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March 31, 2012

Rivals/VTO SC: Top story lines

MORE: Players to watch | Rivals/VTO page

YORK, S.C. - More than 150 athletes from South Carolina and the surrounding states will compete in Saturday's Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 at York Comprehensive High School. Many of them already have multiple Division I offers. Others are looking to make a name for themselves on a big stage.

Here are some of the more intriguing questions heading into the event:

1. Kevin Crosby's position?

A year ago, the Bamberg-Ehrhardt (S.C.) star showed up in York and was extremely impressive at tight end. On Saturday, he's also expected to compete at that position. But the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder also is a very impressive inside linebacker prospect. Some colleges are recruiting him for offense, some are recruiting him for defense and some have said he can play anywhere he wants. Already, Crosby has 20-plus offers, and he seems to be adding more every week. As a linebacker, he's physical and he's instinctive. As a tight end, he's a solid inline blocker and is really good as a receiver, where his best work often comes after the catch.

2. Who can block Dexter Wideman?

A sophomore defensive tackle from Saluda (S.C.), the 6-4 Wideman already reports early offers from Clemson and South Carolina. This is our first up-close look at him, but those who have seen him perform are impressed by his combination of size, strength and quickness. Last season, those skills helped him produce 14 sacks and 13 quarterback pressures. Is Wideman the real deal? Is he a player who might someday end up in the Rivals 250 or Rivals100? And is he possibly the best player in a solid 2014 class in South Carolina?

3. The back attack

This camp should feature more than a few quality running backs, but at least coming in you'd have to put Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek (S.C.) at the top of the list. Only a sophomore, he already has offers from Clemson, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Kinlaw's film is outstanding. He's not only very fast, but has terrific one-cut ability and reaches top-end speed in a hurry. He also appears to have excellent vision. When Kinlaw gets into the open field, there's very little stopping him. This likely is a player you will be hearing more and more about the next several months.

4. Who's the best DB?

Defensive back should be one of the best position groups. And two of the players who likely will be in the running for top DB are safety Justin Bridges-Thompson of Spartanburg (S.C.) and cornerback Marcus Edmond of Hopkins (S.C.) Lower Richland. Bridges-Thompson is a three-star safety with offers from Arizona, N.C. State and Wake Forest. He covers a ton of ground in the secondary and really is an enforcer on the back end. Edmond also has offers from Arizona, N.C. State and Wake Forest. He looks quite good on film, and it wouldn't be a shock to see more offers start to come in. What stands out on his highlights is his speed.

5. More super sophs

Crosby and Wideman aren't the only top-notch sophomores expected to attend. Far from it. Crosby's teammate, receiver Aggadoria Bowers, already holds a handful of quality offers. Ditto for inside lineackerJoe Blue of Dillon (S.C.). Bowers is tall and lanky, and has some serious potential. He's also hungry after coming off ACL surgery that forced him to miss last season. Blue is a solidly built and powerful inside backer who is in the neighborhood of 235 pounds. He claims offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Both of these players will be tested by other prospects with D-I offers during one-on-ones. In fact, we could see Blue vs. Crosby, which would be one heck of a matchup.



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