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October 8, 2007
The high school football season is in full swing, and Rivals.com's recruiting analysts have been all over the nation scouting prospects and reviewing countless hours of senior film.
Rivals.com will unveil the latest edition of the Rivals100 on Tuesday. As is the case with every ranking update, there definitely will be some changes that will spark discussion.
Will there be a new No. 1 in the nation?
That question has already been debated for months, and the play of the current top five - Terrelle Pryor, Julio Jones, Patrick Johnson, Darrell Scott and A.J. Green - will continue to fuel that fire. Each one of the stars has excelled despite immense pressure, making the call for the top spot even more difficult.
? Pryor, despite a recent off-the-field hiccup, has done everything expected of the nation's top player on the field. He has shredded opponents with his ability to both pass and run the football. He's even done some significant damage on defense when given the opportunity.
? Jones, of Foley, Ala., showcased his game to a national television audience last weekend when he grabbed the game-winning touchdown over two defenders.
? Johnson has been impressive in lockdown coverage for Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely, despite teams avoiding his side of the field. When teams have thrown his way, he's come up with the big interceptions. He has two interceptions in four games.
? Playing against stiff competition in California, Scott has proven why he's the nation's top back by rushing for almost 1,000 yards in the first five games of the season.
? Green has put up big numbers again this season, including a three-touchdown effort last week. He now is less than 1,000 yards away from becoming the all-time leading receiver in high school history.
Everybody knew those guys are stars and deserve to be in consideration for the nation's top spot. However, based upon play on the field this season, there has been some movement on the five-star level.
When the ranking is released on Tuesday, there will be four players that were ranked as five stars that are no longer there. Replacing them will be three new players, including a quarterback that climbs all the way to No. 20 in the rankings. Overall there will be 28 players ranked as five-star prospects. The other five star additions are both from South of the Mason-Dixon line.
Overall the most heavily represented position in the Rivals100 is receiver with 15. It's been said all along that this year's receiver class is one of the deepest in a long time, and Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every said this crop of receivers is special.
"You have two of the best receivers to come out in a long, long time with Julio Jones and A.J. Green, but when you look even deeper you really see how special this receiver class is," Every said. "I'm looking at guys that didn't make the 100 from the receiver position that probably would be there any other year. That just shows you how competitive, how deep and how hard it was to pick the guys for the Rivals100 from the receiver position.
"These receivers are all tall, fast and can run. You have to go all the way down to a guy like DeSean Hales in the top 100 before you get a smaller receiver. These taller, skilled athletes probably would have all been basketball players in the past. But they've seen the success guys like Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss have had, and that's really turned it on for guys like Deion Walker, DeAndre Brown, Jameel Owens, Aldarius Johnson and other taller receivers."
Offensive tackle is another loaded position in this year's group, with 12 making the Rivals100. To further show how loaded the tackle position is, five of the nation's top 13 prospects play that spot. Anaheim (Calif.) Servite standout Matt Kalil leads the group.
Texas, Florida and California are represented most in the latest Rivals100.
Some initially thought it was a bit of a down year in Texas, but the updated top 100 has 14 players from the Lone Star State. New additions Derrick Hall of Beaumont Central and Joseph Ibiloye of Garland South Garland helped that total.
"I really like Ibiloye on film," Every said. "He's going to be a very good player for Oklahoma. I also think this year's group of linebackers in Florida might be the deepest ever. Everywhere you turn there are great players like Nigel Bradham, Marcus Robinson, Jordan Futch, Etienne Sabino and many more."
Florida, bolstered by that incredible crop of linebackers, is second behind Texas with 13 players in the Rivals100. California has 11 players on the list.