Appearing in all 12 games for the Florida Gators last season --
including starts against South Carolina, Missouri and
Louisiana-Lafayette -- and being named to the all-freshman team validated
D.J. Humphries' No. 2 overall ranking in the Rivals100
presented by Under Armour.
Then a 6-foot-5, 265-pound player, Humphries tied for the highest ranking in
Rivals.com history for an offensive lineman with Andre Smith and Seantrel
Henderson. He was given the Anthony Munoz Award as the best high school lineman
in the class of 2012 and became the highest-ranked player ever to come from the
state of North Carolina.
Now a road grader for Florida, the Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek product is
still viewed as the best high school player in the Rivals.com era from the Tar
Following the summer evaluation period, the Rivals.com team of analysts is
meeting this week to discuss how to reshape the rankings for the class of 2014
Rivals100 presented by Under Armour. This presented a perfect opportunity to
look back at former five-star prospects and re-rank them among the other elite
prospects from their home states.
From the class of 2002 -- when Rivals.com established the Rivals100 -- to the
class of 2013, there have been 11 states to have double-digit players earn
five-star rankings. This week, it is time to turn back the
clock and put those players in order based on what they did in high school.
None of the players identified as midseason five-stars for the class of 2014 is
considered for this ranking. Each is subject to change through the regular
season and all-star game evaluations.
North Carolina is represented by 14 players rated as five-stars over the last
dozen classes. With Elijah Hood being compared to former No. 1 overall
player Ernie Sims, that number figures to grow by at least one this season.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said the
evolution of the state has been impressive.
"North Carolina has made big strides from a state long thought to be
associated with basketball to a football-producing power," he said. "Humphries
is the highest-ranked offensive lineman we've ever had and is the choice for No.
1 here, but Jonathan Bullard pushed him hard in 2012 for top state
honors and Keenan Allen is still one of the smoothest athletes I've
ever seen in high school."
"Spikes was an obvious success and the jury is still out on Crisp, but Pressley,
Moss, Jeffries and Jones all disappointed by rankings standards," Farrell said.
"Culliver has emerged as an NFL talent, but one has to wonder how good he would
have been if he decided not to play wide receiver in college. This is a fair
list with more failures than success stories so far."
One player who nearly pushed toward five-star status was Georgia
running back Todd Gurley. Farrell said it was a big decision not to
give him that elite ranking and that he laments it regularly because Gurley has
been tremendous early in his career.
"I know Gurley has only played one year of college football, but I regret not
going all the way and pushing him up to five-star status," Farrell said. "We had
him higher than anyone else at No. 42 overall in 2012, and we were the only site
that had him ahead of fellow in-state running back Keith Marshall, but
I know Gurley is going to continue to make me regret not making that final push