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June 17, 2012

Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: Schools to Watch

MORE: R100 Five-Star Challenge details

Here's a look at five schools that not only have pledges in action at this weekend's Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, but some big targets who may be influenced by those already committed.

Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: Teams to Watch
The Crimson Tide are represented by a trio of current pledges in tight end O.J. Howard, linebacker Reuben Foster and offensive tackle Grant Hill. Foster is a five-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player in the country. He will be in close competition with Jaylon Smith to keep his title of top linebacker, though. Howard is the nation's No. 2 tight end and could see his stock rise even more with a strong performance, while Hill is looking to break into the Rivals100. The Crimson Tide is in on quite a few more prospects in action as well. From the Southwest team, athlete Rickey Jefferson looks to be an Alabama-LSU battle while class of 2014 prospects Hoza Scott, Tony Brown, Laurence Jones and Demetrius Knox all have early Crimson Tide offers. They will also try to keep local 2014 running back Bo Scarbrough at home next year.

It seems Auburn's in-state rival Alabama has outrecruited the Tigers over the past decade, but this year the two schools have very strong recruiting classes. Auburn will have four commitments in action in wide receiver Earnest Robinson, linebacker Trey Johnson, defensive end Carl Lawson and defensive end Dee Liner. Lawson and Liner are both five-star prospects and will have targets on their backs from opposing offensive linemen because of it. Johnson can make his case that he belongs near the top of a loaded linebacker class this year. In addition to the four commits, the Tigers are in on some other prospects in attendance as well. Wide receiver Isaiah Jones is a major target, and Auburn may try to flip running back Greg Bryant from his Oklahoma pledge.

Michigan currently has the top recruiting class in the Rivals.com team rankings so it is no surprise that it has several commits in action at the Five-Star Challenge. Three future Wolverines -- linebacker Mike McCray, athlete Jourdan Lewis and offensive lineman David Dawson -- will be on the North squad, while offensive tackle Chris Fox will suit up for the West. Lewis is one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Midwest and will prove his versatility by playing cornerback. Dawson has also seen his stock take off this spring, picking up a ton of offers even after committing. McCray is ranked as the No. 55 overall player in the country and will attempt to prove he belongs in the discussion with Reuben Foster, Jaylon Smith and Matthew Thomas as five-star linebackers. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, defensive end Malik McDowell and defensive end Da'Shawn Hand are also big Michigan targets.

The Longhorns have five commits all playing for the Southwest team over the weekend. Offensive lineman Jake Raulerson has been to as many camps as any prospect in the country over the past few years, but the others have not been on display nearly as much. Fellow offensive tackle Kent Perkins has not attended a camp since prior to his freshman season, and linebacker Deoundrei Davis has never been to one. Cornerback Antwuan Davis is returning from an injury that cost him most of his junior season. The most intriguing thing to watch, though, will be how five-star quarterback Tyrone Swoopes performs. He is seen as more of an athlete than a passer right now, but is looking to follow up a relatively strong Nike Camp performance with an even better one in Atlanta. One-time Texas commit Ricky Seals-Jones, the nation's top receiver, will also be in action and rooming with Swoopes.

The Trojans have seven commitments in action, more than any other program. Five are on the West squad but this will give wide receiver Eldridge Massington and defensive end Kenny Bigelow a chance to get to know and compete against their future teammates. Quarterback Max Browne has a chance to cement his status as the sure-fire top passer in the country, and he will be throwing to fellow Trojan pledges Justin Davis and Steven Mitchell. Cornerback Chris Hawkins and defensive end Kylie Fitts will also be in action. USC is also after many of the uncommitted 2013 and 2014 prospects in attendance, including Tahaan Goodman and Sebastian Larue. Can the seven future Trojans help recruit others to join them?

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