July 28, 2004

Maryland, Michigan highlight latest state rankings

Two very fertile recruiting territories are Michigan and Maryland. Some of the nation's best players have come from those two states over the years and the class of 2005 in Michigan and Maryland are loaded with some amazing talent.

While The Michigan Top 20 definitely has several four-star prospects, The Maryland Top 20 is home to the top player in the nation, Derrick Williams.

Williams, ranked as the top player by Rivals.com and the top athlete, headlines the top 20, which also features five Maryland commitments. The Terps have reeled in major pledges from White Plains Lackey running back Morgan Green and Hyattsville DeMatha defensive back Anthony Wiseman.

Green and Wiseman are ranked as the state's No. 4 and No. 5 players, respectively.

The No. 2 player in Maryland is Melvin Alaeze. The nation's No. 1 strongside defensive is a five-star recruit, just like Williams. Alaeze has scholarship offers from a who's who in college football.

"Melvin is a grueling tackler who sets up his opponent properly before delivering the pushing hit," Randallstown assistant coach Evan Murray said.

"He reads and reacts to O-linemen with ease and has the confidence and attitude to disrupt combo blocks, traps, zones, and various blocking schemes. Melvin does an excellent with his hands using rips, swims, and club techniques when needed. "

The Michigan Top 20 is led off by five-star running back Kevin Grady of East Grand Rapids. Grady, who is 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, rushed for 2,507 yards as a junior and 2,075 yards as a sophomore. He is already committed early to the Michigan Wolverines.

"You almost have to pinch yourself, because he's so good," East Grand Rapids coach Peter Stuursma said. "The biggest thing about KG is that he wants to be great, and he has made himself into the real deal. He's an elite player and worked hard to get to that point, but he is such a humble kid. He's like a son to me."

Jackson athlete Antonio Bass, Muskegon defensive tackle Terrance Taylor, Lake Orion receiver Ryan Allison and Marshall quarterback Evan Sharpley round out the top five. Sharpley, who is heading to Notre Dame, is the only one other than Grady to commit in the top five.

Both Michigan and Michigan State have gotten off to good starts in state.

Along with Grady, the Big Blue has a commitment from Orchard Lake St. Mary's defensive end Chris McLaurin, ranked as the No. 9 player in the state. The Spartans have commits from the No. 6 player in the state, linebacker Andrew Hawken, and the No. 8 player, offensive lineman Joel Nitchman.

The Oregon Top 10 features one of the nation's top defensive tackle prospects - Portland Grant star Ndamukong Suh.

Suh, who is 6-3 and 276 pounds, is being heavily recruited by Arizona State, California, Duke, Miami, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State and many others. He earned honorable mention all-state honors as a junior, and he's just starting to reach his long-term potential.

"He's quick off the ball and is able to overpower opposing linemen with ease at the high school level," Rivals.com West Region analyst Greg Biggins said.

"He has a tendency to play too high at times and can also lose track of where the ball is but he's a very aggressive player who pursues well from sideline to sideline."



 

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