August 19, 2014

Rivals250: Risers and sliders

The Rivals100 Presented by Under Armour delivered plenty of changes as the summer evaluation period draws to a close and the season is just days away. It's the same with the entire Rivals250, as numerous changes have been made up and down the list.

The top two spots in the Rivals100 stayed the same with Seffner (Fla.) Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen.

There were significant changes in the top group, though, as Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback Iman Marshall moved to third overall, followed by Haines City, Fla., safety Derwin James and Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith defensive end Josh Sweat to round out the top five.

Turning to the Rivals250, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas running back Jordan Scarlett, Houston Lamar defensive back Holton Hill and Whitehouse, Tex., safety Justin Dunning were a few of the prospects who made a big move up and are close to cracking the top 100 list. After numerous summer evaluations, there were also a bunch of prospects who moved down in the rankings.

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.

With the summer evaluation period all wrapped up, the focus turns completely to the high school football season. There have already been plenty of changes in the Rivals250 so far this recruiting cycle and there are destined to be many more following the season.

Complete rankings for the class of 2015
VIDEO: Big movers in the Rivals250
New four-stars outside the Rivals250

RIVALS250 RISERS
RB
Jordan Scarlett
Fort Lauderale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
108 137 +29
Scarlett is a slasher with great vision and terrific feet. At 5-foot-11, 205 pounds he still has very good speed and once in the open field, it's a foot race he'll win more times than not. He's good at avoiding tacklers at the line by shifting directions quickly and powerfully and is great at adapting to a given play as it unfolds. -- Adam Krohn, Southeast region analyst
CB
Holton Hill
Houston Lamar
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
112 NR NA
Hill brings great length to the cornerback position and he is very physical. He likes to get in the face of receivers and knock them off their route early on, but he also does a great job of staying balanced, patient, and not getting caught flat-footed. He has the ability to play cornerback and safety if needed and plays with advanced technique. -- Jason Howell, Mid-South region analyst
S
Justin Dunning
Whitehouse, Tex.
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
115 187 +72
Dunning has been known as a bit of an athletic freak. As a sophomore, he posted a vertical jump of 40 inches and at 6-foot-3, he has sub-4.5 speed. His athleticism has not been an issue, but he is coming off an injury which sidelined him for the majority of his junior season. This summer he showed he is back and appears primed for a big senior season. -- Howell
RB
Saquon Barkley
Whitehall, Pa.
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
117 165 +48
Barkley has consistently proven to be one of the best running backs in the country. He has the size and burst to run effectively between the tackles and the overall speed to make plays on the outside. This offseason, the Penn State commit also showed he can be a viable threat in the passing game. Barkley proved that he is a complete running back that can be an asset on first, second and third down. -- Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic region analyst
LB
Nick Conner
Dublin (Ohio) Scioto
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
120 218 +98
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour Linebacker MVP was solid all off-season, but the performance he put together in Baltimore after being a last-minute addition told us a lot about his competitiveness and his playmaking ability. Conner is a good-sized linebacker at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds and he moves in space really well. The ability to stand above the strongest collection of linebacker talent in the class over the course of a weekend highlighted his potential. -- Josh Helmholdt, Midwest region analyst
CB
Frank Buncom IV
San Diego St. Augustine
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
121 175 +54
Buncom has excellent size at 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds, but there is plenty more to his game than just his physical prowess. The four-star is a phenomenal student in the classroom and on the field and he takes to coaching really easily. Buncom understands his role on the field and he gets the job done. That was never more evident than this summer at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and the B2G Elite Camp. His mix of athletic ability and intelligence is rare and it's what makes Buncom such a special recruit. -- Adam Gorney, West region analyst
OL
Patrick Vahe
Euless (Tex.) Trinity
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
174 NR NA
Vahe may not be the biggest guy out there at 6-foot-2 and 300-pounds, but he is a mauler who stays low and explodes into his target. He was a standout performer this summer and took care of any and all opponents placed in front of him. It is easy to see his strength and technique as well as his nasty streak on the field. -- Howell
RB
Johnny Frasier
Princeton, N.C.
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
175 NR NA
Frasier is a big, strong running back that excels when he can make one cut and get downhill. At top speed, the Florida State commit is very difficult to bring down and runs with a lot of aggressiveness. Frasier is the type of running back that gets better as the game goes on. He takes advantage of the defense when they are tired, battered and bruised and has the ability to break big runs. -- Friedman
CB
Donte Jackson
Jefferson (La.) Riverdale
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
190 NR NA
Jackson is still learning the finer points of the cornerback position, but he has excellent feet and athleticism which cannot be taught. He is the kind of guy who can be trusted to lock down the opponent's No. 1 receiver and he seems to just be scratching the surface of his potential. -- Howell
QB
Sam Darnold
San Clemente, Calif.
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
193 NR NA
Darnold did not participate in many events this offseason, which made seeing him during the Elite 11 and the Huntington Beach Edison 7-on-7 Tournament so valuable -- and so important for his bump in the rankings. His coaches at San Clemente have had some outstanding quarterbacks there and they say Darnold could be the best of the bunch. He's super competitive, no-nonsense, doesn't chase the headlines and just wants to compete and get better. He has all the physical tools to be a special player and with more evaluation, could move even higher in the rankings. -- Gorney
WR
Van Jefferson
Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
207 NR NA
It was a successful summer for the wiry Jefferson, who showed he belongs in the discussion with the nation's top wide receivers after excelling at marquee events. With excellent bloodlines (his father Shawn was an NFL wide receiver for 13 seasons and is currently an assistant with the Tennessee Titans), Jefferson is already sharp technically while continuing to develop physically. He has good speed and excellent ball skills and continues to improve every time I see him. -- Woody Wommack, Southeast region analyst
RB
David Ducre
Mandeville (La.) Lakeshore
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
213 NR NA
Ducre is the kind of guy who passes the eyeball test at 5-foot-11 and 240 fat-free pounds. He also has legitimate track speed and was clocked with a 4.4 handtime forty in late July. However, the most impressive thing is how much improvement he has made in his flexibility. He has been a bit stiff when we have seen him in the past. He knew it was something he needed to work on, and this summer it was easy to tell the difference. -- Howell
CB
Quenton Meeks
San Diego Del Norte
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
229 NR NA
Meeks is a phenomenal athlete who really knows the game. He should since his father (Ron) has coached in the NFL. Meeks is a bright player who gets to where he should be to make the play either on offense or defense. His performance at the UCLA Elite Camp was memorable and he's truly someone who can excel at wide receiver or defensive back. Originally from the Atlanta area, Meeks is open to more SEC offers, but if a Pac-12 team lands his commitment, he could be a major steal for years to come. -- Gorney
OL
William Sweet
Jacksonville First Coast
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
236 NR NA
The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Sweet displays great technique with quick-footed, athletic moves to his spot off the line. He's also agile and well-balanced, which allows him to get low when smaller rushers attack. He's also a high-character guy that will make a positive impact in the locker room with leadership skills and a team-first attitude that shows he's mature beyond his years. -- Krohn
CB
DeShawn Raymond
Metairie (La.) East Jefferson
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
245 NR NA
There has been a lot of discussion about whether Raymond is a safety or a cornerback. Raymond has always thought of himself as a cornerback, and the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back definitely brings size and a large wingspan. This summer, Raymond made his strongest case yet to be considered a cornerback, showing improved footwork and quickness. -- Howell

SLIDERS
DE
Jashon Cornell
Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
102 76 -26
Cornell just missed the top 100 in this update after spending the first year inside that range. Early in the off-season, he added much-needed mass to his frame, which helped him hold up at the point of attack better. But at events like the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, he was not as dynamic as the pass rushers ranked ahead of him. Cornell is still tinkering with his weight to find the right combination that maximizes both his strength and quickness, and we'll be watching this fall to see if he finds that mark. -- Helmholdt
Torrance Gibson
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage
ATH  
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
103 51 -52
Gibson wants to play quarterback at the next level, but hasn't shown he can do that with his play this summer. As an athlete, he's incredibly gifted, but not quite at the elite level as some of his peers. -- Krohn
WR
Miles Boykin
New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
151 116 -35
Boykin started the off-season on a tear, displaying a blend of superior size and athleticism to stand out at several camps and combines. He did not end the offseason as strong as he started, though, having a few pedestrian showings at 7-on-7s and the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. To be considered one of the top wide receiver prospects in this class, Boykin needs to continue to show he has the explosiveness to stay on the outside in college, where his size can create mismatches. -- Helmholdt
DB
Tyrek Cole
Miramar, Fla.
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
159 44 -115
On the field, Cole struggled this summer with bigger receivers. Off the field, there are questions and concerns that need to be answered. -- Krohn
DT
Tim Settle
Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
160 62 -98
As a junior, Settle was thought to be an aggressive and devastating force on the defensive line that had the ability to destroy game plans. While he still has that potential, he has not shown that he can do that on a consistent basis right now. Settle is still among the nation's best defensive tackles, but he needs to show the ability to consistently use good technique to beat his offensive lineman and make plays in the backfield. -- Friedman
OL
Sterling Jenkins
Pittsburgh Baldwin
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
163 69 -94
We were very high on Jenkins as a junior and were hoping for more progress this offseason. The upper body strength and ability to use his leverage is not there right now. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Jenkins did a good job of handling outside rush attempts, but if a defensive end tried him inside, there was no way of him to stop it. Jenkins still has many of the things a coach cannot teach, but he will be most effective once he has spent time in a college training program and gets stronger. -- Friedman
OL
Pat Allen
Reisterstown (Md.) Franklin
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
170 95 -75
Like Jenkins, Allen will benefit from a college training program. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, the Georgia commit showed up with a much stronger upper body, but was still not strong enough in the lower body. Allen was unable to anchor down against many of the defensive tackles, and then he resorted to lunging and going for the knockout punch. As Allen's lower body gets stronger, his game will significantly improve. -- Friedman
OL
George Brown
Cincinnati Winton Woods
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
172 118 -54
Physically, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Brown was one of the best-looking offensive linemen at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June, but on the field he had trouble with the strength and speed of the top defensive linemen in the country. Brown has always watched his diet and made sure to keep the bad weight off, but going into his senior season his trainers are allowing him to start adding mass to his frame and we're excited to see how that impacts his strength. -- Helmholdt
QB
Kelly Bryant
Piedmont (S.C.) Wren
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
176 124 -52
It's been a rough offseason for Bryant, who was forced to miss camp season after suffering a non-football injury. He still has incredible potential and is a great fit for Clemson's offense. We're just a little cautious and will wait to see how he fares during his senior year. -- Wommack
DB
Ugo Amadi
Nashville John Overton
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
189 120 -69
Usually a camp warrior, Amadi struggled at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. The performance wasn't typical of Amadi, but he's already playing against somewhat of a stacked deck because of his size. Going against some of the nation's best is never easy, but it's looking like Amadi is a little closer to his ceiling than some of the other prospects at his position. -- Wommack
WR
Alex Ofodile
Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
200 126 -74
Ofodile, who plays relatively soft competition in high school, looked overmatched against top-flight competition at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and did not possess the quickness or straight-line speed necessary to get open down field against elite defensive backs. It's clear that Ofodile is still an extremely promising FBS prospect and certainly deserves his four-star ranking, but a top-100 prospect he is not. He's solid in a lot of areas, but also won't wow anyone with one particular tool, as became clear while he struggled to find separation at the Five-Star Challenge. -- Rob Cassidy, Southwest region analyst
WR
Stanley Morgan
New Orleans St. Augustine
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
222 82 -140
Morgan runs precise routes and has some sure hands. He is not the biggest, but he brings a lot of toughness to the table, and when the ball is in the air, he is going to do what he has to do to make the catch. Creating separation and speed are the main knocks against Morgan, and something he is working to improve. -- Howell
RB
Nicholas Brossette
Baton Rouge (La.) University Laboratory School
NEW RANK PREV. RANK DIFFERENCE
235 112 -123
There may not be a more productive running back in the country, and he can handle a heavy workload. Brossette is a solid, dependable back who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. He is very good at several aspects of the game, but at this point he lacks elite level explosiveness and top end speed. -- Howell
Complete rankings for the class of 2015
Rivals100: Meet the five-stars
Rivals100: Risers and sliders
VIDEO: Analysis of the new five-stars
PHOTOS: See the five-stars in action

Mike Farrell
National Recruiting Director

Rob Cassidy
Midlands/Southwest Recruiting Analyst

Adam Friedman
Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

Adam Gorney
West Recruiting Analyst

Josh Helmholdt
Midwest Recruiting Analyst

Jason Howell
Mid-South Recruiting Analyst

Adam Krohn
Southeast Recruiting Analyst

Woody Womack
Southeast Recruiting Analyst




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