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Tuesdays with Gorney: Breaking down the Rivals Camp Series in Philly


Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney was at the Rivals Camp Series in the Philadelphia area on Sunday and he saw a lot of top East Coast prospects that made an impression. Here are some of his thoughts in this week’s Tuesdays with Gorney:

OKUNLOLA IS REALLY IMPRESSIVE

Samson Okunlola

Samson Okunlola

There are currently six offensive tackles rated higher than Samson Okunlola but that could change once rankings meetings are complete in early June.

The Braintree (Mass.) Thayer Academy standout completely dominated the Rivals Camp from start to finish backing up his performance at another event two weekends ago. The mid-level four-star has clearly shown he’s one of the best offensive tackles in the class.

Okunlola, who is also a star wrestler, is physical, moves his feet well, has long arms, a great punch, he’s competitive and moves well for someone his size, so the phrase “complete package” definitely comes to mind when looking at his skills.

Where he gets placed among the top-level offensive tackles will be up for debate but I wouldn’t mind seeing him No. 3 overall the position behind only five-star Kadyn Proctor from Pleasant Hill (Iowa.) Southeast Polk and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy’s Francis Mauigoa.

But in terms of polished offensive tackles who fit the bill for what we’re looking for at the position, an argument could definitely be made to put him even higher than No. 3 on the list. He’s that good and was that dominant at Sunday’s camp.

*****

OTHER OL STANDOUTS

Jordan Seaton

Jordan Seaton

Jordan Seaton is currently the top-rated offensive guard in the 2024 class and I would be hard-pressed to believe someone is better at this stage. The Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College High standout is massive, barrel-chested, moves well and what I like most is that he plays with a mean streak.

Seaton does not back down to any competition, he learns from his mistakes and has that drive to be really good. It could be an impressive offensive guard haul in the 2024 class but someone is going to really have to step it up to top Seaton in the position rankings.

Toms River (N.J.) Toms River North 2025 offensive tackle Ja’Elyne Matthews has excellent size and could be one of the best players at his position in his class. Rutgers commit John Stone is a battler and mauler inside. After a few reps, three-star Tosin Babalade got the hang of things and then starting controlling defensive linemen with a great base and excellent length. While Liam Andrews will need to add mass (he checked in at just under 259 pounds), he does move well, has great feel and the frame to develop over the next few years.

*****

INSIGHT ON AGUERO

Joenel Aguero

Joenel Aguero

If you thought Joenel Aguero was a lock to Georgia, think again. Because it’s not the case – or so he said during Sunday’s camp where he didn’t participate but was on the sidelines and broke down his recruitment.

Back-to-back visits to LSU absolutely made a big impression on the four-star athlete who’s now playing at Danvers (Mass.) St. John’s Prep, which also happens to be the high school of new Tigers coach Brian Kelly. LSU is not the only program making a serious push for him, though, as Ohio State is definitely high on the list along with Florida and Miami.

Georgia is absolutely in contention, but losing assistant coach Jahmile Addae to the Hurricanes was a significant loss. After seeing other schools recently – and planning more trips soon – Aguero’s future is anyone’s guess.

*****

WATSON, OTHER QBS WERE IMPRESSIVE  

Michael van Buren

Michael van Buren
William Watson

William Watson

The knock on three-star quarterback William Watson is that he’s undersized but he has filled out physically over the last year and while he’s just 5-foot-11, it should not be a major problem at the next level.

The Springfield (Mass.) Springfield Central standout can sit in the pocket and deliver the ball but he’s even more comfortable escaping out and either resetting his feet to the throw or throw on the run. Even though Watson, a Nebraska commit, is on the smaller side he can definitely spin it well and his accuracy on Sunday was impressive with that level of velocity on the ball.

The other quarterback that especially left an impression was 2024 Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances standout Michael van Buren, who recently landed an Alabama offer. Van Buren is not much bigger than Watson – they might be the same height – but the 2024 four-star was incredibly accurate on the deep ball, especially the tough throw to the corner of the end zone. Rated No. 11 right now in the 2024 pro-style quarterback rankings, Van Buren might not shoot to the top but could make incremental moves up the list.

Lastly, Iowa quarterback commit Marco Lainez had his moments but also had some balls sail and it doesn’t pop off his hand like it did for Watson and Van Buren. Is he a four-star? That will be up for debate during the rankings meetings because he did make many impressive throws and he has a great physical build to hold up in the Big Ten, but he’s not the most dynamic passer so it’s something we will figure out.



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