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February 17, 2014
Two new 5-stars highlight latest Rivals100
Now that the recruiting focus is squarely on the 2015 class and we're getting ready to head into camp season, it's the perfect time for the second Rivals100 presented by Under Armour.
While there are only two new five-star additions in this release, there are plenty of major moves to track. Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County defensive tackle CeCe Jefferson pushed his way into the national top five, but what other prospects made big moves?
"Before the recruiting and rankings process was sped up to the point it is now, February used to be our first numerical ranking of current juniors, so now we are still discovering prospects and reviewing junior film into our second release," said Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell. "This release is a combination of in-person evaluation, continued film review and discovery.
"Heading into camp season, we know we will discover more players who have been under the radar for one reason or another, and this class is starting to emerge as one that is loaded at the top."
Jefferson debuts as the higher-ranked of the two new five-stars, but others made big moves within the Rivals100 or into it. Here's a breakdown of the big movers.
CLASS OF 2015 BIG MOVERS
DT Cece Jefferson, Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County (up 37 to No. 5)"Jefferson is so athletic that in film review you can see him playing outside, inside and even standing up over a slot receiver. He's got a very strong lower body, he uses those thick legs to explode off the snap and his athleticism is off the charts. He's a guy who will continue to be in the discussion for No. 1 if he keeps developing. The defensive line battle between Jefferson and Byron Cowart in the Florida and national rankings will be fun to watch." - Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Director, Rivals.com
S Rashad Roundtree, Evans (Ga.) Lakeside (from NR to No. 17)"Roundtree came from off the radar to five-star status in just a matter of months. Players like him are what make doing the job fun, because it just shows that there are still hidden gems out there. Roundtree gained traction with a strong showing at the Elite Junior Classic practices and game and it only takes one look at his film to realize he's a special talent at safety. He's physical and hits like a ton of bricks, but has the speed to cover as well. His star is still on the rise and I'm excited to see him match up with the best during the upcoming camp season." - Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst.
OT Martez Ivey, Apopka, Fla. (up 23 to No. 21)"Ivey is a special talent at offensive tackle in what appears to be a deep year at the position. He has a great frame, he's very athletic and he can hit players in space. When he pulls, he's very quick to the spot and he can run like a huge tight end. He comes off the snap low and plays with good leverage and you can tell he loves putting opponents on their backs. His ceiling is very high and it looks like he's just starting to scratch the surface of his potential." - Farrell
DT Kahlil McKenzie, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle (up 168 to No. 24)"I saw McKenzie twice in his junior season and he dominated both times. He's about 320 pounds, but he moves so well for his size and he's one of the most physical defensive linemen I've seen in a while. The Northern California prospect was phenomenal in the state championship game and on more than one occasion picked up running backs and slammed them to the field. It looked like a move straight out of WWE. Really talented offensive linemen had difficulty blocking him as he disrupted things in the backfield almost all game." - Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Recruiting Analyst
RB Ronald Jones II, McKinney (Texas) McKinney North (from NR to No. 39)"Jones burst onto the scene after a spectacular 2013 season. He averaged just shy of 10 yards a carry as a junior and showed breakaway speed, quick feet, and explosiveness. He can get to top speed in a hurry and he has the quickness to change direction in a split second. He also finishes his runs strong, and runs with power and balance." - Jason Howell, Rivals.com Midlands Recruiting Analyst
DE Darian Roseboro, Lincolnton, N.C (up 44 to No. 45)"Roseboro earned his jump by dominating at the Under Armour Combine last month. He's got the size and strength you look for in a big-time defensive end and a mean set of moves to go with it. Unlike some defensive ends, he's not a one-trick pony. He's adept at getting after the quarterback, but is also just as good when it comes to stopping the run, making him an every down guy at the next level." - Wommack
QB Kyler Murray, Allen, Texas (up 81 to No. 51)"Murray made a nice jump up the list. He may not be the tallest, but it has not stopped him from excelling at the position over the years. Murray is advanced from a technical standpoint and he is always ready to strike with accuracy. He has the ability to run, but he is a pass-first guy and his release allows him to quickly put the ball in the hands of his receivers." - Howell
OT Richie Petitbon, Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga (up 64 to No. 60)"Petitbon played exceptionally well at the Under Armour Combine. His lateral quickness and strength allowed him to handle both bull-rushers and speed-rushers. It was clear that Petitbon worked hard on improving his quickness and footwork and he showed more of his competitive side when he was called out by a few defenders." - Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
LB Leo Lewis, Brookhaven, Miss. (from NR to No. 61)"Lewis is an athletic and imposing figure in the middle of the defense at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. He is a sideline-to-sideline player and he is comfortable dropping back into pass coverage. When he does decide to come downhill, he is an immediate disruption. He plays with violence and explosiveness all over the field and when he arrives at the ball carrier he is usually in a bad mood." - Howell
DE Josh Sweat, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith (up 69 to No. 68)"Sweat didn't compete in any all-star combine, but his film was released after the last rankings update and it was very impressive. It was easy to see he has worked on his strength and is becoming more aggressive. Sweat's agility, athleticism and understanding of his responsibilities as a defensive end allow him to always be in good position and to make plays in the backfield. Sweat is also a big hitter that causes running backs to fumble and make quarterbacks make bad decisions." - Friedman
LB Roquan Smith, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County (from NR to No. 77)"Smith is a guy who really jumps out when you watch him on film, mainly because of his long, lengthy frame. He's a guy who's just as good in the coverage game as well as he is against the run, making him the ideal linebacker to contend with spread offenses. He's still going to need to bulk up a little, but with his range, he's only going to get better as he continues to develop." - Wommack
DE Jonathan Ledbetter, Tucker, Ga. (up 120 to No. 84)"Ledbetter was one of the best defensive players on one of the best high school teams in the state of Georgia during the season, but he really didn't blow up until he dominated at the Under Armour Combine. He's really still learning how to play the position and if he keeps growing, he could slide inside to defensive tackle. Either way, prospects his size rarely have his type of athletic skills and flexibility, making him an easy candidate for the big rise." - Wommack
QB Kelly Bryant, Piedmont (S.C.) Wren (up 40 to No. 92)"Bryant was the most impressive quarterback at the Under Armour Combine and is the fastest-rising dual-threat quarterback in this year's class. He's gone from a guy playing in a run-heavy offense into a legit Rivals100 prospect. He's still raw and he's still working on his mechanics, but his speed, arm strength and upside are what set him apart." - Wommack
LB Cameron Smith, Granite Bay, Calif. (up 53 to No. 98)"I first noticed Smith in the state championship game during his sophomore season and I've kept a close watch on him since then because I knew he could be one of the top linebackers in the country. Smith is big and strong, but he also comes downhill fast and seriously lays the wood. He looks like a college linebacker already and Smith has been fantastic during his junior season and deserved a bump up in the rankings." - Gorney
Coming Tuesday: The updated Rivals250 presented by Under Armour and a look at the biggest risers -- and fallers.