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Michael Carvell

Smack talk after showdown between top recruits from UGA and Clemson (UPDATED)

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Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt (JDM Photo)

Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt (JDM Photo)

  • UPDATE: Video of one of the reps between Chauncey Rivers vs. Mitch Hyatt was posted by 247sports.com’s JC Shurburtt on YouTube (see bottom of page).

There has been a lot of smack talk on Twitter after a showdown between top football recruits from UGA and Clemson at Sunday’s Nike camp in Atlanta.

Mitch Hyatt is a 5-star offensive tackle from North Gwinnett High School who committed to Clemson last month. Hyatt was ranked as the state’s No. 1 overall prospect before being passed last month by Westover High School defensive tackle Trent Thompson.

Chauncey Rivers is a 4-star defensive end from Stephenson High School who recently switched his commitment from South Carolina to UGA.

On Sunday at Lassiter High School, Hyatt and Rivers were among the best collection of high school talent I’ve ever seen assembled on one football field in the state of Georgia.

Why was Hyatt there? I assume only to try to earn an invitation to Nike’s The Opening all-star competition in Oregon this summer because he really had nothing to prove. He’s already committed to a college, and he can’t get much higher in the rankings (Thompson, not surprisingly, did not participate).

UGA DE commit Chauncey Rivers (12thmanpromotions)

UGA DE commit Chauncey Rivers (12thmanpromotions)

With his lofty ranking, Hyatt naturally carries a bull’s eye on his back, much in the same way as a Robert Nkemdiche or Lorenzo Carter. That’s just part of the deal. And when you get beat on a play (which is guaranteed to happen out of 75 snaps in a real game or during 20-30 reps during combine), that play will get greatly magnified. The same thing happened in Hyatt’s favor when he played against Nkemdiche and Carter.

So on Sunday, Hyatt was matched up against a lot of different defenders in one-on-one drills but got put up against Rivers in two battles at the very end when many recruiting analysts were watching. I didn’t see the matchup (I was on another field) but based on media accounts, Rivers was declared the winner of those two matchups.

Rivers, as expected, was proud of his accomplishment and tweeted about it: “RT @_justnike_: I destroyed the #1 tackle Clemson commit Mitch Hyatt today at .” Here’s a retweet with picture added:

And that’s when things got interesting on Twitter with UGA fans, Clemson fans, other recruits from both schools — and you name it — chiming in (For the record, Hyatt hasn’t responded or Tweeted anything about Nike camp).

FYI: UGA and Clemson play on Aug. 30 in the season-opener for both teams.

https://twitter.com/SavageTaee_/status/447927052248043520

Rivers later deleted his tweets about Hyatt, saying this:

Finally, Rivers and Hyatt could have a rematch as early as this Saturday. Both recruits are signed up for the Rivals.com Challenge at Marist high school. I would say there’s a 100-percent chance they’ll be matched up again (if they both show up). And for what it’s worth, the last time I can remember a camp battle in Georgia getting this much hype was Jordan Jenkins vs. John Theus at UGA summer camp in 2011.

Update: The rivalry between Rivers and Hyatt apparently dates back to a scrimmage between Stephenson and North Gwinnett last summer. Paul Strelow, the reporter for Clemson’s Rivals website, wrote: “Hyatt clearly got the better of the match-up, as witnessed by several recruiting analysts and reporters, yours included.”

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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