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November 8, 2010
New five-stars in updated Rivals100
MORE: The Rivals100 | Rivals100 chat at Noon
Once again the Rivals.com team of analysts has been on the road since the kickoff of the high school football season and has evaluated hundreds of players in person as well as hundreds more on film. Thus, the latest Rivals100 has been released with plenty of movement as well as the addition of three more five-star prospects. Led by new five-star running back Mike Bellamy from Punta Gorda (Fla.) Charlotte, Rivals.com breaks down the new five stars and the changes in the latest Rivals100.
Bellamy, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder who is one of the most dynamic prospects in the country, moves into five-star status due to a stellar senior campaign and a typical dominating performance in front of Rivals.com eyeballs. Rivals.com Senior AMP Producer/Analyst Gregg Peterson saw first-hand what Bellamy can do.
"Bellamy is a home-run hitter, plain and simple. Despite his lack of size, he has shown the ability to run between the tackles and take a pounding. He is unstoppable in the open field, and will hit you with a big run at anytime," said Peterson. "Bellamy is an instant impact guy at the next level as a return man and a running back."
In addition to Bellamy, a Clemson commitment, two Big 12 commitments also joined the ranks of the five stars. In fact, both players are committed to Oklahoma and will team up to form a dominant offense for the Sooners down the line. Wide receiver Trey Metoyer from Whitehouse, Texas and running back Brandon Williams from Brookshire (Texas) Royal have both dominated in their senior years.
"Metoyer is a big body but much more than just a big target. He runs in and out of his cuts effortlessly and is very dangerous after the catch. He is agile enough to make quick cuts and is strong enough to break tackles and drag defenders for extra yards," Perroni said. "He has very strong hands and catches the ball at its highest point. Many people compare him to fellow East Texas standout Dez Bryant and for good reason. As for Williams, most would expect a 6-foot-1, 190-pound runner to be a power back, but he has shown that he is much more than that. He has some serious speed for his size and hits the edge as quick as any back in the country. He is a one-cut back who runs very well downhill. Williams also has very good hands and can turn a wheel route or a screen pass into a big gain as well."
Four other players were seriously discussed when it came to five-star status but still fell a bit short. However, each of them will have an opportunity to seal the deal with additional senior film evaluation and all-star game performances. Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips running back Demetrius Hart jumped 20 slots to be the highest-rated four-star prospect in the land. Rivals.com National Analyst Barry Every saw Hart, a Michigan commitment, in person this year and came away impressed.
"Dee Hart is the best back I have seen in person this season," said Every, who has seen many of the top backs in the country in games this year. "He is dangerous in space and catches the ball like a receiver. Hart is ideal for that Michigan offense, he's probably a better receiver than most of the guys they have already and he's perfect for the spread."
Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton offensive tackle Christian Westerman remains well within striking distance as well, despite dropping four slots due to others moving up. Every saw Westerman, a Texas commitment, in person as well.
"With Westerman, we want to see him turn less to the side during pass protection, which is essentially opening the door, while going against top competition," said Every. "When he faces top defensive ends like he will at the Under Armour Game in Orlando, we will see how he does."
Garden (Calif.) Junipero Serra athlete Marqise Lee (uncommitted) jumped 20 spots to move closer to five-star status as well and Daingerfield, Texas linebacker Steve Edmond, a Texas commitment, remained in the discussion like Westerman despite dropping four slots. Rivals.com West Analyst Adam Gorney saw Lee in person while Peterson evaluated Edmond.
"Lee is fantastic on both sides of the ball and has the athletic ability to change games at wide receiver and safety. He's been so dominant at wide receiver this season that some college coaches are recruiting him as an athlete now instead of just safety," said Gorney. "On defense, he packs a serious punch when engaging receivers and he's a playmaker when coming up to stop the run. Lee is a track star but is a football player first. The nicest person off the field turns into a fierce and competitive force between the lines. He is just so fun to watch."
"Edmond has all the tools to be a five-star; he is big, physical and can run. The only knock on him at this point is that the competition he plays against is very poor," said Peterson. "We would like to see what he can do in San Antonio in January against players of equal size and ability before we can name him a five-star prospect."
In addition to three new five-stars, there were several brand new additions to the Rivals100 this time around. Towanda (Kan.) Circle defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, another Oklahoma commitment, made the biggest jump from No. 138 all the way to No. 42 after an in-person evaluation by Every.
"Phillips may be the biggest athletic guy in the county," said Every. "He could almost be considered a jumbo athlete. He is off the charts athletically and he could even play tight end at nearly 300 pounds if he wanted to."
San Antonio (Texas) Macarthur tight end Jace Amaro, a Texas Tech commitment, also made a big jump from No. 111 into the top 50 at No. 48. Perroni came away impressed with Amaro after an in-person evaluation.
"Amaro is the prototypical athletic college tight end already. He has great size and is athletic enough to play receiver but strong enough to be a dominant blocker when he puts his hand down as an in-line tight end," said Perroni. "He has great body control and is very dangerous on the drag route across the field."
Danville (Ky.) Boyle County linebacker Lamar Dawson (uncommitted) just missed the Rivals100 last time around, checking in at No. 101. This time around however the state's best player moved up to No. 54 thanks to a dominant senior season. Peterson recently checked him out in person.
"Dawson can do it all, he can run, tackle and cover. He does a great job of keeping the play in front of him, uses his hands well and plays sideline to sideline," said Peterson. "He has a big frame and likes to play physical. Had 19 solo tackles in one game this season."
Belle Glades (Fla.) Glades Central receiver Kelvin Benjamin (uncommitted) and Miami (Fla.) Southridge safety Gerrod Holliman (Ole Miss commitment) also moved into the Rivals100. Rivals.com Florida Analyst Chris Nee breaks down why each has moved into the 100.
"Benjamin is a huge target and presents a difficult match-up for defensive backs. If a ball is thrown to him correctly, he is tough to stop. While some believe he may eventually grow into being a tight end, Benjamin has shown the athleticism to play wide receiver," Nee said. "Holliman has proven himself against some of the best competition in the nation. As a senior, he has racked up an area-leading 10 interceptions and routinely come up with big plays for Southridge on defense, offense, and special teams. As a safety he possesses good speed and ideal size to play either safety position. What makes him a standout defensive back though is his playmaking ability and excellent instincts that put him in position to regularly make a play on the ball."
Quarterbacks make major moves
Chandler, Ariz., quarterback Brett Hundley and West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer quarterback Jacoby Brissett both made huge jumps in the Rivals100 with each jumping more than 100 slots to check in at No. 95 and No. 98 respectively. Every came away impressed with Hundley while Rivals.com National Analyst Mike Farrell has always been a huge fan of Brissett.
"Hundley has the right mix of arm strength and athletic ability to be a dangerous signal-caller at the next level," said Every of the UCLA commitment. "He is a natural leader and very intelligent and is of high character and Rick Neuheisel will have a coachable kid who will get better each year."
"With Brissett, his upside is impressive and he's such a great athlete that he could be a poor man's Terrelle Pryor or Cameron Newton in the right offense," said Farrell of the uncommitted signal-caller. "He's a pass-first guy but he can make things happen when the pocket breaks down and he is a threat to run. Whatever team gets him will be getting someone who has barely scratched the surface of his potential."
While Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (uncommitted) remained No. 1 in the overall rankings and is likely to stay there until the end, there were many moves in the top 10. Baton Rouge (La.) Redemptorist offensive lineman La'El Collins (LSU commitment) moved up to the No. 2 slot mainly because of a shift of power in the state of Florida.
St. Augustine (Fla.) Pedro Menendez linebacker Tony Steward (uncommitted) dropped from the No. 2 slot down to No. 7 and Tampa (Fla.) Plant athlete James Wilder Jr. (FSU commitment) dropped from No. 3 down to No. 9 for different reasons. Meanwhile, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips defensive back Hasean Clinton-Dix (Alabama commitment) moved from No. 10 to No. 6 and took over the No. 1 slot in the state of Florida. Nee explains.
"It is no secret that Clinton-Dix is a great athlete who possesses elite athleticism and great size with the versatility to be a cornerback or safety. What moves him to the forefront of the class in Florida is his knack for regularly making plays in games for Dr. Phillips, despite limited opportunities as teams avoid him," said Nee. "He has been a key weapon for arguably the top team in the Sunshine State. With Steward being banged up this year and not being able to be consistently effective and with Wilder Jr. insisting on being a running back, where he is less effective than at linebacker, Clinton-Dix was able to move up."
There was also a shift of power in the state of California as Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra wide receiver George Farmer (uncommitted) jumped Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw athlete De'Anthony Thomas (USC commitment) in the overall and state rankings. Farmer is now No. 4 in the country while Thomas remains at No. 5. Gorney talks about the change.
"This was a tough decision and we wrestled with for a long time but after watching both players multiple times I feel Farmer has a slightly bigger impact on the game and projects as a more dominant player long term," said Gorney. "Thomas is so electric and exciting to watch especially on offense but if he plans to play cornerback in college then there still is a learning curve. Farmer can break big plays at any time and his speed is surprising and he regularly gets into open space. It was close Farmer came out on top for now."
Other big moves include Richmond (Va.) Hermitage linebacker Curtis Grant (uncommitted) jumping from No. 9 to No. 3. Farrell talks about the jump of the player who is now the nation's top linebacker prospect.
"Grant is a dominant force who plays with passion and gives 100 percent on every play," said Farrell. "He's a tackling machine with an NFL body and he runs things down so well to the sideline it's amazing. Once he is allowed to shoot the gap more and blitz, he will be even more special in college wherever he ends up."
A few other prospects that made nice moves within the 100 include New Orleans (La.) O. Perry Walker defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (LSU commitment), Lake City (Fla.) Columbia defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (uncommitted) and Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside offensive tackle Tyler Moore (Nebraska commitment).
"Big guys are at a premium these days and all three of these players have impressed during their senior seasons," Farrell said. "It's especially a down year for defensive tackles which makes Johnson and Jernigan that much more valuable and Moore has proven to be one of the better tackles in the country and will do a great job at Nebraska. You might not hear their names called as much as the skill position guys in college, but each will make a big impact."