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June 25, 2012
ATLANTA -- The inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, which took place at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta, is done. More than 100 of the best prospects in the country from the 2013 and 2014 classes battled it out in the Southeast heat, and while all are excellent players, only a select few can make the Rivals.com All-Challenge Team. Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell breaks down the team chosen by our analysts.
RB Greg Bryant, Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage School: Bryant was arguably the most impressive skill player on Saturday and got off to a nice start on Sunday with a few touchdowns before having to shut it down due to injury.
WR Steven Mitchell, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany: Mitchell was very impressive on Saturday, especially in selling his routes, and he was one of the few bright spots for the West squad on Sunday and clearly the offensive leader.
WR Taquan Mizzell, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside: Mizzell worked a lot from the running back position as well as the slot, and if there was an offensive MVP for the winning team, he would have won it based on his three touchdowns in the title game.
WR Earnest Robinson, Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley: Robinson was very good on Saturday and made a statement with his route running and separation. On Sunday, he took it to the next level and made one of the best catches of the event.
TE O.J. Howard, Autauga (Ala.) Autauga Academy: Howard led a strong group of tight ends at the event and his size, hands and route-running ability allowed him to separate from the rest and become one of the major weapons for his team.
OL Josh Boutte, New Iberia (La.) Westgate:: Boutte put on a show Saturday by pancaking three players, and he followed that up with a solid effort on Sunday in the big-man challenge.
OL Grant Hill, Huntsville, Ala.: Hill was very good on Saturday and showed he can be a tackle and not a guard as we projected. On Sunday, he gave an amazing effort as his team was shorthanded in the big man challenge.
OL Kent Perkins, Dallas (Texas) Lake Highlands: Perkins started off slowly on Saturday, but once he got his timing down in the 1-on-1s, he started to show why he's No. 2 at offensive tackle and followed that with a very good effort Sunday.
OL Khaliel Rodgers, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy: Rodgers was the best offensive lineman overall. He showed consistency and dominance on both days, and he once again showed that when he gets his hands on you, it's over.
DE Kenny Bigelow, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy: Expectations were high for Bigelow as a national top-10 player and he easily won more reps than he struggled in. He was one of the most consistent performers on both days.
DT Andrew Brown, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith 2014: Brown had a good day on Saturday despite losing a few reps, and on Sunday he was dominant, flashing those violent hands and surprising quickness.
DE Da'Shawn Hand, Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior 2014: Hand won most of his reps on Saturday against the best competition he's faced, and followed that up with an amazing 102 pushups and more 1-on-1 wins on Sunday at the big-man challenge.
DE Carl Lawson, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton: Lawson wins his spot essentially for one day of dominant work as he was the best player on the field on Saturday. He was so dominant, it didn't matter that he missed most of action Sunday with a groin injury.
LB Reuben Foster, Auburn, Ala.: Foster showed his work ethic as he fought through a nagging knee injury. He was impressive in drills nonetheless, and, for a 250-pound linebacker, showed his lateral movement on Sunday in 7-on-7 play.
LB Jaylon Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers: Smith was all over the field Saturday in drills and 1-on-1s and was the only person who truly checked O.J. Howard on both days.
LB Dwight Williams, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra (2014): Williams might be undersized, but his athleticism, closing quickness and ability to cover impressed everyone at the event, giving him a surprise slot on this team.
S Quin Blanding, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside (2014): Blanding showed he is a safety with cornerback skills on Saturday. He followed that with another fine effort on Sunday, flashing his instincts and closing speed.
CB Kendall Fuller, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel: Fuller met the challenge of Ricky Seals-Jones on Saturday with ease and followed that with a solid Sunday, which included a huge pass breakup and an interception in the championship game.
CB Chris Hawkins, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.: Hawkins had a very solid Saturday with some impressive wins in the 1-on-1s and he followed that with some big plays on Sunday despite his team's overall struggle.
CB Jalen Ramsey, Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy: Ramsey probably helped his stock more than anyone else at the event. He showed he's a big corner with strength, speed and good instincts.
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