lineman Keyon Brown is looking to take home the DL MVP. The ultra-quick rush end does a nice job using his speed to blow by offensive linemen. Brown's offer list includes Clemson, Miami and N.C. State.
Florida State commit Blake McClain is slated to be in attendance and is working on a scheduling conflict. The rugged lineman is versatile enough to stay at strongside defensive end or slide to tackle, if needed.
Trent Harris out of Winter Park (Fla.) is a hot name in recruiting circles. That tends to happen when Alabama and Florida extend early offers. Harris is very good using his hands to counter and get linemen off balance.
Rivals250 offensive tackle Reilly Gibbons has come a long way in a short time. As a sophomore he played tight end before making the move to tackle as a junior. He is learning the position, but the potential is there with his elite athleticism. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt are on his long list of offers.
Keep an eye on Florida commits Travaris Dorsey and Ben Knox. Also, two more to watch are Kavaris Harkless and Montel McBride. McBride has been dominating recent camps. Last week, he won the OL MVP at the Orlando NFTC.
5. Will the under-the-radar names emerge?
Most recruitniks know what Rivals100 linebacker Dillon Bates and Rivals250 wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson can do. Yet every year several under-the-radar names emerge from the Sunshine State. We are looking forward to seeing who will benefit the most from a stellar camp showing.
Here are a few names to remember for Saturday: wide receiver Tyre McCants, running back Kobe McCrary, offensive lineman Gary Brown, linebacker Anthony Davis, defensive lineman Lonnie Marts III, quarterback Michael Scarnecchia and defensive back Jefferson Vea.
McCants, Brown, Davis and Vea have offers and are expected to land more.
McCrary, Scarnecchia and Marts III have good film, but they are searching for their first offers. If they perform well, they could be receiving good news heading into the summer.