Saturday, June 02, 2007

Updated Top Recruiting Classes

There has been a lot of big news since our last update.

Among the major developments:

Florida State: The continued early success of the Seminoles as they have landed five new verbals, including national top 100 types in Kyle Long and A.J. Alexander.

Notre Dame: Three more quality verbals including addressing a critical need on the defensive line with two of the additions.

Georgia: A bit topsy-turvy as they lost two verbals but landed three newcomers, including star WR Tavarres King.

Michigan: On a roll with three quality gets led by star TE Brandon Moore. Still trailing Notre Dame and Ohio State but closing the gap.

Nebraska: Just one new addition but QB Blaine Gabbert ranks with the very best in the nation and recently wowed onlookers on the summer camp circuit.

In terms of rankings, Texas continues to hold the top spot for the time being due to their combination of high quality and numbers. There are, however, several programs with a good chance of surpassing the Longhorns once they catch up on the numbers side. Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Florida State and Georgia are the most likely candidates to eventually surpass the Longhorns.

Texas A&M continues to maintain a relatively high ranking primarily as a function of their high numbers. They will probably drop down a bit once other classes fill out with superior talent.

A few other notes:

Where is Florida? The defending national champs are off to a slow start and have just one early verbal. The last two classes are so loaded with young talent that it may be tough for Urban Meyer to put together another national top five class. Also, Miami and Florida State are doing a great job of rebounding on the recruiting front and locking up quality in-state talent.

Air Force: Air Force? Yes Air Force. I'm mentioning them because they are all over the place and aggressive in getting out early offers. I'm really surprised at how many prospects they have identified and offered early. We aren't necessarily talking about national elite top 250 prospects, but it is surprising to see a program with such strong academics rival schools such as Mississippi and Nebraska in getting out the early offers.

Penn State: It may be a tough year for Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions. Florida State has already poached a couple of quality Pennsylvanians, Ohio State recently picked up Andrew Sweat and PSU is not well-positioned to land such stars as Terrelle Pryor, Jonathan Baldwin and Shayne Hale.

Please note one new addition to my listing. I have highlighted in blue all new text that I have written in the school summaries since my last update.

Below are my latest rankings. You should note that the rankings are only based on actual high school verbals and do not reflect the status schools may have with uncomitted prospects. Moreover, I do not include junior college prospects in my rankings:

1. Texas

There are no new verbals for Texas since our last update.

The Longhorns are up to nineteen verbals after poaching talented linebacker Dravannti Johnson away from the Aggies. Double the Longhorns pleasure as Johnson is a very good get and is another blow to A&M's recruiting efforts.

Jarvis Humphrey is this year's top prospect out of talent-laden Cedar Hill and among the better DL prospects in the nation. Nolan Brewster is the first out-of-state verbal and possibly the top prospect in Colorado. His dad is the new head coach at Minnesota and is a close friend of Mack Brown. Brewster may have been the first prospect in the nation offered by the Longhorns this year.

Southlake Carroll products Tre' Newton and Riley Dodge are two of the most high profile verbals. They have helped lead their team to consecutive state 5A titles and have great bloodlines with Dodge's father being a former Texas QB (Todd Dodge) who just accepted the head coaching job at North Texas and Newton's dad being former NFL player Nate Newton. Dodge is perhaps the most impressive prep QB in the nation and if he were a couple of inches taller he would have had the entire universe after him. Even with his lack of stature he could still wind up starring at the position in college, he's that good. And if things don't work out at QB he has the athleticism and quicks to play another position, such as WR.

Antoine Hicks and Kheeston Randall are the other two underrated verbals. They aren't as highly touted as most of the other signees but Texas does a great job of evaluating top in-state talent before everyone else and both of these kids have great feet for their size and fine athleticism. Randall plays fo a small private school so has been under the radar. Hicks is a prep QB but will likely move to another position in college.

Snow is one of three national elite offensive linemen in the state. Buckner is probably the state's top WR and among the nation's best. Monroe is a national-caliber DB. Hills is the RB they wanted and the younger brother of Longhorn Tony Hills. Buchanan has been quickly moving up the charts and ranks just below the elite 3 OLs in the state. Tucker is arguably the nation's top kicker. The others are also all very good, Acho being a small school star and the younger brother of Longhorn signee Sam Acho and Williams looking very, very good at the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio. Fitzhenry is a star prep QB who will play DB in college.

1 David Snow OL 6'4 280 5.10 Gilmer Texas
2 Dan Buckner WR 6'5 200 4.47 Allen Texas
3 Nolan Brewster DB 6'2 195 4.60 Denver Mullen Colorado
4 D.J. Monroe DB/WR/RB 5'10 160 4.40 Angleton Texas
5 Jeremy Hills RB 6'0 186 4.40 Alief Elsik Texas
6 Jarvis Humphrey DL 6'2 290 5.00 Cedar Hill Texas
7 Aaron Williams DB 6'0 175 4.40 Round Rock McNeil Texas
8 Riley Dodge QB/WR/DB 5'11 170 4.59 Southlake Carroll Texas
9 Tre' Newton RB 6'0 194 4.60 Southlake Carroll Texas
10 Dravannti Johnson LB/DL 6'2 218 4.68 Nederland Texas
11 Mark Buchanan OL 6'5 265 4.90 Austin High Texas
12 Ryan Roberson LB/RB 5'10 210 4.52 Brenham Texas
13 Justin Tucker PK 6'0 165 4.65 Austin Westlake Texas
14 Brock Fitzhenry DB/RB/QB/ATH 5'10 180 4.42 Giddings Texas
15 Luke Poehlmann OL 6'7 260 4.98 Brenham Texas
16 Emmanuel Acho LB 6'2 210 4.60 Dallas St. Mark's Texas
17 Antoine Hicks WR/QB/ATH 6'2 190 4.50 Mansfield Timberview Texas
18 Kheeston Randall DL 6'4 270 4.97 Beaumont Monsignor Kelly Texas
19 Blake Gideon DB/WR 6'1 187 4.50 Leander Texas

2. Ohio State

The Buckeyes keep rolling along as just this past week they picked up blue-chip linebacker Andrew Sweat out of Pennsylvania. He has been compared by some to A.J. Hawk.

The Buckeyes have a top-heavy class and their top seven verbals are as good as anybody's.

Ohio State recently landed super offensive linemen Mike Brewster, who decided to join buddy Mike Adams as a Buckeye. In addition, Nathan Williams also recently committed to Ohio State. He's one of the top DE prospects in the Midwest. Ohio State is positioning themselves to have one of their best classes in recent history. It'a good year for talent in Ohio and everybody is talking about the offensive linemen the Buckeyes have landed, but what has most impressed me is that Jim Tressell has been successful early on in going outside of Ohio and attracting top talent. Shugarts is from Texas and Brewster from Florida. If he can continue to poach top talent from around the nation while keeping the top in-staters at home the future could be downright scary for Buckeye opponents.

Suburban Columbus teammates Adams and Stoneburner are outstanding prospects. Adams has drawn comparisons to the late Korey Stringer and is near the top of the list of a strong group of OLs in the nation this year. Stoneburner has the speed to split wide and frame to become an exceptional receiving TE.

Torrence has the skills to play on either side of the ball but will probably be a LB in Columbus. He's also a standout prospect and possibly even more talented than his older brother Devon, who signed with Ohio State in February. Posey was a bit under the radar at WR as it's such a great year nationally, but the Buckeyes offered early and really, really like him. That was a good idea, as he has exploded during the May evaluation period.

It's a great year for kickers in the state, and Buchanan probably has the strongest leg and definitely is the most versatile as both a kicker and punter.

1 Michael Brewster OL 6'5 294 5.25 Orlando Edgewater Florida
2 J.B. Shugarts OL/DL 6'8 290 5.12 Klein Texas
3 Mike Adams OL 6'7 300 5.47 Dublin Coffman Ohio
4 Devoe Torrence LB/RB 6'2 215 4.50 Canton South Ohio
5 Andrew Sweat LB/RB 6'2 233 4.72 Washington Trinity Pennsylvania
6 Jake Stoneburner TE/WR 6'5 218 4.54 Dublin Coffman Ohio
7 DeVier Posey WR 6'1 179 4.65 Cincinnati La Salle Ohio
8 Nathan Williams DL/LB/RB 6'4 240 5.00 Washington Courthouse Miami Trace Ohio
9 Ben Buchanan P/PK/WR 6'0 185 Westerville Central Ohio

3. Oklahoma

The Sooners are back with a roar. They don't have the quantity of early verbals that Texas and A&M have received, but their top quality is as good as anybody. In fact, some feel that they may have landed four of the top seven prospects in Texas in Washington, Good, Calhoun and Johnson. One UT service had Good as the states top prospect. I wonder if that will hold?

The latest verbal is Texas DE David King, a prospect whose stock was really up during the spring evaluation period.

QB Landry Jones is among the nation's best at his position. OL prospect Ben Habern is one of the top offensive linemen in Texas.

Bobby Stoops has built a foundation of early verbals that could help Oklahoma challenge for the national recruiting title this year.

1 Stephen Good OL 6'5 265 5.06 Paris Texas
2 R.J. Washington DL/LB 6'3 234 4.62 Keller Fossil Ridge Texas
3 Jermie Calhoun RB/DB 6'0 195 4.49 Van Texas
4 Justin Johnson RB/LB 6'3 210 4.50 Gilmer Texas
5 Landry Jones QB 6'5 215 4.75 Artesia New Mexico
6 Ben Habern OL 6'3 260 4.90 Denton Liberty Christian Texas
7 Daniel Franklin LB 6'3 215 4.60 Mount Airy Habersham Central Georgia
8 David King DL/LB 6'5 238 5.00 Houston Strake Jesuit Texas
9 Britt Mitchell OL/DL 6'8 300 5.05 Roscoe Texas

4. Notre Dame

Notre Dame continues to roll along and has picked up two quality defensive linemen, Hafis Williams and Brandon Newman, since our last update. These commitments help fill a position of critical need. Newman is your prototypical nose tackle while Williams has the potenetial to excel at either DE or DT. Another nice get is talented OL Lane Clelland. The Irish have done a great job of recruiting OL prospects the past couple of years and Clelland just adds to a very deep and talented group.

Other recent verbals include Dayne Crist, one of the top three signal-callers in the nation. Darius Fleming is yet another talented LB prospect who is among the top overall players in Illinois. Landing talented California TE Joseph Fauria was a bit of a surprise with Kyle Rudolph already on board, but landing him gives the Irish two tall, rangy and athletic tight ends who are among the nation's best.

Other verbals includes two talented linebackers in McDonald and Posluszny. Posluszny is the brother of Penn State all-american 'backer Paul Posluszny.

Notre Dame picked up a huge verbal last month in talented TE Kyle Rudolph, perhaps the nation's best at his position. He has a high ceiling. The other four verbals are all prospects with "high floors" and decent ceilings, typical Notre Dame Catholic school kids. The only non-Catholic school prospect, Cave, plays just down the road for state power Penn (same program as Mike Rosenthal a few years back).

The Irish have done a good job in locking-up local talent, landing two of the top three prospects in Indiana along with Cwymar, who is one of the top top linemen in the Midwest. Golic, the son of the former ND star and current ESPN broadcaster of the same name, called in from his vacation in Italy to commit to the Irish. He is one of the top linemen in the east. By the way, he
has a younger brother to keep an eye out for next year! Goodman will remind Irish fans of Jeff Smardzja.

1 Kyle Rudolph TE 6'7 220 4.70 Cincinnati Elder Ohio
2 Dayne Crist QB/LB 6'5 228 4.66 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame California
3 Darius Fleming LB/DL 6'2 220 4.57 Chicago St. Rita Illinois
4 Joseph Fauria TE 6'8 242 4.75 Encino Crespi California
5 Sean Cwynar DL/OL 6'4 280 Woodstock Marian Central Catholic Illinois
6 Lane Clelland OL/DL 6'5 270 4.90 Owings Mills McDonogh Maryland
7 John Goodman WR/QB/ATH 6'3 187 4.71 Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger Indiana
8 Anthony McDonald LB/RB 6'3 220 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame California
9 Hafis Williams DL/OL 6'4 275 4.85 Elizabeth New Jersey
10 Brandon Newman DL/OL 6'1 294 5.09 Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park Kentucky
11 David Posluszny LB/DB/RB 6'1 206 4.75 Aliquippa Hopewell Pennsylvania
12 Mike Golic OL 6'5 260 5.10 West Hartford Northwest Catholic Connecticut
13 Braxston Cave OL 6'3 292 5.38 Mishawaka Penn Indiana

5. Florida State

After a down recruiting class last year Bobby Bowden is back with a vengeance, and he's doing it in a very non-Seminole-like way with early verbals. The Seminoles have added five commitments since our last update, albeit one of them, stud OL Kyle Long, says that he will only be playing baseball in college. I suspect that he may change his mind and will rank and him the Florida State class making the assumption that he will play football. If he doesn't, the class would drop a few spots in the early rankings. Other talented newcomers include blue-chip DB A.J. Alexander out of Pennsylvania, sleeper TE Jabaris Little out of pipeline Tallahassee Lincoln High, rangy WR Avis Commack out of Jacksonville and talented DT Moses McCray.

Other recent verbals include two linebackers in talented Vincent Williams and athletic Nick Moody. Jermaine Thomas is a tall and fast RB who runs with good vision and does a nice job of catching the ball out of the backfield.

Early in April the Seminoles landed Carr and talented teammates Bradham and Holton. Bradham is among the nation's elite recruits while Holton is one of the top DBs in Florida. Carr is also a national caliber LB who had many, many early offers.

Anthony Hill is another talented early verbal and among the very best from the panhandle. He has excellent speed and athleticism.

1 Nigel Bradham LB 6'2 220 4.60 Crawfordville Wakulla Florida
2 Kyle Long OL/DL 6'7 280 4.80 Charlottesville St. Anne's-Belfield Virginia
3 A.J. Alexander DB/WR/QB/ATH 5'11 197 4.31 Altoona Pennsylvania
4 Nigel Carr LB 6'3 225 4.55 Jacksonville First Coast Academy Florida
5 Vincent Williams LB/TE 6'1 226 4.68 Davenport Ridge Florida
6 Cedrick "C.J." Holton DB/LB 6'2 190 4.50 Crawfordville Wakulla Florida
7 Nick Moody LB/DB/RB/WR 6'1 215 4.74 Philadelphia Roman Catholic Pennsylvania
8 Jabaris Little TE 6'4 240 4.60 Tallahassee Lincoln Florida
9 Avis Commack WR 6'4 182 4.49 Jacksonville First Coast Academy Florida
10 Moses McCray DL 6'3 275 5.32 Tampa Middleton Florida
11 Anthony Hill DL 6'4 285 4.90 Pensacola Florida
12 Jermaine Thomas RB 6'1 190 4.40 Jacksonville First Coast Academy Florida

6. Georgia

Good and bad news for Georgia since our last update. The good news is the addition of three high-quality prospects including star WR Tavarres King, talented LB Christian Robinson and DB Makiri Pugh. The bad news is that star RB Martin Ward and OL B.J. Brand have both de-committed. Still, this is a very, very strong class and Georgia is positioning itself for a run at the SEC recruiting title.

DeAngelo Tyson is a national top 50-type and one of the nation's top DT prospects. He's a huge get for Georgia. Boykin is a quick CB. He's a bit more of a sleeper type.

Blair Walsh is probably the top kicker in Florida. . Green is a super, arguably the top WR in the nation in a year absolutely loaded at the position. RB will be a position of strength in the future with Samuel and Ward on board. Many feel that Samuel is the top back in the state. Washington is a terror off the edge who has run the 100-meters in the 10.7s (electronic). Once he fills out he could be scary. Allen is a fine TE prospect.

1 A.J. Green WR 6'4 184 4.56 Summerville South Carolina
2 DeAngelo Tyson DL 6'2 276 5.10 Statesboro Georgia
3 Richard Samuel RB 6'0 197 4.47 Cartersville Cass Georgia
4 Cornelius Washington DL/LB 6'4 220 4.51 Waynesboro Burke County Georgia
5 Tavarres King WR 6'1 154 4.47 Mount Airy Habersham Central Georgia
6 Dwayne Allen TE/DL 6'3 217 4.92 Fayetteville Terry Sanford North Carolina
7 Christian Robinson LB 6'3 230 4.60 Norcross Greater Atlanta Christian Georgia
8 Makiri Pugh DB 6'0 194 4.42 Charlotte Independence North Carolina
9 Blair Walsh PK 5'10 170 Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons Florida
10 Brandon Boykin DB 5'11 171 4.45 Fayetteville Fayette County Georgia
11 Bacarri Rambo DB/QB/ATH 6'1 195 4.46 Donalsonville Seminole County Georgia

7. USC

The Trojans are holding steady at seven verbals since our last update.

Verbals include stud LB/SS Maurice Simmons, likely the top 'backer in California and an elite national recruit, and RB Curtis McNeal, an undersized back who will likely specialize as a return man for the Trojans.

Their first two verbals, Shoemate and Kalil, are national top 100 types and among the nation's best at their respective positions. They also happen to be from the same school! Other verbals are headed by talented DE Wes Horton, a high-ceiling type with a great frame. Chris Polk and Matt Meyer are both solid gets and similar in ways to Shoemate and Kalil, respectively, although not quite at their elite level. The beat goes on......

1 Dennis "D.J." Shoemate WR/DB 6'1 212 4.50 Anaheim Servite California
2 Matt Kalil OL 6'7 262 5.34 Anaheim Servite California
3 Maurice Simmons LB/DB 6'1 202 4.66 Compton Dominguez California
4 Wes Horton DL/TE 6'6 230 4.80 Sherman Oaks Notre Dame California
5 Chris Polk WR/RB/DB 5'11 191 4.50 Redlands East Valley California
6 Matt Meyer OL 6'8 285 Stockton Lincoln California
7 Curtis McNeal RB/WR/DB 5'6 171 4.62 Los Angeles Venice California


UCLA continues to bring in some pretty good recruits. Not necessarily top 100 types, but still solid gets. The two most recent verbals are QB Nick Crissman and LB Patrick Larimore. Crissman is one of the top QBs on the west coast while Larimore is a run-stuffing MLB.

UCLA is doing a great job of picking up the top non-USC offer kids in southern California.

UCLA recently picked up one of the better RBs in Texas when Aundre Dean switched over from Texas A&M.

The Bruins enjoyed a Texas-caliber junior day in March, landing about ten prospects in just a couple of days. This is a talented group. They won't challenge USC for Pac-10 recruiting supremacy this year, but there is a good chance they will finish number two.

Rahim Moore is the class headliner and among the top DBs in the nation. He and rising bullet Datone Jones had also received offers from USC, and it hasn't been too often in recent history that the Bruins have been able to out recruit the Trojans for a prospect.

E.J. Woods is one of the top DBs in the West.

Holmes is another DL I like a lot and he, along with a couple of others, may have eventually received Trojan offers. Note that all the verbals are from Southern California, especially urban areas such as L.A. and Compton.

1 Rahim Moore DB 6'2 190 4.45 Los Angeles Dorsey California
2 Datone Jones DL/OL 6'4 235 4.80 Compton California
3 E.J. Woods DB/RB 6'0 195 4.50 Encino Crespi California
4 Damien Holmes DL/TE/RB 6'3 245 4.94 Colton California
5 Kemonte Bateman WR 6'0 175 4.40 Los Angeles Crenshaw California
6 Anthony Dye DB 5'11 182 4.48 Corona Santiago California
7 Aundre Dean RB 6'1 190 4.48 Katy Texas
8 Uonga Kaveinga LB 6'0 228 4.76 Lawndale Leuzinger California
9 Aaron Hester DB/WR 6'0 180 4.79 Compton Dominguez California
10 Patrick Larimore LB/OL 6'3 230 4.64 Newhall Hart California
11 Nick Crissman QB 6'3 200 4.70 Huntington Beach Edison California
12 Antwon Moutra WR/DB 6'2 175 4.45 Culver City California
13 Johnathan Franklin RB/LB 5'11 185 4.40 Los Angeles Dorsey California
14 Jerry Johnson WR 6'2 186 4.60 Los Angeles Venice California

9. Nebraska

What was a great start for the Cornhuskers just got better with the addition nof one of the nation's elite quarterbacks in Blaine Gabbert. The Cornhuskers are building themselves a high-powered offense.

They are putting together an OL class second only to Ohio State landing the likes of in-state supers Trevor Robinson and Baker Steinkuhler, Iowa star Dan Hoch and Colorado OL Bryce Givens out of powerful Denver Mullen High.

Sleeper DB David Whitmore also recently committed.

Nebraska jumped on first-year player Okafor as soon as he started to make a name for himself and before other programs could get wind of this fine talent.

1 Baker Steinkuhler OL/DL 6'6 270 4.93 Lincoln Southwest Nebraska
2 Trevor Robinson OL/DL 6'5 300 5.53 Elkhorn Nebraska
3 Blaine Gabbert QB 6'4 220 4.65 Ballwin Parkway West Missouri
4 Bryce Givens OL 6'6 240 5.20 Denver Mullen Colorado
5 Dan Hoch OL 6'7 273 Harlan Iowa
6 Collins Okafor RB 6'1 205 4.50 Omaha Westside Nebraska
7 David Whitmore DB 6'1 180 Port Arthur Memorial Texas

10. Michigan

A very good month for the Wolverines as they landed three quality verbals to stay on the trails of Ohio State and Notre Dame. Brandon Moore is a huge get at TE and a national top 100 prospect. Marcus Witherspoon is among the better linebackers in the nation and addresses a huge need for the Wolverines. Kurt Wermers is one of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest.

Michigan landed one of the top linemen in the Midwest in Elliot Mealer, an athletic OT who wanted to attend Ohio State but was squeezed out of receiving an offer when the Buckeyes landed three of the nation's top eight OL prospects. Mealer has a high ceiling and could be a steal for the Wolverines.

Cissiko is probably the best pure cover corner in the class and was the overall MVP at the U.S. Army Combine. He helps alleviate the sting of losing RoJo to USC.

O'Neill is the top lineman in the state and is, quite literally, a huge get. He helps fill a crucial need as the Wolverines will be recruiting the OL hard this year.

1 Boubacar Cissoko DB/WR 5'9 175 4.40 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan
2 Brandon Moore TE 6'6 221 4.61 Trotwood-Madison Ohio
3 Dan O'Neill OL/DL 6'8 295 Grand Haven Michigan
4 Marcus Witherspoon LB/RB 6'2 235 4.50 Absecon Holy Spirit New Jersey
5 Kurt Wermers OL/DL 6'5 260 5.10 Crown Point Indiana
6 Elliott Mealer OL/DL/TE 6'6 280 5.20 Wauseon Ohio

11. Miami

No new verbals for Miami since our last update.

The Hurricanes need to have a huge recruiting year in 2007-2008 after the recent coaching changeover. They have gotten off to an excellent start, including recently adding talented safety Joseph Wylie. Randy Shannon is doing a fine job of identifying and landing top prospects in southeastern Florida.
Patrick Johnson, is one of the nation's elite DBs and a future all-american and DT Jeremy Lewis is raw but talented.

At their junior day they received verbals from two of the state's elite linemen. Both Regis and Washington have the size and athleticism that one associates with Miami linemen of years past who went on to play on Sundays.

Just recruiting their fair share of the talent in southeastern Florida should be enough to return Miami to the elite echelon of college football.

1 Patrick Johnson DB 6'1 193 4.44 Pompano Beach Ely Florida
2 Micanor Regis DL 6'3 310 5.19 Pahokee Florida
3 Brandon Washington OL 6'4 305 5.47 Miami Edison Florida
4 Jeremy Lewis DL 6'4 271 5.01 West Palm Beach Lakes Florida
5 Joseph Wylie DB/QB 6'2 185 4.60 Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson Florida

12. Texas A&M

A&M is in recovery mode after the recent decommitment barrage and have picked up three verbals from good, but not great, prospects in Aaron Buckley, Andrew Wolridge and Chris Lathrop. Buckley has the highest ceiling of the bunch and is a sleeper linebacker who can realyl run and hit you.

Last month was terrible for A&M's recruiting efforts. Four decommitments, that's right, FOUR. They have lost Aundre Dean to UCLA and Dravantti Johnson to Texas. In addition, blue-chippers Damian Square and Leroy Chevalier have also reneged on their earlier verbals. We aren't just talking about another four losses. We are talking about losing possibly their top three verbals and another top eight verbal. Heavy duty damage that drops A&M down substantially in the rankings.
There are, however, still some quality prospects committed to the Aggies (at least for now).

Lamar Harris is another talented prospect from Gilmer who could play on either side of the ball. The three top Gilmer kids have decided to go their separate ways with Justin Johnson headed to Oklahoma and David Snow to Texas.

Keon Furtch and Derrick Hall (one of the fastest players in the state) were being heavily recruited by such programs as LSU and Nebraska and are real good gets. Tony Jerod is another highly regarded verbal. Tommy Dorman was the QB they wanted.

Davis is a very athletic and huge linemen who I really like. He is a "high ceiling" type who could really surprise. Hyde is almost as good.

1 Lamar Harris DB/WR 6'1 180 4.60 Gilmer Texas
2 Derrick Hall WR/DB/RB 5'11 190 4.30 Beaumont Central Texas
3 Keon Furtch WR/DB 6'2 190 4.50 Paris Texas
4 Tony Jerod DL/TE 6'5 252 4.60 De Soto Texas
5 Roderick Davis DL 6'4 307 4.95 Aldine Eisenhower Texas
6 Jeffrey Hyde OL 6'4 270 4.90 Colleyville Covenant Christian Texas
7 Tommy Dorman QB 6'3 204 4.80 North Richland Hills Birdville Texas
8 Markell Martin DB/WR 6'3 180 4.50 Wichita Falls Rider Texas
9 Kendall Wright WR/DB/ATH 6'0 170 4.40 Pittsburg Texas
10 Aaron Buckley LB/RB 6'1 215 4.60 Palacios Texas
11 Blake Chavis DL 6'5 240 Beaumont West Brook Texas
12 Kyle Mangan LB 6'2 225 4.85 Brenham Texas
13 Jordan Fields DB/WR 6'0 185 4.55 Paris Texas
14 Andrew Wolridge DL/LB 6'3 240 4.60 Lexington Texas
15 Chris Lathrop OL 6'5 270 5.00 Houston Cy-Fair Texas
16 Brian Thomas OL 6'4 270 5.00 Pearland Texas
17 Joe Villavisencio OL 6'5 310 5.20 Jacksonville Texas
18 Josh Ayers OL 6'5 282 5.00 Euless Trinity Texas

13. Tennessee

The Vols are looking to put together back-to-back outstanding classes and are on the road to succeeding in so doing. The latest prospect to verbal is sleeper OL Carlos Anderson out of Alabama.

Douglas has great bloodlines and leads a talented early group. Adding Bartholomew gives them a nice start in wrapping up in-state talent. They are also doing a nice job of raiding neighboring states early for blue-chip talent. Johnson, Poole (a soft verbal) and Floyd would have all been very heavily recruited.

1 Aaron Douglas TE 6'7 240 4.90 Maryville Tennessee
2 Austin Johnson LB 6'3 235 4.65 Hickory North Carolina
3 Tauren Poole RB 5'10 194 4.65 Toccoa Stephens County Georgia
4 J.T. Floyd DB 5'11 176 4.73 Greenville J.L. Mann South Carolina
5 Ben Bartholomew LB/TE/P 6'3 225 Nashville Montgomery Bell Academy Tennessee
6 Carlos Anderson OL 6'2 275 Florence Alabama Tennessee

14. Clemson

Clemson has two new verbals since our last update. Andre Ellington is the top RB in South Carolina and a prospect who I like a lot. Matt Sanders is an athletic offensive linemen who could be very good once he fills into his frame.

Ohio TE Nic DiLillo is a good pick-up. He has been overshadowed a bit by a talented group of Ohio TE prospects this year.

Bowers is an elite national prospect and a huge get for the Tigers. They are already set at QB with athletic Kyle Parker and Jon Richt, the son of Georgia head coach Mark Richt. Jones is a nice receiver and Skinner a fine long-snapper.

1 DaQuan Bowers DL/TE 6'6 265 4.70 Bamberg-Ehrhardt South Carolina
2 Kyle Parker QB 6'0 190 4.55 Jacksonville Bartram Trail Florida
3 Marquan Jones WR 6'0 175 Blythewood South Carolina
4 Andre Ellington RB 6'0 180 4.40 Moncks Corner Berkeley South Carolina
5 Nic DiLillo TE/DL 6'4 215 5.06 Madison Ohio Clemson
6 Matt Sanders OL 6'6 280 5.15 Crestview Florida
7 Matt Skinner OL/LSN 6'6 220 Jacksonville Bolles Florida
8 Jon Richt QB 6'1 185 5.48 Athens Prince Avenue Christian Georgia

15. Alabama

Nick Saban is taking an interesting approach in his first recruiting season at Alabama. It's similar to what new coaches at Nebraska and Mississippi have done in recent years. That is, sending out many early offers, some to not so-elite kids, in order to get the ball rolling and some momentum building.

The most recent verbal is QB/ATH Brad Smelley.

Other verbals include in-staters Ivan Matchett and Wesley Neighbors. Matchett is a talented and versatile fullback who is a real nice get. His early offer list is among the best in the South. Neighbors has 'Bama bloodlines as his father of he same name was a fine player for Alabama way back when.

The three DLs are all very athletic and quick (note that thy are all TEs on offense). I especially like Williams with his great frame and quickness. Smith is also an outstanding get as he is one of the top overall kickers in the nation.

1 Ivan Matchett RB/LB 5'11 220 4.62 Mobile St. Paul's Episcopal Alabama
2 Michael Williams DL/TE 6'6 240 4.70 Reform Pickens County Alabama
3 Undra Billingsley DL/TE 6'4 265 4.70 Birmingham Woodlawn Alabama
4 Brandon Lewis DL/TE 6'4 260 Pleasant Grove Alabama
5 Wesley Neighbors DB 6'1 187 4.50 Huntsville Alabama
6 Corey Smith PK/P 6'0 190 Bunker Hill Musselman West Virginia
7 John Michael Boswell OL 6'6 290 Northport Tuscaloosa County Alabama
8 Brad Smelley QB/TE 6'3 213 Tuscaloosa American Christian Academy Alabama
9 Jermaine Preyear RB 5'11 198 4.40 Mobile Davidson Alabama

16. LSU

LSU has picked up five talented in-staters and a former Louisiana native in Theriot, a real a,thlete who stars at QB in high school but could play several positions at the next level. The Taylor brothers recently committed and are vastly underrated. Spencer and Lonergan are solid linemen.

The most recent verbal is highly touted TE Matt Branch, one of the top overall prospects in Louisiana and a great get.

A nice early start, but most of the elite in-state talent is still open.

1 Matt Branch TE/OL 6'6 240 4.90 Sterlington Louisiana
2 Kellen Theriot RB/LB/QB/TE/ATH 6'2 225 4.50 Bellaire Episcopal Texas
3 Brandon Taylor WR/DB 5'11 176 4.49 Franklinton Louisiana
4 Jyryn Taylor WR 6'0 175 4.50 Franklinton Louisiana
5 Clay Spencer OL 6'5 285 Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist Louisiana
6 Pat "P.J." Lonergan OL 6'4 288 5.93 Metairie Archbishop Rummel Louisiana

17. BYU

BYU is putting together a nice early class. It would even be ranked higher if I included JUCO prospects in my rankings, but I don't.

The latest verbal for BYU is sleeper WR Atem Bol.

Sleeper Oregon RB Jerry Bruner, a nice-sized back who was injured for much of his junior season.

Holt, one of the nation's elite TE prospects, tops the list. The Sorensen cousins are also very good prospects.

1 Austin Holt TE/LB 6'6 220 4.90 South Jordan Bingham Utah
2 Daniel Sorensen DB/WR/PK 6'0 175 Colton California
3 Justin Sorensen PK/LB 6'2 215 South Jordan Bingham Utah
4 Cameron Comer DB/WR 6'1 170 4.56 Springville Utah
5 Jerry Bruner RB 6'2 225 Vancouver Evergreen Oregon
6 Atem Bol WR 6'2 205 4.60 Hurst Bell Texas

18. West Virginia

J.J. Dorsey is the latest verbal for West Virginia.

Other recent verbals for West Virginia are Addae, Smith and Robinson. I like Addae the best of the trio as he is an instinctive runner with great moves. His older brother played at WVU.

Jenkins is among the nation's elite prospects and Rich Rodriguez is going to have to hold off the rest of world in keeping him a Mountaineer.

1 Josh Jenkins OL/DL 6'3 282 5.20 Parkersburg West Virginia
2 Jeff Braun DL/OL 6'5 315 5.50 Winters Mill Maryland
3 Jahleel Addae RB 5'11 170 4.87 Riverview Florida
4 Chris Smith WR/QB/ATH 5'11 175 4.63 Boothwyn Chichester Pennsylvania
5 Jermaine Robinson DB/LB/QB/ATH 6'3 180 Pittsburgh Brashear Pennsylvania
6 J.J. Dorsey QB/DB/ATH 6'1 190 4.60 Winchester John Handley Virginia

19. Virginia Tech

Two new verbals for the Hokies from talented in-staters in Jeron Gouveia and rising star Jake Johnson.

Taylor is a monster and among the nation's elite linebackers. McCoy is a nice-sized receiver with good ball skills. Fuller is another pretty decent possession receiver.

1 Bruce Taylor LB/DL 6'3 230 4.65 Myrtle Beach South Carolina
2 Derrick McCoy WR/LB/DB 6'3 210 4.55 Amherst County Virginia
3 Jake Johnson LB 6'3 231 4.59 Stafford Falmouth Virginia Virginia Tech
4 Jeron Gouveia DB 6'1 167 4.87 Ashburn Stone Bridge Virginia Virginia Tech
5 Austin Fuller WR 6'3 200 4.69 Richlands Virginia

20. Minnesota

New head coach Tim Brewster is making an early statement by trying to lock up the in-state talent in an up year for talent in Minnesota. Maresh is the best of the bunch and among the top prospects in the midwest. Kelly has a great frame and runs well. Once he fills out he could be special. Grant is the gandson of former Viking head man Bud Grant.

Landing Maresh was huge, but there are a couple of other huge in-state targets out there in Michael Floyd and Willie Mobley.

1 Sam Maresh LB/DL/TE 6'3 257 4.70 Champlin Park Minnesota
2 Brendan Kelly DL 6'6 222 Richfield Academy of Holy Angels Minnesota
3 John Nance QB/WR/ATH 6'3 165 St. Paul Cretin-Derham Hall Minnesota
4 Shady Salamon RB/DB 5'10 180 St. Paul Cretin-Derham Hall Minnesota
5 Kevan Walker WR/DB/RB 6'1 189 4.50 Arcadia California
6 Ryan Grant QB/DB/LB 6'2 215 Eden Prairie Minnesota
7 Roszell Gayden DL/OL 6'7 240 Cooper Minnesota