The new Rivals100 Presented by Under Armour has been released for the spring evaluation period for the class of 2015, and we have a change at the top. Seffner (Fla.) Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart is our new No. 1 player in the nation, moving up two spots from No. 3 and supplanting Albany (Ga.) Westover School defensive tackle Trenton Thompson, who slips to No. 3.
Whether Thompson camped or not this spring might be irrelevant (he did not) because of how dominant Cowart has been. The 6-foot-3, 257-pounder has drawn comparisons to Da'Shawn Hand, last year's No. 1, for his balance, agility and quickness. While Hand is a bit faster and perhaps slightly more agile, Cowart is stronger and more physical at the same stage. Meanwhile, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen stays put at No. 2 after a great spring.
There were plenty of other changes of note. It's somewhat rare to add seven five-stars in one rankings cycle barring the final release, but with so many camps and 7-on-7 events in the spring, more and more players are showing they are deserving of the honor. Conversely, more players are also showing that perhaps their fifth star was a bit ambitious. Such is the case this time around with three prospects losing that coveted five-star status.
Now let's take a look at the rest of the big moves in the Rivals100. A big move is considered up or down 30 or more spots or moving into the coveted five-star class while any moves less than 30 are considered nominal. Negative moves of less than 30 slots, while certainly significant to prospects and the fan bases involved, are usually the result of so much upward movement from prospects that stood out during this evaluation cycle. The biggest jump among the seven new five-stars was 57 spots, while the biggest drop among the three prospects losing their fifth star was 26. The biggest jump into the Rivals100 is 132 spots and the biggest drop within the elite list is 36 spots.
This has been an exciting spring and this 2015 class looks like it will be a rollercoaster ride when it comes to rankings moreso than the last two years. Our team of national recruiting experts weighs in with their observations on the spring performances of these prospects.
The combination of speed, athleticism, and competitive nature made it hard to deny Johnson his fifth star. He dominated two Rivals Camp stops and other camps and made it look easy. He was too quick and explosive for all the competition he faced. On the recruiting front, Johnson holds offers from everyone across the country. Texas Tech and LSU are two teams to watch for the newly minted five-star receiver. - Jason Howell, Rivals.com Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Godwin can do it all. He's an elite wide receiver and a shutdown corner all rolled into one. On Friday nights, he helps carry his high school team and in a camp setting, his speed makes him almost impossible to cover one-on-one. Many prospects talk about playing both ways in college, but Godwin is one of the few players that has the skills to actually do it. He is currently committed to Georgia and slated to play offense. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Sweat was extremely impressive at the RCS Baltimore-Washington D.C. and at other stops in the spring. There aren't many players in the country that can match up with his pure athletic talent and God-given ability. Now that Sweat has really filled out his frame and expanded his arsenal of pass rushing, there's no telling how good he could be. Sweat is hard to read when it comes to recruiting, but Virginia Tech has long been rumored to be the favorite with Ohio State also mentioned quite a bit. - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
The RCS Atlanta event was loaded with talent on the defensive line, but Edoga took on and beat all comers. Because he's 6-foot-4, there have been questions about whether or not Edoga can be a full-time tackle at the next level, but with his long arms and terrific footwork, he has the type of skills that overcome any height concerns. He was also outstanding at other camps this spring. Edoga is committed to USC. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
James is a physical safety who is athletic and quick enough to play press coverage but has the change of direction and hips to play off as well. He can match up with slot receivers and he will be a force coming downhill to support the run. He's simply a physical specimen who has the perfect combination of nasty and agility. Florida State is his future home. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
Patrick is big, physical and fast on film and he showed his ability to be a three-down back in camp settings this spring. He catches the ball well, he showed he could work at running back or receiver at RCS Orlando and he has that extra gear that is needed. Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama and Oregon seem to be the top schools right now. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
Jefferson has been close to his fifth star from the beginning and after a stellar performance at RCS Dallas as well as at other camps, it was hard to deny him. He has it all from the athleticism to the measurables, and is equally impressive closing moving forward or dropping in coverage. Jefferson continues to keep an open mind on the recruiting front, but it looks like it is setting up to be an in-state recruiting battle possibly between Texas and Texas A&M with Baylor hanging in. - Jason Howell, Rivals.com Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Town competed in two events this spring that we know of and he had average performances at both. He played in a 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas and had accuracy issues and then was sort of anonymous and blended in with the crowd at the Golden Arm Challenge in Atlanta. I still contend Town is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and he could become a star at USC. There is no question in my mind he is a gamer, but to justify keeping him in the five-star class, we didn't feel he backed up those accolades this spring. After being committed to Alabama early, Town is almost definitely sticking with his USC pledge. - Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Analyst
We've been high on Blackshear for a long time, but he struggled through injuries during the fall that impacted his performance. This spring was a great time for Blackshear to show he was back healthy, but a non-football injury knocked him out of action for several months. The physical tools are there, but Blackshear will likely need to return to dominant form during his senior season to show he belongs among the five stars in this year's class. Blackshear remains committed to South Carolina and hasn't shown any signs of wavering. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
There's no question Campbell is one of the more impressive athletes in this year's class, but the question continues to surface about whether or not he's a true wide receiver. He continues to struggle catching the ball consistently, and all the physical tools in the world don't matter to a wide receiver if he can't make catches. Some believe that his size and speed may translate to the defensive side of the ball, but as a receiver he just doesn't have the complete game that other five stars do in this class. Since decommiting from Michigan, Campbell has played his recruitment close to the vest. However, Florida and Clemson are two schools very much in the mix heading into the summer. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Prince has phenomenal size and it is impressive how strong he is while still having a lot of room left fill out in his frame. He bends very well for a big guy and has excellent punch to stave off would-be pass rushers. Prince also has that aggressiveness and tenacity every offensive line coach wants. The two favorites right now for Prince are Maryland and Florida. - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Wimbush's accuracy when throwing short and intermediate passes has improved tremendously. The Penn State commit has one of the strongest arms in the country, so learning to put touch on his passes has been difficult for him, but throwing a good long ball has never been a problem. Wimbush is also more mobile than people give him credit for. He's able to make plays with his feet outside of the pocket when the play breaks down. - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Bussey was a guy we liked a lot on film. He brings a versatility and explosiveness to the field that is hard to match. His compact, muscular build makes him a difficult target for defenders and his abilities as a receiver out of the backfield make him a dangerous offensive weapon. He committed to Nebraska early in the process and he has not looked back. - Jason Howell, Rivals.com Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Williams put up excellent performances at two marquee events during the spring evaluation period and his rise up the rankings continues. His size and athletic ability make him a top 100 prospect and he'll have the opportunity to show he belongs among the elite wide receivers at a few star-studded events over the summer. Williams is committed to Tennessee but is looking around a bit." - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
McCloud is one of the most dynamic athletes in the country and can play on either side of the ball. His strength is on offense, where he cuts on a dime, easily gets separation from defenders and has excellent ball skills. McCloud is wide open in the recruiting process but will visit UCLA, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Michigan and Michigan State soon. Oregon and West Virginia are also schools mentioned often with McCloud. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
Cotton has emerged as the nation's No. 1 offensive guard for good reason. He has a great set, gets out of his stance quickly, anchors well and has excellent feet. He's aggressive with his punch and has a mean streak. The Alabama commitment is a perfect fit in a pro-style offense. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
Irvin is up to 190 pounds but hasn't lost a bit of the speed that helps make him one of the most explosive all-purpose backs in the country. Irvin will never be mistaken for a big bruising running back, but now he has the size to absorb hits at the next level as well. Miami seems to be the team to beat but Clemson, Florida, FSU, LSU, Ohio State, West Virginia and others have been mentioned. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Ledbetter has added more than 20 pounds of weight this offseason but hasn't lost a bit of his explosiveness at the line of scrimmage. His newfound muscle will give him the ability to play either defensive end or perhaps even slide inside and play defensive tackle at the next level. At the RCS Atlanta stop Ledbetter was dominant, even against top-notch competition. He showed out in similar fashion in other evaluation situations. Ledbetter is committed to Alabama. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Phillips has a lot going for him. He has size, speed, he's strong and thick and he can run good routes. It could be an interesting battle between Phillips and Calvin Ridley during the season for that No. 1 WR slot in Florida. The former Florida commitment is a heavy lean to Florida State at this time. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
Allen is really coming into his own as not only one of the top players in the Mid-Atlantic region but the country. He has added upper and lower body strength, which has made his punch more effective. Now he is able to stop defensive linemen's initial rush and then use his lateral quickness to delay their second rush attempt. Allen likes Ohio State, Florida State and LSU and also list Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Virginia and Michigan. - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Lucier-South's greatest attribute is his phenomenal athleticism. When he plays with his hand down, he has the speed to get by any offensive tackle with an inside or outside move and he was virtually unstoppable during one-on-ones at RCS Southern California and at other stops. At 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds, he has an outstanding frame where he can add weight and more than likely keep all of his speed. UCLA is considered one of the early favorites but he's called Michigan his dream school and plenty of other Pac-12 and SEC teams have gotten involved. It's too early to name a clear leader at this point." - Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Analyst
Thompson has been on the radar for a few years now, but his strong showing at the RCS Houston as well as at other stops turned more than a few heads as he showed off his athleticism on both sides of the ball. Thompson has been committed to Alabama and he plans to enroll early, but he recently decided to open up his recruiting process a little bit. He maintains he is still committed to Alabama. - Jason Howell, Rivals.com Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Langey is a competitor. He had a phenomenal performance at RCS Southern California but was edged out for DB MVP honors. So he decided to drive back five hours that night to participate in the next day's RCS Northern California and earned his Five-Star Challenge invitation. He has also impressed at other camp stops. With about 30 offers, Langley has little else to prove, but he's competitive, hard-nosed and wants to show he's one of the nation's best corners. California will make Langley's first cut, but a lot of the recent talk is that USC is the team to beat. - Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Analyst
Tyler Carr is still a guy we absolutely love when it comes to potential and a high ceiling, but he is still a work in progress. He tends to overset at times and really struggles when defenders cross over. Still new to the offensive line, he is progressing but there are things to work on. Alabama and Auburn will likely battle this one out, but Georgia is also in the mix. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
It's been a tough offseason for Tuttle, who continues to battle injuries. At his size and at this point in his development, being out an extended period of time will only hinder his growth. We look forward to seeing how he recovers and performs over the summer and heading into the fall. Tuttle has been very quiet about the recruiting process, but Alabama, Clemson and North Carolina seem to be out in front, with the Tar Heels having the edge. - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst
A lot of people have questioned certain aspects of Jenkins' game, but he has good technique and excellent size and athleticism for a player that big. Jenkins has everything you can't teach an offensive lineman, but can improve on some the things that can be taught. The Penn State commit will need to get a lot stronger and will need to get more experience against elite past rushers once he gets to State College. - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Roseboro has good upside, but he's growing into a bit of a 'tweener and it's hard to figure where he'll end up along the defensive line. He is 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, so he could end up moving inside in college because he's not as explosive off the edge as he used to be. He's still very strong and hard to stop, however. He just came out with his top 10 which consists of N.C. State, Michigan, Clemson, Tennessee, Ohio State, Florida, LSU, UNC, Alabama and Duke. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director