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February 9, 2012
Rivals.com's football recruiting analysts weigh in on their toughest decision in the initial Class of 2013 Rivals250 rankings.
Mike Farrell: Tashawn Bower from New Jersey. His offer list is very impressive and much better than many players ranked higher but on film he needs to get off blocks a bit better. His upside is impressive and his ceiling is high, and I can't wait to see how he develops.
Adam Gorney: I had a tough time keeping Sam Smith out of the top 250. The Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks defensive end is receiving tons of attention from Pac-12 schools and could end up with lots of big-time offers, but since I haven't seen much of him yet I wanted to make him a four-star but not ranked at this time. Smith should be seen some at events this spring and he could really emerge as a major prospect in the 2013 class. He should end up as a defensive tackle and I'm excited to see him - just to figure out where he should be ranked in the top 250, especially if he performs well leading up to his senior season.
Josh Helmholdt: Cadillac (Mich.) offensive tackle Riley Norman was a difficult one to pin down for a rating. The 6-foot-7, 305-pounder is an amazing athlete who has the best foot speed of any of the offensive tackles I've seen in this class, but he is also one of the most raw from a technique and understanding of the position standpoints. I'll be watching him closely this off-season to see how he progresses with the technical aspects because his size and athleticism are exceptional.
Chris Nee: The toughest decision for me in the Rivals250 was where to place Miami (Fla.) Southridge safety Jamal Carter. Carter has generated a lot of good buzz during his high school career, but injuries have also kept him off the field quite a bit. He is a physical safety with great size and does a terrific job of getting to the ball and making a play. He could definitely be a big mover.
Keith Niebuhr: To me, the toughest call was who would go first in Tennessee. The state is very good in this particular cycle, with several four-star kids. After thinking it over, to me it came down to Jalen Ramsey and Cornelius Elder - two of the South's most dynamic players. Each does so much for his team. And I believe each will be an impact player in college. In the end, I chose Ramsey as the top guy, and he checks in at No. 133. He's just a sensational two-way threat that projects as a corner. Elder, though, isn't far behind. And as the year progresses, others in the Volunteer State may very well challenge for the top spot.
Brian Perroni: Whereas the Rivals100 was filled with defensive tackles from my region, the rest of the Rivals250 has quite a few quarterbacks. J.T. Barrett, Kenny Hill, Cody Thomas and Kohl Stewart all made the cut while Brayden Scott, Austin Allen, Devante Kincade and even Trent Hosick have made cases to be included as well. It all really depends on the offense as to which passer best suits each school so it was tough to put them in any kind of order. Barrett and Hill are very good with their feet while both Thomas and Stewart are pocket passers. Because of that, it was difficult to truly compare them all.