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August 20, 2003Picking the prospects that land in the Rivals.com Southeast Elite 88 isn't too tough when you're talking about the top players in the nation.
But where it gets challenging is once you get past the five-star prospects because the Southeast is loaded with talent every single season, and this year's class is one of the deeper ones in recent memory.
Yet, it still has to be done, and Rivals.com is proud to present the pre-season regional rankings for the Southeast.
Leading off the Elite 88 is a talented group of future stars, headlined by five-star linebacker Keith Rivers, five-star receiver Early Doucet, five-star defensive end Brandon Miller, five-star linebacker Willie Williams and five-star receiver Xavier Carter. Those are the region's top five prospects in order, and none of them have made their college decision, making for an interesting next few months.
Looking at the Top 10, you can tell that it's a special year in the Sunshine State. Rivers, Williams and Carter are joined in the top 10 by five-star defensive back Tony Carter, five-star quarterback Xavier Lee and four-star running back Bobby Washington. That gives Florida six out of the top 10 prospects from the Southeast.
"It's a really special season in the Southeast," said Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jeff Drummond, who compiled the list along with assistance from Rivals.com national analyst Jeremy Crabtree. "But the state of Florida is loaded this season, especially at the top. There isn't a team in the country that would turn away guys like Keith Rivers, Willie Williams or Xavier Carter."
Rounding out the Top 10 is four-star defensive tackle Demonte Bolden of Chattanooga (Tenn.) Tyner Academy. Bolden is a soft commitment to the Vols and will be one of the most exciting stories to also watch this recruiting season.
Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs have jumped out with a fast start in the Southeast landing pledges from four players in the Elite 88. Three of those pledges for UGA are ranked in the top 20 in the region - highlighted by Tucker, Ga., running back Thomas Brown.
Miami and Michigan each have two pledges from players, but there is still plenty of news to come with 73 players on the list yet to make their minds up.