Chipotle Nationals: Five underclassmen to watch this spring

BROWNSBURG, Ind. – The general consensus among underclassmen at the Chipotle Nationals was that their eyes were on winning a championship, remaining laser-focused on the task at hand.

Now that the journey has ended and No. 1 senior Cooper Flagg and Montverde Academy have been crowned Chipotle Nationals champs, the young guns will refocus their attention on spring and summer ascension as the shoe circuit seasons kick off this month.

We zeroed in on a handful of prospects outside of the top 10 in their respective classes that should make noise based on their play this season and during Chipotle Nationals.

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2024 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2025 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team

2026 Rankings: Top 100

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Allen didn’t see a lot of time since the Eagles used a firm six-man rotation all season. Still, when he got in, Allen was quick to show his capabilities, using his elite athleticism and speed bursts to turn heads.

At 6-foot-5, Allen, who is ranked No. 18 overall in the 2026 Rivals150, has optimal size for a scoring guard and will be hungry after a season in the stable.


Boozer is the king of playing at his own pace, or, better yet, the pace that best suits the team given the situation. His IQ reads off the charts and his methodical approach leads his team to the winner’s circle in the end.

Boozer puts up numbers, but even when they’re not eye popping, he’s impacting the game off the stat sheet, controlling tempo or making successful reads. The 6-foot-4 floor general checks in at No. 20 overall in the 2025 Rivals150 (his twin brother, Cameron, is No. 2), but this could be Cayden's time to make a play for the top 10.


Johnson has been steady all season, carving out his niche as a shot maker who thrives at being efficient despite heavy duress. Johnson’s quick release and gutsy mentality as a scorer earned him a reputation as one of the scariest scorers in the class.

At 6-foot-4, his length enables him to finish efficiently in the lane and he’s continuing to grow as a playmaker and defender. As the latter two, marry with his elite shooting ability, Johnson could finally crack the top 10. Currently, Johnson checks in at No. 12 overall in the Rivals150 for 2025.


Maybe it’s because he’s Jason Richardson’s little brother, but the 6-foot-6 scoring guard plays with that “little brother” energy on both ends of the floor, implementing a relentless motor to get to his spots.

Richardson plays on a loaded roster but tends to make the most of his opportunities. In the semifinal loss to Montverde on Friday, Richardson, who is ranked No. 26 overall in the 2026 class, went 4 of 4 and scored eight points. His length, athleticism and take-no-prisoners mindset will serve him well this spring.


Smith more than proved that he belongs in the conversation for top guard in the 2026 class all season, using his special blend of elite athleticism, brute strength and relentless motor to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

Over the weekend he held his own against Cooper Flagg, Tre Johnson, Labaron Philon, Jasper Johnson, Liam McNeleey, Darius Acuff and Robert Wright. Smith, who checks in at No. 14 overall in the 2026 class, said he’s planning to run with Team Takeover in the Nike EYBL this season and looks primed to make a run at the top 10.