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October 24, 2008

Stock report: Southeast prospects

MORE: Midseason stock report: Florida prospects | Midseason stock report: Atlantic East prospects

We're a bit past the midway point for most high school seasons, so we thought we'd take a closer look at players who have seen their stock rise as seniors and players who have seen their stock fall and might still have something to prove. After our recent look at Florida prospects, we look at players from the rest of the Southeast region today. The players are listed alphabetically.

OT D.J. Fluker, Foley (Ala.) High, 6-7/325
There were a lot of unknowns about Fluker, who has committed to Alabama, heading into his senior season. What was known was that he is a massive lineman who can move and has some serious potential at defensive tackle. What is now known is that Fluker could be the best offensive line prospect in the nation.
RB Michael Ford, Leesville (La.) High, 5-10/200
After missing the majority of his junior season with an injury, Ford an LSU commitment has come back as a senior with a vengeance. Ford broke Cecil Collins' single-game rushing record at Leesville High and has been tough against good competition, rushing for 190 yards against national power West Monroe.
CB Janzen Jackson, Lake Charles (La.) Barbe, 6-0/174
Sometimes it can be hard for a cornerback to raise his stock because offenses often don't test him, but Jackson an LSU commitment has been as assertive as possible this fall, making big plays on offense, defense and special teams. He has put himself in the conversation for the top cornerback in the country.
DT Abry Jones, Warner-Robins (Ga.) Northside, 6-3/250
Jones, a Georgia commitment, has added weight since his junior season but has managed to keep his quickness and mobility. He has been playing both defensive tackle and defensive end, and has shown he has the ability to be an active interior player at the next level.
RB Roderick McDowell, Sumter (S.C.) High, 5-10/175
McDowell's breakaway speed makes him the most explosive back in the state in the 2009 class. He is a Clemson commitment.
WR Kevin Norwood, D'Iberville (Miss.) High, 6-3/180
Norwood has really showed off his versatility, starring on both sides of the ball while leading his team to an undefeated record.
ATH Greg Reid, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes, 5-9/175
Reid, a Florida commitment, has had some opportunities to showcase his abilities to large TV audiences on more than one occasion and he has not disappointed. He is improving as a cornerback and continues to display an explosive talent with the ball in his hands.
CB Branden Smith, Atlanta Washington, 5-11/171
Smith was beginning to create a buzz late in the summer, and once the pads were strapped on, he has left no doubt that he is one of the top prospects in the country. He has been a lockdown cornerback and is dangerous on offense and returning kicks, too.
OT Brandon Thomas, Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman, 6-4/280
Thomas, a Clemson commitment, has proved himself as the top offensive lineman South Carolina because of his feet, athleticism and versatility.
S Rod Woodson, Olive Branch (Miss.) High, 5-11/200
No one has seen their stock rise faster than Woodson, who has committed to Alabama. Every time he has stepped on the field, he has shown that there may not be a player in the country who plays with the same level of intensity. His physical play and motor is unparalleled.
FALLING STOCK
LB Lamin Barrow, Marrero (La.) John Ehret, 6-2/209
Barrow looked great in camp on the hoof, but still seems raw at linebacker once the pads are strapped on.
G Alex Bullard, Brentwood (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy, 6-3/275
While he's athletic, Bullard a Notre Dame commitment has not been as physical at the point of attack as he needs to be.
DT Chris Davenport, Mansfield (La.) High, 6-4/318
A knee injury at LSU's camp late in the summer has forced Davenport to miss the first half of his senior season. He is an LSU commitment.
LB Eric Fields, Warner-Robins (Ga.) Northside, 6-1/205
You would like to see Fields be more consistent in shedding blocks and finding the ball. He is a Clemson commitment.
WR Kendall Kelly, Gadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City, 6-4/210
He missed some early-season games with an injury and has yet to live up to his massive potential.
RB Eddie Lacy, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown, 5-11/200
Heading into the season, Lacy was considered potentially the top running back in the state. But he has struggled with injuries and is still trying to get on track.
WR Braxton Lane, Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek, 5-10/187
Also a baseball standout, Lane is sitting out his senior season because he wasn't able to prepare with his team over the summer.
QB AJ McCarron, Alabama, Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's, 6-4/189
The loss of some offensive linemen and all of his surrounding skill-position talent has had a devastating impact to McCarron's season. McCarron, an Alabama commitment, has been on the run the whole year and doesn't have many viable targets.
ATH Dennis Thames, Louisville (Miss.) High, 5-11/175
Thames sprained his MCL early in the season, sidelining him for the majority of his team's early-season games.
LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity, 6-0/230
Whiting, an Ohio State commitment, has struggled in coverage and has looked a bit stiff as a senior.



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