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April 27, 2012

Scarbrough embraces sleeper role for now

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

As one of only 20 players from the Class of 2014 asked to be in attendance for the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge running back Bo Scarbrough hopes that being a junior will provide a shield of expectations.

The way he tells it, he wants some anonymity going in so that he can sneak up on everyone.

At an invitation-only camp for the best of the best it is going to be hard to give yourself a sleeper title, but the 6-foot-1 back is trying.

"Oh, no one is going to know who I am going into this thing," he said. "So they won't expect anything from me and when I show up and do it then it will open some eyes.

"I will stand out and then get recognized."

With offers from Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi State and UCLA as well as Oklahoma being close to making an offer, it is probably fair to say that Scarbrough has already been recognized.

Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta is slated to host the event from June 22-24, and while Scarbrough has been active in the camp and combine circuit he knows that this is an event that he can elevate his profile.

"I always want to be the best back at any camp I go to, no matter what," he said. "But I think that this will give me a chance to show that I am the best back in the country not just the best back at one camp or in just one place."

Scarbrough is battling back from an ACL injury that he suffered last football season and while his camp performances on this year's circuit have been solid, he thinks that he can still get better - and should be better - in time for the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge.

"My speed is pretty much all there," he said. "I am still working on my cuts and explosiveness but I think I should be great by (June)."

It is his speed, clocked at a 4.5 recently in the 40-yard dash, is what will help separate him from the competition, but more specifically give him separation from linebackers during the 7-on-7 portion of the camp.

"It should be easy to beat them," he said. "I think any running back should be able to take it to linebackers in that stuff. We are much faster and we know the route, that's easy."

It is so easy, according to Scarbrough, that he may have to go after some of the cornerbacks.

"I am going to get noticed," he said. "The coaches may have to put some of the cover guys on me."

Whether or not his play will necessitate a change in the cover scheme is yet to be determined but that confidence that he enters the event with is certainly not in doubt.

"To be one of the only kids from 2014 to get asked to be there is humbling," he said. "But I am going there to stand out and not just to be happy to get invited."

Mike Farrell's take

Scarborough will be playing out of position a bit as a slot receiver in the Challenge as he projects as a running back in college, but he showed at the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Alabama Elite 100 that he can catch the ball very well and is a fluid athlete. His ability to shake linebackers in space as well as run solid routes as a back will help him stand out in the slot and he's anxious to show what he can do against older players. Just one of a handful of 2014 players selected from around the country for the Challenge, he will be a relative unknown heading in but hopes to make a big name for himself on his way out.



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