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June 16, 2012

Matchup No. 7: North vs. Hawkins

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

Rivals.com has been counting down the top 10 matchups we can't wait to watch at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge over the final 10 days heading into the event in Atlanta.

Seven days away: Matchup No. 7

WR Marquez North, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek vs.
DB Chris Hawkins, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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Why North has an edge: North has the size to give anyone trouble, especially cornerbacks. He's 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and has a long body with long arms, so he's not easy to cover, especially in tight spaces and the red zone. North is a physical receiver and very strong, so he can not only beat opponents downfield with his speed, but he's also a very good possession receiver. His length allows him to reach balls that appear overthrown and his size allows him to box out defenders and make it hard for them to make a play on the ball. North could simply be too big and strong for Hawkins.

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Why Hawkins has an edge: While Hawkins isn't as big or thick as North, he is equally long, and that allows him to get his hands on the ball, knock away passes and win jump-ball situations. Hawkins is always on the hip of his opponent, has a great feel for reading routes and the eyes of the receiver and a knack for knowing when the ball is coming. North isn't used to dealing with tall, long cornerbacks such as Hawkins.

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Overall edge: While Hawkins is the best cornerback on the West Coast, an area that has become known for some great defensive backs, North is just too big and strong here and receivers always have a natural edge in one-on-ones and 7-on-7 play anyhow. The only thing that could hold North back is rust as he hasn't done a lot of live action due to a shoulder injury, but straight up North is simply the bigger, stronger prospect and should win more battles regardless of the route or situation.



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