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April 11, 2007
The five-star search has been under way for months.
Rivals.com recruiting analysts have been on the road attending combines, junior days and NIKE Camps all over the country in search of the top talent in the class of 2008. Along with all the time on the road, they've broken down countless hours of film and gathered feedback from sources throughout the nation.
The end result is the second update in the Rivals100 ? the pre-evaluation period Rivals100.
With the spring evaluation period starting on Sunday (college coaches will be able to make visits to high schools and start calling prospects for the first time) the Rivals100 is a glimpse at who will be the hottest targets of recruiters across the nation.
There are some amazing players that highlight the list, including the Rivals.com national junior of the year Terrelle Pryor of Jeannette, Pa. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback would still rank at the top of the list if it were broken down numerically.
With offers from teams like Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia and many others, Pryor is a special player worthy of all of the attention he has received.
"Terrelle is an exceptional athlete," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "He is the kind of quarterback that can hurt a defense with his feet or in the air."
Also in contention for the top spot nationally is Julio Jones of Foley, Ala.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver hauled in 75 receptions for 1,306 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2006. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Louisville and West Virginia have already stepped up and offered Jones.
"In my opinion, Julio is the best wide receiver prospect in the country," Rivals.com recruiting editor JC Shurburtt said. "He impressed me both at the Baton Rouge NIKE camp and the Hoover 7-on-7 tournament last year."
The state of Georgia is always home to some of the top talent in the nation, and the name that rises to the top of the list this year is Statesboro, Ga., defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson. The 6-foot-2, 276-pounder has already committed to Georgia after receiving offers from Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and many others.
Tyson has a tremendous upside (he's still only 16 years old), and on film he's quick and dominating. It also doesn't hurt that he plays for one of the top programs in the Peach State.
"DeAngelo was one of the most impressive prospects at last year's Athens NIKE Camp," Shurburtt said. "He's an excellent athlete, has a quick first step and should see plenty of early playing time at UGA.
Another elite prospect is Van, Texas, running back Jermie Calhoun. The 6-foot, 210-pounder has already made an early commitment to Oklahoma. He was also offered by Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, LSU and Nebraska.
"Calhoun is special because he brings together the entire package," Rivals.com recruiting analyst John Talman said. "He has the type of size-speed combination that's rare in a high school running back just coming out of his junior season."
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater offensive tackle Michael Brewster would rank at this point as the top offensive lineman in the nation. The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder is one of the most athletically gifted linemen in the nation.
Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure running back Darrell Scott ranks as the top player in the Golden State heading into the spring evaluation period, and it's going to be hard to knock him off his perch. Scott is a 6-foot, 215-pound rusher that is equally strong at taking the football and running it inside as he is bouncing it to the outside and running away from defenders.
As a junior, Scott rushed for 3,194 yards and 45 touchdowns. It's no surprise that his offer list includes national programs like California, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Wichita, Kan., has a rich tradition of sending some high-profile players to college and to the NFL. Barry Sanders was from Wichita, and more recently the city produced Kamerion Wimbley, a first-round draft choice for the Cleveland Browns that had 11 sacks as a rookie.
Next in line is linebacker Arthur Brown of Wichita East.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound outside linebacker had 132 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior. He earned all-state, all-metro, and all-league honors, and his offer list is rather long. National powers like Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC are interested in his services.
Summerville receiver A.J. Green is the top prospect out of South Carolina for 2008. As a junior, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound wide receiver caught 60 passes for 1,203 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also made an early commitment to Georgia, turning down other national offers.
His high school coach, John McKissick, has been coaching for 54 years. He calls Green one of the best players he has seen.
"A.J. is a great talent, as well as one of the best players I have ever seen anywhere in over 50 years of coaching," McKissick said. "He is just an all-around athlete that can do anything. He is the best football player I have coached and he is the best basketball player around, too. If he wanted to play badminton, he would probably be the best at that, too. That is just how talented he is."
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep is home to Will Hill, another player that is without a doubt in the upper echelon five-star category.
"Will Hill has arguably the quickest feet in the country and excellent size to play cornerback or safety in college," Farrell said.
The next update for the Rivals100 comes in late May and the entire list will be ranked at that time.