Team USA Impact Performers, Offense

After a week's worth of practices, and heading into tonight's first game, here are the top five performers on Team USA, on the offensive side of the ball.

Five is really a tough cutoff, because I probably could have taken this list to 10 and still felt like I left people out. Offensive tackle Logan Tuley-Tillman, wide receiver Malique Belfort, quarterback Brayden Scott and center Alec Abeln all had excellent weeks, while players like wide receivers Rashad Kinlaw and Desmond Wyatt and running back Tarean Folston all had multiple great moments. And even though I didn't count him as an offensive or defensive player, Cameron Van Winkle has been outstanding as a kicker and punter.

But you have to cut the list off somewhere, and here are the top five.*



5) Jesus Wilson, WR, Christopher Columbus (Fla.) — Florida State

Wilson is certainly shorter than his listed 5-10 height, but if you told me he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash, after this week's practices, I'd agree. Wilson has tremendous speed and quickness, which he used to become arguably Team USA's biggest home run threat this week. That he was able to create big plays in both the passing game and in the running game on reverses also bodes well for his college spot.


4) Durham Smythe, TE, Belton (Tex.) — Texas

The coaches here are in love with Smythe, the rare receiving tight end who has no qualms about throwing his body around as a blocker. And it's actually there that Smythe shows off the most athleticism. Don't get me wrong, his 4.7 40 helps him get down the seam and makes him a threat after the catch. But his functional athleticism, his fluidity, ability to drop his hips, his ankle flexion, are all outstanding as a blocker. Smythe still has to add more weight — he's currently 233 pounds — but has the frame to be a 250-plus pounder without losing any of the athleticism that makes him special.


3) Ethan Pocic, OL, Lemont (Ill.) — LSU

At offensive tackle or at offensive guard, Pocic has been excellent all week. The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder is still growing into his body, a scary thought for future SEC linemen, and he's done an amazing job dealing with the defensive speed this week, which has been considerable. Pocic is a powerful player who comes off the ball hard and fast, and who also had some really nice moments against athletes in space in pass protection. Excellent prospect.


2) Rodney Adams, WR, Lakewood (Fla.) — Florida

You have to love any player that practices with a game mentality, and that's Adams. He came to play every day, didn't get too high after big plays and just went after his business. He's an ideal college X, somebody who can annihilate man-to-man coverage, and always seems to find the soft spot against the zone. Adams isn't really elite at anything, but he's probably an A- in every category. He's fast, has nice size, is a good route-runner, bursts out of his breaks, and is a threat on 50-50 balls. He's the top skill position player here.


1) Hunter Bivin, OL, Apollo (Ky.) — Notre Dame

When offensive linemen stand out, it's usually in a bad way, or an extremely good way. Put Bivin in the second category. His frame is outstanding — as his offensive line coach, L.D. Williams said this week, he looks like he's 210 pounds, but is actually 288 — and his punch is tremendous. In inside drill, Bivin spent half the week picking up opponents after pancakes, giving equal treatment to down linemen or linebackers in space. That he showed the ability to play some center, and to long snap, at 6-7, is only a bonus to what has been a tremendous week.


* Missouri commitment Trent Hosick, of Staley (Mo.) likely would have been on this list, but Hosick left the team for personal reasons. Hosick is an outstanding running quarterback who struggled to throw the ball on the first day, then came on as a thrower the rest of the week, displaying an especially potent deep ball.


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