December 13, 2005

December brings changes

With high school football finally wrapping up across the country, the Rivals.com recruiting analysts have been busy breaking down senior footage of the top prospects in the class of 2006.

As with every evaluation period, there are changes - some shocking and some expected - that spark debate about what team will sign the nation's best class. Here's a look at a few movers and shakers in the updated December position rankings and Rivals100.

Starting at the top of the overall national player rankings, Percy Harvin remained at No. 1 followed by Andre Smith and Sergio Kindle. Quarterback Matthew Stafford moved to the fourth spot and linebacker Allen Bradford came in at No. 5. Slipping slightly to No. 11 overall was Florida State safety commitment Myron Rolle of Princton (N.J.) The Hun School.

"We compare junior film to senior film for a lot of the top prospects, especially the five star kids," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said.

"We are looking for a continued progression and didn't see that with Myron compared to some of the others. He was injured as a senior and that was certainly taken into consideration, but we felt the other guys deserved to move ahead because of their progression and domination."

There were two other major moves that probably raised some eyebrows. Former five-star players Darrin Walls and Antonio Logan-El are now are ranked at the four-star level. Logan-El is now ranked as the nation's No. 49 player and Walls came in at 51.

"Darrin had an injury-plagued senior season, which had something to do with his subpar performance on the field," Farrell said.

"But again we were also looking for that next step of development and we didn't see it with Darrin. With Antonio, he has all the physical tools in the world, but he needs to be more intense and aggressive on the football field."

But also keep in mind that all of these players are still highly ranked and saying one is better than the other is like comparing which expensive sports car is the best.

There weren't too many dramatic chances at the quarterback spot, but there were a few newcomers that have continued to climb the chart. Mentor (Ohio) Lake Catholic dual-threat quarterback Rick Stanzi blew up as a senior and is now picking from Big 10 scholarship offers.

At running back Chris Wells of Arkon (Ohio) Garfield takes over at No. 1. The Ohio State commitment was ranked as the second-best back throughout most of the year, his senior season proved he was a great get for the Buckeyes.

At receiver, Michigan pledge Greg Matthews and Florida commitment Damian Williams bumped up into the Rivals100. Matthews is now the nation's No. 9 receiver, followed by Williams at 10.

Stephen Schilling is now the nation's No. 1 offensive tackle, taking over the spot from Sam Young. Washington offensive tackle Cody Habben also moved to a four-star prospect after an impressive senior season.

At defensive tackle, Shoreview (Minn.) Mounds View star Brandon Hoey proved he might be the real top prospect in the state this season, and for his efforts he was granted a fourth star and the nation's No. 21 ranking at the position. The Wisconsin commitment had 96 tackles and 22 tackles for a loss in 2005.

Oklahoma State commitment Patrick Lavine was moved from safety to outside linebacker, where he will play in college, and he too picked up a fourth star and is now ranked in the top 20 at the position. New Georgia commitment Akeem Dent of Atlanta Douglass blew up as a senior asn also was ranked with four stars.

There was a change at cornerback with Walls movement slightly down. He ended up at No. 3 at the position and A.J. Wallace moved to No. 1. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder from Maryalnd is just ahead of Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft super star Jamere Holland. Arizona commitment Mike Turner and Kansas commitment Anthony Webb continued their climb up the rankings and both are now at four stars.

Texas A&M fans had to be happy to see Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie safety Malcolm Williams move up to four-star status. He had one of the best seasons of any player in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.

For a complete look at the Rivals.com updated player rankings for December please follow this link - Updated player rankings


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