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July 27, 2004

Virginia Top 30 highlights latest state rankings

The 2005 recruiting crop from the state of Virginia is the strongest since the great class of 2002, then highlighted by players like Ahmad Brooks, Kai Parham, Mike Johnson, Jonathan Lewis and Marcus Vick.

The top player in the state on The Virginia Top 30 is Highland Springs, Va., running back/cornerback Victor Harris, a 6-foot-0, 185-pounder who reminds some of Eric Dickerson on offense and Champ Bailey on defense.

Harris, who is also ranked No. 19 overall in the country, currently lists Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Michigan.

Following Harris, Gretna, Va. athlete Vic Hall, a Virginia commitment, comes in at No. 2 while Hampton (Va.) Phoebus running back Elan Lewis is No. 3. Lewis currently favors Virginia Tech and Virginia.

Clifton (Va.) Centreville offensive tackle Pat Sheil is No. 4 and will choose between Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia and Boston College it seems. Rounding out the top five is Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown linebacker Deveon Simmons, a huge hitter who already committed to Virginia Tech.

As usual, the Hokies and Cavaliers lead the way when it comes to early commitments from the top 30. Virginia boasts 10 commitments while Virginia Tech five. Syracuse is also doing a nice job in the state of Virginia, already landing Stafford (Va.) North Stafford defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson and Clifton (Va.) Centreville defensive back Derek Bailey out of the top 30.

The South Carolina Top 25 is highlighted by four high-flying, big-time athletes.

At the top of the list is North Augusta four-star athlete C.J. Byrd. The 6-3, 185-pound Byrd has more offers than almost any other player in the nation and with his size, speed and frame can project at a number of different positions.

"I think most schools are saying they'll take me as a receiver or a defensive back," Byrd said. "I'm being recruited more as an athlete. If I had to pick a position it would probably be wide receiver because it's more fun, but as for where I have to play, it doesn't matter."

Behind Byrd, and not by much, is Conway four-star receiver Eric Huggins, who is already committed to Oklahoma. The No. 3 player in the state is Rendrick Taylor, a 6-1, 210-pound athlete from Bennettsville Marlboro County. Taylor is heading to Clemson.

And don't forget about J.C. Neal, 5-11, 177, from Sumter Lakewood. Neal also falls into the athlete category since he could easily be an offensive or defensive player.

Clemson has the early lead in the state rankings with commitments from five of the state's top 25 players.

The Oregon Top 10 is led off by Portland Grant monster four-star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh, who is 6-3 and 276 pounds, is ranked as the No. 13 defensive tackle in the nation.


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