July 29, 2013

Preseason RivalsHigh 100: Nos. 95-91

MORE: RivalsHigh100: Nos. 100-96

Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

Rivals.com today begins its 2013 countdown, ranking the teams from No. 1 through No. 100.

We are starting at No. 100 and will release two groups of five teams per day. The Top 10 will be announced over two days with the preseason No. 1 being named on August 8.

After that, we will wait until the first week of September for the next rankings, then have them every Monday during the season.

Top 100 countdown
No. 95 Centreville, Virginia

Coach: Chris Haddock
Last Season: 8-4, lost in second round of VHSL Class 6 playoffs
Key Player: The return of running back Christian Martey may put Centreville over the top this season. The 6-foot, 220-pound prospect was supposed to be the go-to player last year, but he blew out his knee in a scrimmage. He was being recruited by Wisconsin, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Boston College before the injury. While those programs will wait to see him in action before they offer, this is a ranking based on the report that he was medically cleared for full contact at the end of April.
The Good: The class of 2015 may be even better than the senior group, and the mix may be just right for a national ranking. Stepping up in the absence of Martey was AJ Turner, who collected more than 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns and makes for a fantastic back-up option. Two-way standout Charlus Tutt does not have the traditional size to play at the next level at 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, but he can make an impact as a pass catcher and a defensive back. He earned all-district honors as a sophomore. On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Xavier Nickensyzer and end Devante Wright are primed to have better seasons.
The Bad: The lack of top-end talent is concerning. This is a team loaded with good high school players but few who project well at the next level. If this team was matched with other, more talented programs, it may not fare as well. It also does not have a true game changer, and the offense could struggle again. The team was held to 21 points or fewer in seven of its 11 games last year, and in many power states that would not get many victories.
The Bottom Line: Centreville appears to be the opposite of many top programs in Virginia this season. The state is producing its best class of individual talent in recent memory, but the Wildcats are not blessed with any of the top players in the state. The schedule is similar to last year's, when the team lost four games. If the offense isn't improved, it makes Centreville a prime candidate to fall from the rankings, even coming off a victory early in the season.

Top 100 countdown
No. 94 Warren Central, Indiana

Coach: Jayson West
Last Season: 5-6, eliminated in first round of Class 5A playoffs.
Key Player: Senior quarterback Jeff George Jr. will take control of the offense, and the pressure that goes with being the son of the former NFL quarterback will be compounded with leading one of the flag-bearing schools in Indiana. The younger George played in eight games as a junior and completed just better than half of his 95 passes for 475 yards and five scores.
The Good: The team had a losing record last year but was defeated in each contest by the better team and was competitive in each. The defense was stout, it returns many familiar faces, and with a new coaching staff coming in there could be major improvement. In all of its losses, Warren Central fell by just a single score. Turning close losses into big wins is expected.
The Bad: The team still lost more than it won last year, and that was in Indiana football -- not exactly a national powerhouse state. Warren Central under former head coach John Hart was loaded with talent, but that base has eroded quickly. The current roster is being lightly recruited, but it still has plenty of good players. There are just as many points against as points for this team making a rebound.
The Bottom Line: Last year's team lost to Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral 14-7, Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis 6-3, Terre Haute (Ind.) North Vigo 14-10, Carmel (Ind.) High, 10-7, Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove 8-5 and eventual state champion Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central 21-14. The program then hired Smith away from Lawrence Central to take over. The offense simply couldn't get any worse, so a boost is expected. The ranking may be a little early, but all the signs are pointing to buying this team.

Top 100 countdown
No. 93 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Coach: Steve Spavital
Last Season: 8-4, lost in second round of Class 6A playoffs.
Key Player: Talented running back Devon Thomas is the focal point of the offense and will be one of the major cogs in this machine. The four-star moved to Broken Arrow from Slidell (La.) when he was younger, and after a near-2,000-yard season, he committed to Oklahoma. He has switched to Oklahoma State and broken into the Rivals250 presented by Under Armour. His junior season was shortened, and his bounce back to form will be key this season.
The Good: Thomas will not be asked to carry the load by himself on offense. He will line up in the backfield with three-star quarterback Coleman Key. Key has committed to Colorado State, and after throwing for 1,500 yards as a junior with a 14-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the bar has been raised. Broken Arrow is the largest school in the state, so losses to graduation can be quickly filled because the roster is usually deep.
The Bad: The defensive side of the ball was hit hard by graduation. Four-star linebacker Gyasi Akem returns to key the unit, but there is little left of his supporting cast. The defense was good, but far from great last season, so having familiar faces is also a comfort. Many of the questions about the team will be answered against Bentonville (Ark.) High in early September. Broken Arrow fell to Bentonville last year, but it will be the much more talented team in this contest.
The Bottom Line: The state still has Jenks (Okla.) High and Tulsa (Okla.) Union to battle with. Broken Arrow has separated itself as the third team in the state -- ahead of Owasso (Okla.) High and others -- but it has yet to move either of the top two off the perch. This may be Broken Arrow's most talented group ever, while Jenks and Union were hit harder by graduation. Therefore, there may be no better time than now to take that next step.

Top 100 countdown
No. 92 Skyline, Washington

Coach: Mat Taylor
Last Season: 14-0, won Class 4A state championship. No. 39 in RivalsHigh100
Key Player: Transfer quarterback Kilton Anderson, who is committed to South Alabama, threw for 1,288 yards as a junior at Naples (Fla.) High. That would be impressive and confidence inspiring for any program, but Skyline isn't any program. Anderson will be replacing five-star Max Browne -- who set many Washington state records -- after Browne replaced former top prospect Jake Heaps in the program. Anderson has only one year on campus, but the expectation is already that he steps in and leads the team to another state title.
The Good: Anderson coming into the program means that Skyline doesn't go from Heaps to Browne to a regular high school quarterback. It is a soft landing for a program that has very high hopes and two solid tests right out of the gate. Anderson will have to learn the system and build relationships quickly because he just got to Seattle in May and the season is right around the corner.
The Bad: With Heaps and Browne, the Spartans have had talented receivers around to make each look that much better. The bad news is that this year's offense returns players who caught only 13 of the team's 320 completed passes. Figuring out who will step up will be a matter of time because there are no clear-cut favorites.
The Bottom Line: A step-back season is expected, but by how much becomes the question. Skyline has been nationally ranked and nationally relevant each of the last five seasons, but it could drop quickly with games against Bellevue (Wash.) High, Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) High, and Seattle (Wash.) Roosevelt in the first three weeks. Bellevue is the top team in the state, as is Coeur d'Alene, and Roosevelt is No. 10 in the preseason in Washington. The rest of the slate will be smoother sailing to the playoffs, but by then it may not matter in the national picture.

Top 100 countdown
No. 91 Gainesville, Florida

Coach: Matt Latsko
Last Season: 14-1, lost in Class 6A state championship game. Ranked No. 28 in RivalsHigh100.
Key Player: Running back Tony James will have to fill the void left by Vanderbilt signee Raphael Webb. James -- a four-star talent ranked inside the Rivals250 -- seems more than equipped to do so, even though Webb tallied more than 2,000 yards on the ground as a senior. James is the third-ranked all-purpose back in the nation, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield as well as hit a home run when handed the ball.
The Good: It isn't just James on offense. Gainesville made plenty of noise last season with a high-scoring attack, and it figures to use that as a calling card again this year with receiver Kenric Young and Florida Atlantic pledge Byers Hickmon anchoring the offensive line. The question is at quarterback, but ultimately the weapons that return make it easier to envision that hole being filled.
The Bad: The quarterback position -- while excusable -- is still the biggest concern. Gone is two-year starter Marquis Robins-Cato, leaving big shoes to fill. Cato did not receive an offer to play for an FBS program despite being 25-3 in two years as a starter and throwing for more than 2,000 yards with 30 touchdowns as a senior. Cato was 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds with the ability to extend a play. His measurables, ability and results may be hard to duplicate.
The Bottom Line: For all of the points Gainesville scored last season, the team struggled in contests against Lake City (Fla.) Columbia and Madison (Fla.) County before falling to Miami (Fla.) Central. Columbia and Madison County are back on the schedule, joined by Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln and Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla before the playoffs. Gainesville should be favored in all of those contests, but it could be stalled by each of those four programs.



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