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May 29, 2007

Just missed: Making a case for the Rivals100

Ranking the nation's top 100 prospects is a painstaking process, and in some cases potentially deserving prospects must be cut.

There are several prospects who just missed out this time, but could eventually find their way into the ranking with a big senior season or after further evaluation.

Rivals.com recruiting analysts Jeremy Crabtree, Mike Farrell, JC Shurburtt and John Talman give their take on some of the prospects you could see in future updates of the Rivals100.

Rivals.com analyst's takes: Jeremy Crabtree | JC Shurburtt | Mike Farrell | John Talman

Rivals.com Recruiting Editor Jeremy Crabtree
From out West there were three UCLA commitments that were right on the verge of being Rivals100 prospects, and I think you could make a very good case for each one of them.

Uona Kavienga: To me, Kavienga might get overlooked a little bit because he doesn't play for one of the traditional powerhouses in Los Angeles. He also doesn't not have the physical measurements of some other linebackers in this year's class. I do know it's a very good crop of linebackers, so that makes it tough to compare him to some of the great ones like Nigel Bradham and Arthur Brown. Kavienga brings a tremendous amount of heart and desire to the table. There's a reason that a linebacker-rich school like Oklahoma hasn't given up recruiting him. The kid's a player, and he's one I think eventually will prove he's a top 100 player in the nation.

Datone Jones and Aaron Hester: I also think you could make cases for Jones and Hester. Many people out West think UCLA landed the top cornerback combination in California with Hester and Anthony Dye.

Jarrell Barbour: It might also be tough to keep Barbour from Phoenix Centennial out of the top 100 in the future. He's definitely one of the fastest rising players in the West, and could easily be a Rivals100 prospect once everything is said and done.

Stacey McGee and Andrew Jones: In the Heartland, there were two guys that just missed it that I think could be on the list later defensive tackle Stacey McGee from Muskogee, Okla., and tight end Andrew Jones from Smithville, Mo. Maybe in any other year, Jones would be on this list. However, there are some great players at the tight end position, and he just was ranked a little bit lower than he would in any other year. He's a dynamic, elite player that will be great in Missouri's offense. With McGee, a lot of people only focus on his teammate, receiver Jameel Owens. However, McGee's motor runs non-stop. When he's hot, there aren't many - if any - defenders in Oklahoma that are better.

Garrett Goebel and Darius Fleming: In the Midwest, I look at two guys in Illinois that could have easily been on the list. I really like Garrett Goebel's motor. Once people start to see how talented he is next fall, he's probably a lock to make the list. I also think Darius Fleming is somebody for which you could make a strong case.

Zebrie Sanders and Michael Shaw: In Ohio, I look at Zebrie Sanders as somebody that could easily climb into the top 100. I'm also extremely high on Michael Shaw. I think once he gets the exposure he deserves at Trotwood Madison, he'll truly become a national running back recruit.

Vote: Who should be in the Rivals100 from Jeremy Crabtree's list?

Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst JC Shurburtt
Jerrell Harris: Harris is one of the top linebacker prospects in the Southeast, but whose place does he take in the 100? Also, whose place does he take from Alabama, where it is the deepest year overall on record? Still, it would not be a stretch to call Harris one of the nation's top 100 prospects.

Brandon Harris: Harris has excellent hips and ball skills and can flat-out play the cornerback position. The son of a high school football coach, Harris' cerebral approach to the game is advanced, which is a must at his position. It would not surprise me to see Harris included in the next Rivals100.

Brandon Thompson: The question surrounding Thompson right now is consistency. Can he be the dominant player we've seen flashes of on more than a couple of plays per game? Or is he just a guy that's going to be great some of the time. My guess is that he's in the middle of developing and once we see him as a senior, the questions are going to be answered.

Jamie Harper: Harper is one of the top overall athletes in the state of Florida and is one of the best overall prospects in Jacksonville. His versatility is a strength. I think he can be special at linebacker or running back. He's just a guy we want to see more of in game situations at running back, because that is the position at which he is being evaluated.

De'Anthony Curtis: Some believe that Curtis could be the best running back prospect in the Southeast region in this year's class. He's just a guy we don't know very much about right now beyond some impressive scholarship offers and a great 40-yard dash time. Curtis is a real "X-factor" prospect, and could be a guy that really shoots up the charts once more is learned about him.

Vote: Who should be in the Rivals100 from JC Shurburtt's list?

Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell
Art Forst: Forst didn't have the best showing at the Elite College Combine, but he's a big kid who has agility and gets off the ball very well. Forst has excellent upside, but he's still raw.

Nick Moody: Moody is a great looking kid who has good feet and is very physical. He does his best work moving forward, but he's also solid in coverage. He'll be an excellent rover at Florida State.

Josh Haden: Haden suffers because he splits time in an amazing backfield at Friendly with Rivals100 ATH Lamaar Thomas. He's also a tick short, but he has the strength and speed to be a feature back.

E.J. Abrams-Ward: Ward is a smooth athlete with excellent size. He can play a few different positions in college and has speed that sneaks up on you. He's similar to Terrelle Pryor in some ways, just not quite as explosive.

Darius Fleming: Fleming will play outside linebacker at Notre Dame, and he's has an excellent burst. He's long and he plays well off blockers. He keeps his feet in traffic and can run to the sidelines, he's just going to need to learn the nuances of linebacker. He has the speed Notre Dame needs at linebacker.

D.C. Jefferson: I'm higher on Jefferson than anyone else because I think his upside is tremendous. His work ethic is in question a bit, but if he wants to be a great quarterback he will be.

Matt Meyer: Matt Kalil gets all the attention, but the USC coaches are as high on Meyer. We haven't seen as much of him as we'd like to, but he's a guy who could easily end up in the 100 down the line.

Vote: Who should be in the Rivals100 from Mike Farrell's list?

Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst John Talman
Cyrus Gray: Though several prospects could move up, a guy that sticks out in Texas would be running back Cyrus Gray. Gray's frame (6-foot and 188 pounds), versatility and upside are impressive. He's a guy that could move up the charts into the Rivals100 going into the fall.

Joseph Ibiloye: Ibiloye has the size but also foot speed to step in and play either safety or linebacker at the next level. With so many options, and a great frame, it's hard not too make a solid case for Ibiloye to be considered for the Rivals100.

Derrick Hall: Sidelined for some games with an injury, Hall still showed he has athleticism to play on offense or defense at the next level. A strong senior season after his injury could elevate his ranking and show his abilities.

Luke Poehlmann: Another solid prospect out of talent-rich Brenham, Poehlmann has a good combination of size, plus athleticism. With a loaded year at tackle, he was guy that was just outside the Rivals100 at this point.

Daniel Campbell: Despite a very large frame, Campbell's flexibility for being a big guy makes him a top tackle prospect and gives good reason why he's accumulated a national list of offers. Campbell is another guy who could move into the list later on in the year.

Vote: Who should be in the Rivals100 from John Talman's list?



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