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March 27, 2013
Plenty of names earn three-star status
In February, we released our Rivals100 and Rivals250 for the class of 2014, as well as some additional four-stars outside those rankings. Now Rivals.com is releasing our positional rankings highlighted by three-stars such as wide receiver Erik Brown from Fontana (Calif.) Summit, who was a standout at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour held in Los Angeles this month. Some of these three-stars will continue to move up as we head toward our next full evaluation in May.
"This time around, it's just about the three-stars," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "Our next full evaluation of the Rivals100, Rivals250 and all the players outside of those two illustrious lists will be done in May. But in the meantime, we can't ignore the three-stars. Some of the top players in college football and in the NFL were three-stars, and there's no doubt that will be the case every year we rank players."
Here's the breakdown of each position. Note: No new four- or five-stars have been added; those will be determined in our next full evaluation in May.
There are quite a few highly ranked three-stars who are attempting to push into four-star status. They are led by Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic signal caller J.J. Cosentino, who has committed to Florida State. Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints quarterback Foster Sawyer, Beaver Falls (Pa.) Blackhawk standout Chandler Kincade (Pittsburgh commitment) and Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern star Mason Rudolph check in behind Cosentino, while Henderson (Nev.) Foothill quarterback Drew Doxtator stood out at the Rivals Camp Series in Phoenix. Richmond (Va.) The Collegiate School quarterback Wilton Speight is an early commitment to Michigan and an Under Armour All-American who has come back from a horrible injury a couple of seasons ago.
Bossier City (La.) Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris had a terrific RCS in Dallas and is pushing for four-star status, while Florence, Ala. standout Kendrick Doss and Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman freak athlete Randall Cunningham rank just behind Harris. Cunningham, the son of former NFL great Randall Cunningham, is especially interesting. He played mop-up duty for the most part behind Arizona signee Anu Solomon last year, but his skill set is evident and his potential is sky high.
With only three prospects ranked at four stars, there is some wiggle room come May for others to jump in here. Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton speedster Treyvon Paulk, a Tennessee commitment, is the closest right now, followed by Texas Tech commitment Justin Stockton from Cibolo (Texas) Steele.
In what appears to be another strong year at running back, 29 players have earned five- or four-star status. In the next group, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary back Parris Campbell, an Ohio State commitment, and Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian tailback Jonathan Vickers are in the mix. Baylor commitment Terence Williams from Ennis, Texas, is well regarded, and Norwich (Conn.) Norwich Free Academy star Marcus Outlow, a Boston College commitment, is one of the best-kept secrets in the group.
Brown, who came close to winning the Offensive Skill MVP Award at the RCS presented by Under Armour in L.A., ranks as the top three-star wide receiver in the country, and he is pushing hard for four-star status. Longview, Texas, receiver Dorian Leonard, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons star Trevon Lee, an offensive standout at the Miami RCS, and Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights wideout Dorian Baker rank behind Brown.
With double-digit four-stars at tight end, pushing into that group will be tough. However, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral big man Trevor Wood was outstanding at the RCS in Phoenix and has great size and good hands. Houston (Texas) Kinckaid tight end Mavin Saunders was excellent at the RCS in Houston, and Midlothian (Ill.) Marist tight end Nic Weishar has one of the most impressive offer lists you'll see at his position.
At offensive tackle, Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic standout Juwan Bushell-Beatty ranks as the top three-star at the position. He is followed by Texas A&M commitment Kealvin Davis from Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial and Tennessee commitment Coleman Thomas from Max Meadows (Va.) Fort Chiswell. Mt. Lebanon, Pa., tackle Alex Bookser is starting to blow up on the national scene.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood guard Isaiah Wynn is pushing for four-star status, and he is followed by Kansas State commitment Dalton Risner from Wiggins, Colo., and Wisconsin commitment George Panos from Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead, two physical and nasty interior linemen.
It's always hard to find true centers or prospects who project at center, so we have only five ranked so far and four of them are three-stars. Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's big man Joshua Casher and Hinsdale (Ill.) Hinsdale Central star Brian Allen are the two closest to that four-star mark.
Weakside Defensive End
Recent Notre Dame commitment Andrew Trumbetti from Demarest, N.J. checks in as the top three-star at weakside defensive end, where he is followed by Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes pass rusher Jarrett Johnson and Southfield, Mich., defensive end Lawrence Marshall.
Strongside Defensive End
One of the most discussed three-stars this year is Hiawatha, Kan., defensive end Peyton Newell, who checks in as the highest-rated nonfour-star at his position and has an impressive offer list. Newell is followed by new Ohio State commitment Dylan Thompson from Lombard (Ill.) Montini and Virginia Tech commitment Vincent Mihota from Fredericksburg (Va.) Massaponax, both of whom are highly regarded.
It's not a great year at defensive tackle when it comes to depth, but Fayetteville (N.C.) Pine Forest big man Lamont Gaillard, Texas A&M commitment DeShawn Washington from Nederland, Texas, and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln star Thomas Holley have emerged to help the position. All three could be four-stars when we re-rank in May.
Like defensive tackle, it's not a great year when it comes to depth at inside linebacker as well. Berkeley, Calif. linebacker Michael Lazarus was impressive at the RCS in L.A., and he is followed by Philadelphia (Pa.) La Salle 'backer Zaire Franklin and East St. Louis, Ill., star Kyron Watson as the highest-ranked three-stars.
Florida boasts the top two three-stars on this list in Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School standout Richard Yeargin III and Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit star Vincent Jackson. Michigan State commitment Byron Bullough from Traverse City (Mich.) St. Francis Catholic is highly regarded.
The cornerback position is loaded for the second year in a row, so pushing into four-star status will be tough because there already are 27 players who hold that distinction. However, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei corner Jonathan Lockett, Atlanta (Ga.) St. Pius X School athlete Nicholas Ruffin and New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine defensive back Jermaine Roberts, a standout at the RCS Houston, are knocking on the door.
Two players from Texas and one from Florida are the highest-ranked prospects among the three-stars at safety. Lake City (Fla.) Columbia safety Trey Marshall is followed by Klein (Texas) Collins defensive back Jordan Thomas and Houston (Texas) Lamar star John Bonney.
As usual, the athlete position is loaded with potential. Three prospects especially seem to be pushing for a fourth star. Falcon, Colo., athlete Kalen Ballage was outstanding at the RCS Phoenix and could be a star at multiple positions. He is joined by Coolidge, Ariz., star J.T. Gray, who was a standout at the same camp, and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall athlete Curtis Samuel, who is rising based on junior film. Yet another RCS Phoenix standout, Tyler Whiley, is in striking range.