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November 14, 2007Rivals.com's team of recruiting analysts have spent the past month traveling and further evaluating the class of 2008. Their efforts have produced the updated Rivals100 for November. The Rivals250 will follow Thursday, along with updated position rankings.
There were no dramatic changes at the top. Jeannette (Pa.) High dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor holds on to the No. 1 spot. Close on Pryor's heels are Foley (Ala.) High wide receiver Julio Jones, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure running back Darrell Scott and Summerville (S.C.) High wide receiver A.J. Green.
Each has had a great senior season, and Pryor, Jones, Johnson and Scott still are trying to figure out where they're going to play college football.
There were no new five-star players this month, and there weren't many dramatic changes from No. 11 through No. 28. Defensive tackle Marcus Forston of Miami Northwestern flip-flopped with Van (Texas) running back Jermie Calhoun at 15th and 16th. Athlete Richard Samuel of Cartersville (Ga.) Cass moved up to No. 19, making him the top player in the Peach State. Sliding down a bit was Anaheim (Calif.) Servite athlete D.J. Shoemate, who dropped from 22nd to 28th after several evaluations.
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every said the climb for Samuel was well-deserved.
"Richard Samuel is a very good two-way player," Every said. "He makes plays when he touches the ball. He is a physical monster, and he is only 16 years old. He is also an excellent student, carrying a 4.0 grade-point average.
"I really think he will be a Will Witherspoon-type linebacker for Georgia. They are very similar in size, and are both very academically minded. Witherspoon currently plays linebacker for the Rams, and he was the leading tackler for the Panthers when they lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots."
While those moves are noteworthy, the biggest changes came further down the list.
After moving out of the Rivals100 last month, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln cornerback T.J. Bryant moves back into the rankings at No. 55. After further evaluation, it became apparent that Bryant's drop last month was too steep.
"With offenses avoiding his side of the field, Bryant still has been able to make a big impact on games despite his limited opportunities," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons said. "He's a rare, fluid athlete who has all of the tools you want in a cornerback."
Wide receiver Kemonte Bateman of Los Angeles Crenshaw climbed back into the list after an impressive senior season. Bateman, a four-star player who has committed to Arizona State, now is ranked as the nation's No. 66 player overall.
West Coast analyst Rick Kimbrel agrees with Biggins. "Kemonte is a special player," Kimbrel said. "There are few players who are as explosive with the ball in their hands as he is. He's the type of receiver who's a true home-run threat every time he touches the ball."
DeSoto, Texas, running back Cyrus Gray has been one of the most dominating players in the Lone Star State for the past two seasons and for his efforts he's rewarded with a spot in the Rivals100. Gray moves into the No. 72 spot. Gray is one of the few top uncommitted players left on the board in Texas.
Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove wide receiver Joshua Jarboe moves into the Rivals100 from the Rivals250. He had been the nation's No. 18 receiver, but he now is No. 11 at his position and No. 78 overall.
"Jarboe has unbelievable potential," Every said. "He is tall, muscular and really fast. He reminds me of Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals. He needs to stay focused on living up to his potential."
Right behind Jarboe at No. 79 is Miami Northwestern playmaking receiver Tommy Streeter. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder is an immediate mismatch for any cornerback.
Mike Adams of Dublin (Ohio) Coffman has been one of the most heavily debated players in the nation in this recruiting cycle. He has been a borderline Rivals100 prospect throughout the early stages of the process. However, this season he has been one of the most dominating offensive tackle prospects.
Adams, who has committed to Ohio State, moves from No. 101 in the nation to No. 84 ? and could climb higher.
"Mike Adams is extremely athletic for a big man," Every said. "I saw him running backward on a screen, then spin around and block someone. Most skilled athletes can't do that. He's definitely stepped up his game as a senior, and he's proven to all of us that he's one of the nation's elite offensive tackle prospects."
Also moving into the Rivals100 is Miami Booker T. Washington cornerback Brandon Harris. A 5-foot-10, 174-pound lockdown corner, Harris has been impressive this season. Schools from coast-to-coast are recruiting him.
"He is just a football player," said Every, who saw Booker T. Washington in person earlier this month. "He does everything for his team and is a real leader. I was really impressed because he does the little things, like blocking on running plays while playing receiver. He also played a little quarterback - on top of receiver and cornerback - in the game I attended."
Trotwood (Ohio) Madison is loaded with plenty of talented prospects, but this season it's running back Michael Shaw who has impressed the most. Shaw (6-0, 185) moves into the Rivals100 at No. 93 after leading his team in rushing, touchdowns and points. Shaw, who has averaged 5.7 yards per carry, has committed to Penn State.
Also making the move into the Rivals100 was Camden (Ark.) Fairview running back De'Anthony Curtis and Thibodaux (La.) E.D. White strongside defensive end Chase Clement. Curtis is No. 98 and Clement No. 100.
With players moving in, others must drop out of the top 100.
Moving out this month were Garland (Texas) High defensive end Chancey Aghayere, Clarksdale, Miss., cornerback Charles Mitchell, Little Rock (Ark.) Central Arkansas Christian cornerback Joe Adams, Franklin (Ga.) High running back Dontavius Jackson, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian running back Jamie Harper, Vienna (Va.) Parkersburg guard Josh Jenkins, Norcross (Ga.) High wide receiver Brice Butler, Auburn, Ala., safety Dee Finley, Grand Haven, Mich., offensive tackle Dann O'Neill and New Brunswick, N.J., athlete Brandon Smith.
Aghayere, who was ranked as a five-star prospect after his junior season, had the biggest drop. He had been No. 61 overall in the October rankings, but during three in-person evaluations this season he failed to impress at the level that a top-100 prospect should.