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April 24, 2014

RCS Columbus: What to watch

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The regional portion of the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour will wrap up in the Midwest over the next two weekends. The first of those stops takes place on Saturday at Dublin (Ohio) Coffman High School. Here is what we are looking forward to seeing in Central Ohio.

Linebackers lead the way

Running back, wide receiver, offensive line and defensive back will all be loaded with top talent at the Columbus-area camp this weekend, but no position can boast the amount of four-star prospects expected at linebacker. Among the four-star linebackers registered to attend are Eli Brown of Bowling Green (Ky.) East, Josh Smith of Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland, Darrin Kirkland Jr. of Indianapolis Lawrence Central, Nick Conner of Dublin (Ohio) Scioto and Reagan Williams of Jackson, Ohio. All have good size and all have shown the ability in the past to play in space, so Saturday's event will be a good showcase for their skill sets. Also keep an eye on Columbus (Ohio) Walnut Ridge three-star outside linebacker Anthony McKee, who holds national offers and also has the skill set that fares well in these settings.

Midwest's hottest quarterbacks

The Midwest's quarterback group lacks the big-name, national prospect in this 2015 class, but two of the hottest recruits at the position from the region will compete in the Columbus-area. Six-foot-four, 190-pound Tommy Stevens of Indianapolis Decatur Central holds seven offers from Big Five Conference programs and continues to draw more attention. Six-foot-three, 190-pound Joe Burrow of Athens, Ohio, checks in with six Big Five Conference offers and several more offers from FBS programs. They will be joined in Saturday's quarterback group by three-stars Reese Ryan of Kentucky and Riley Neal of Indiana as well has highly-touted underclassmen Messiah DeWeaver, Zyaire Hughes and Jeremiah Jones.

[ MORE: Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge roster ]

Region looking for respect

After a strong crop in the 2014 class, the class of 2015 is a down year for talent throughout the Midwest with just 21 prospects from the region in the early Rivals250. Six of those prospects will be competing in the first leg of the three-stop RCS Midwest swing, but so will several prospects looking to raise their stock who could bolster the region's eventual number of Rivals250 prospects. There are a number of candidates set to compete this weekend who could be in the conversation for four stars in the future, including current three-star linebacker Anthony McKee, Indianapolis Arsenal Tech cornerback Adonis Williamson, Westerville (Ohio) South offensive lineman Rob Dowdy and current three-star quarterback Joe Burrow of Athens, Ohio.

Athletic linemen set to square off

A common thread among the top offensive linemen set to compete on Saturday is high ceilings. Between 6-foot-8, 296-pound Sterling Jenkins, 6-foot-6, 312-pound Drew Richmond and 6-foot-7, 260-pound George Brown, you have three guys with outstanding athletic abilities who are still a little raw. All three are four-star prospects ranked among the top 13 offensive tackles in the country. Combined they hold triple-digit offers, and are the subjects of some of the most heated offensive line recruiting battles in the country this year. Saturday will be an opportunity for Jenkins, Richmond and Brown to not only match their games against one another, but also display their off-season development.

Ready to challenge Harris

Five-star running back Damien Harris of Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern has dominated every camp he has attended thus far in his prep career, and he is the favorite to walk away with MVP honors at his position this week. However, there is depth at the position and several running backs who will be looking to pull the upset. Among the top contenders are a pair of three-star running backs from Indiana -- Markell Jones and James Gilbert. But the strongest competition could come from underclassmen. Sophomores Miles Sanders of Pittsburgh Woodland Hills, Kaezon Pugh of Aliquippa, Pa., and Quinton Baker of Ashland (Ky.) Baker along with 2017 prospect Maleik Gray of La Vergne, Tenn., all come into Saturday's camp with offers from Big Five Conference programs.

Josh Helmholdt is a Midwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.


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