Nobody racks up more frequent flier miles than the Rivals.com recruiting analysts.
After months of traveling from one corner of the country to another for Rivals.com Junior Days, NIKE Camps, visits to high schools for spring practices and other camps and combines, the fourth official player rankings for the class of 2008 have been released today.
This release is for players that have received the prestigious five-star rating and are ranked from No. 6 through No. 1 overall nationally. They're also ranked as 6.1 on the Rivals Rating Scale, which means they're projected to be the franchise players in this year's class.
These players are truly considered the elite prospects in the country and are deemed to have excellent pro potential. They should be high-major prospects with the ability to make an immediate dent in college football next season.
On Tuesday, following the Memorial Day holiday, the first official Rivals100 for the class of 2008 will be unveiled. That will be the first time that stars are awarded for those players and they will be ranked numerically from No. 1 to 100.
6.DeAngelo Tyson 6-2, 276, DT, Statesboro (Ga.) Tyson in action Accolades: Was part of a successful defensive line, which included Georgia signee Justin Houston, last season. A Rivals.com Junior All-American, Tyson dominated at the Athens NIKE Camp before the 2006 season. He racked up 72 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and six sacks as a junior. He did all that with a knee injury that slowed him down a bit.
Why he's a five-star: "The first time I saw Tyson at the 2006 Athens NIKE Camp, I knew he was special. He was a rising sophomore then, but you could tell he had all the tools to be an elite defensive tackle. He's got good quickness and athleticism, and he's strong and plays that way. Even though he is already elite, his upside is huge because of his youth (he is young for his grade)."– Rivals.com recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt Tyson says: "I use my hands at the line of scrimmage and use my size. I also have good quickness off the ball. I have a lot to work on, but they will see me (in college) sacking the quarterback and stopping the run."
Beyond the gridiron: Potentially could graduate early and enroll for the spring semester … Was UGA's ninth commitment for the class of 2008 … Is coached by Steve Pennington. Top schools: Tyson picked Georgia on March 7, turning down scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and others.
Vote: Should DeAngelo Tyson be a five star?
5.Nigel Bradham 6-2, 230, LB, Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla Bradham in action Accolades: A member of the Rivals.com Junior All-American Team. As a junior, he was a first-team Class 3A all-state selection by the Florida Sportswriters Association. He racked up 150 tackles, eight sacks and four interceptions as a junior. As a sophomore, he had 139 tackles. Why he's a five-star: "Bradham has great size, speed and football instincts. He's a player that has all of the measurables, but also has a knack for making big plays. Bradham's drive is to be one of the best players ever to come out of the Tallahassee area. That's a tall task for anyone, but the fact that he has those goals and that he's aware of the challenge ahead of him gives him a great chance for success."– Rivals.com recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt His coach says: "Usually you have linebackers that can either get off the block well or go sideline to sideline, or maybe even deliver the knockout hit. Well, Nigel is all of that in one player … that makes him really special." Beyond the gridiron: Is coached by Scott Klees … Teammate C.J. Holton is also committed to Florida State … Bradham's mother, Rose Rucker, is a Florida Gators fan. Top schools: Committed to Florida State on April 15, picking the Seminoles over Georgia, Ole Miss, Auburn and Florida. Despite his pledge, schools continue to recruit him. Vote:Should Nigel Bradham be a five star?
4.A.J. Green 6-4, 184, WR, Summerville (S.C.) Green in action Accolades: After three years at Summerville, Green has 196 receptions for close to 4,000-yards and more than 40 touchdowns. Green was a member of the Rivals.com Junior All-American team, and he earned about every honor you could in his area. Why he's a five-star: "Green has been the top wide receiver in South Carolina since his freshman year of high school. He's tall and can go up and get it. He is also very fast, and can run by you and get it that way, too. He has amazing hands. He also can make people miss in the open field and is a dangerous yards-after-catch threat. The key here is for Green to keep getting faster, keep getting stronger and keep getting better. If he does that, the sky is the limit. If he doesn't, he's still going to be a great college receiver."– Rivals.com recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt Green says: "People have compared me to Randy Moss. They say I play like him, look like him, and all that kind of stuff, but I just want to be me. I just want to do the best I can do and be myself. My strengths are probably my size, my hands, and my speed." Beyond the gridiron: Also plays basketball and runs track … His high school football coach, John McKissick, has coached for 54 years and has won more than 500 games. Top schools: Green committed to Georgia early in the recruiting process, picking the Dawgs on Oct. 7, 2006. He had offers from South Carolina, Auburn, Clemson and others. He would have been one of the most heavily recruited players in the nation had he not committed early. Vote:Should A.J. Green be a five star?
3.Julio Jones 6-4, 215, WR, Foley (Ala.) Jones in action Accolades: One of the most explosive prospects to come out of the state of Alabama in years. Jones finished his junior year with more than 1,200 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. He also was impressive at the Baton Rouge NIKE camp last May, running a 4.56 40-yard dash and posting an event-best 38.9-inch vertical leap. Why he's a five-star: "A 41-inch vertical leap, a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and a 6-4, 215-pound body are just three of the reasons Julio Jones is the top wide receiver prospect in the country this year. What's even more impressive than his athleticism, though, is the way he uses it on the field to make himself elusive enough to avoid potential tacklers and pick up huge chunks of yardage after the catch. When I saw him at the Hoover 7-on-7 last year, the word explosive just kept coming to mind. He dominated that event and made several Division I-A bound defensive backs look silly. During his high school season, Jones dominates against great competition in Mobile, which is an emerging area for elite talent."– Rivals.com recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt His coach says: "The thing about Julio is he is so well grounded and mature for a guy his age. He has taken everything in stride, and he just works harder than he did before. He wants to be great and he's going to put in the work. I know he is going to be hit hard next year with all the attention, but I don't think it will change him at all. He's humble and hardworking, and that is going to carry him a long way."
Beyond the gridiron: Is coached by Todd Watson. Watson coached at Hoover before taking over at Foley in 2005 … Teammate Robert Lester, a safety prospect, is also being heavily recruited.
Top schools: Jones has a long list of schools after him, including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and West Virginia. Vote:Should Julio Jones be a five star?
2.Darrell Scott 6-0, 215, RB, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure Scott in action Accolades: First-team all-league, all county, all-CIF and all-state underclass as a sophomore after he rushed for 1,988 yards and 19 touchdowns. He earned Rivals.com Junior All-American honors after posting 3,194 yards and 45 touchdowns in 2006.
Why he's a five-star: "Darrell is a physical player who does not shy away from contact and really finishes his runs well. He also played last year at Moorpark against one of the top schedules in the state, so he did all of his damage against the top competition in California. It's going to be truly exciting to see what he will do now that he's at St. Bonaventure. Without a doubt, he's one of the best backs that I've seen in my years of covering high school football in California." – Rivals.com recruiting analyst Rick Kimbrel His coach says: "Darrell is the total package. He's a strong runner who can run right through you, but he also has the speed to get outside. He's going to be a big-time player for us." Beyond the gridiron: Has lived in Florida, Texas and California … Played as a junior at Moorpark High School, but moved to play as a senior at St. Bonaventure … Scott says he hears comparisons in his playing style to Adrian Peterson and Edgerrin James. Top schools: Scott says he's wide open, but will take official visits to three schools – Michigan, Florida and LSU. He also lists Cal, Colorado, Florida State, Miami, USC, Texas and UCLA among his top teams. Vote:Should Darrell Scott be a five star?
1.Terrelle Pryor 6-6, 220, QB, Jeannette (Pa.) Pryor in action Accolades: As a junior he was a first team Class AA all-state selection as a specialist in football and state runner-up for player of the year. In basketball he was also first team all-state. He was also a member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Fabulous Five and the Pittsburgh Tribune's Terrific 10. He threw for 1,732 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2006. Also rushed for an additional 1,676 yards and 29 touchdowns. Why he's a five-star: "Pryor is a rare prospect because of his size and speed at the quarterback position. He's a glider who doesn't look to be running at full speed, yet he's rarely caught. He's more dangerous as a runner right now, but he has a strong arm and has adequate accuracy. Pryor is still raw as a prospect, but his upside is off the charts. Compared to Vince Young, Pryor is a franchise quarterback in the making." – Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell His coach says: "We actually started the comparison between him and Vince Young because it's really the only one there is when you see him. It comes from the coaches and community, because that's who he can become. He has the potential to be the next Vince Young of college football, and we don't say that lightly." Beyond the gridiron: His football coach is Ray Reitz … Plans to sign a letter-of-intent for football, but will play both sports in college … Says he received between 150 and 200 text messages a day. Top schools: Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, USC, Texas and West Virginia. Vote:Should Terrelle Pryor be a five star?