College Football Recruiting 2012: Ranking the Top 100 Commitments
With National Signing Day less than a month away, we thought we'd examine the top 100 commitments so far. These players are locked in to a school, and not much drama should be happening with them on NSD.
Yet, things can change at any moment, as I always say. These are the top 100 players who are committed to a school. We have many high-profile recruits still left on the board, so they're not on this list.
Without more wait, here we go.
100. Ishmael Adams, CB/RB (UCLA)
I have Adams as one of the best defensive backs in the country. He won the DB MVP award at the NIKE Camp in L.A. this spring and is a physical perimeter defender at 5'10" and 190 pounds.
Adams has solid feet, good quickness, competitiveness, transition quickness, instincts and speed to carry receivers all around the field.
He's headed to UCLA.
99. Deon Bush, DB (Miami)
Bush is a 6'1", 185-pound DB prospect from the greater Miami area. He likely will become a safety in college, as he shows great speed on the back-end and flashes solid ball skills.
Bush flashes great athleticism, range and will hold up at the point of attack. He has a reputation as a playmaker since he's not afraid to take a pick back to the house or for a big-time return.
He's committed to Miami.
98. Erik Magnuson, OT (Michigan)
At 6'6" and 275 pounds, Magnuson is among the top tackles on the West Coast. He displays great balance, agility and foot quickness as a pass-protector.
Magnuson flashes the brute strength to potentially become a great drive-blocker in college. I like his snap quickness, and he plays to his size at the point of attack.
Magnuson is headed to Michigan.
97. Ondre Pipkins, DT (Michigan)
Pipkins has a chance to be one of the best DTs in this year's class when we look back three years from now. He went to the NIKE Camp at Ohio State and just picked on everyone there during one-on-one drills.
At 6'4" and 322 pounds, Pipkins plays with great explosiveness and strength, and he seems bent on not being just a space-eater. He makes plays versus the run and can collapse the pocket versus the pass as a rusher.
Pipkins is going to Michigan.
96. Marvin Bracy, WR (Florida State)
Bracy may actually be the fastest player in the country. At 5'9" and 165 pounds, he has been clocked at nearly 10 flat in the 100.
The only reason I have him here is because he is also listed as an ATH.
Bracy's biggest strength is obviously his speed and explosiveness, as he is extremely quick and sudden. Yet, Bracy is a player who just needs the ball, whether it be on returns, quick screens or reverses, and sparks will fly.
He's committed to Florida State.
95. Josh Holsey, CB (Auburn)
There's a lot to like about Holsey's game.
First, he's very quick and agile. I also like the fact that he plays with good balance and transition quickness.
Holsey closes downhill on the ball and receiver in a flash. He flashes solid hands to make interceptions and other plays on the ball for his defense as well.
Holsey is headed to Auburn.
94. Kendall Sanders, WR/DB (Texas)
Sanders is a 6'0", 175-pounder who can play CB, RB and WR. He is an extremely versatile player with great athleticism, as evidenced by his rushing for more than 1,000 yards and chipping in nearly 800 yards receiving.
He's committed to Texas.
93. Kaiwan Lewis, LB (South Carolina)
One of the biggest hitters in the country, Lewis is a dangerous second-level defender. I expect him to become a starter early in his career, while also impacting on cover units.
On tape, Lewis plays like a heat-seeking missile at 6'2" and 225 pounds. He explodes upon contact and seems to hit like he has the intention of making the ball-carrier feel as much pain as possible. He's a future starting MLB.
Lewis is going to South Carolina.
92. Jarron Jones, DT/OT (Notre Dame)
At 6'7" and 290 pounds, Jones finished his junior year with 68 stops and 10 sacks. He can be a dynamic force in the middle due to his size and overwhelming length. I also think he can play end in a 30-front scheme as well.
Jones does a solid job of bursting at the snap, using his size to lean on blockers, wearing them down and shedding to make a stop. He understands when he needs to summon his quickness, which is usually on third downs, to rush the passer.
He's headed to Notre Dame.
91. Terry Richardson, CB (Michigan)
At 5'9" and 170 pounds, Richardson is an athletic corner who has a trait I like in DBs: route recognition.
It's an instinct some have and some don't, so it shows that he is a student of the game and serious about his craft.
I like his backpedal, although he needs to bulk up to hold his fort down in press man coverage. But Richardson has a skill set that should make him a starter in college—Michigan, that is.
90. Brian Nance, LB (Baylor)
Nance, who tore his ACL in February, is an OLB type who can fit in as a WILL or SAM.
He's 6'3", 210 pounds and has athletic ability to spare. He moves around with ease and has excellent re-direct and change-of-direction skills.
Nance really will be able to stay on the field for all three downs, and he can cover RBs and TEs out of the backfield. He also flashes the foot quickness and transition skills to cover slot receivers underneath.
Baylor got him last week.
89. Aaron Burbridge, WR (Michigan State)
At 6'1" and 180 pounds, Burbridge shows the potential to develop into a complete receiver.
He has the athleticism and speed to eat cushion, instincts to set up defenders in route-running and hands to haul in throws.
I also see flashes of separation quickness and RAC ability downfield. Burbridge may be underrated.
He's committed to Michigan State.
88. Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB (Michigan)
A 6'2", 215-pound linebacker, Jenkins-Stone has the ability to play all three spots in the 4-3 look. He's instinctive enough to play MIKE, stout enough to play SAM and fast enough to man the WILL spot.
Jenkins-Stone can bring the wood at the point of attack, thump well as a tackler and can even be an efficient blitzer. Wherever Jenkins-Stone plays, look for some big things to happen.
He's yet another Michigan commit on this list.
87. Joe Bolden, LB (Michigan)
I think Bolden could be a MIKE 'backer at Michigan. He's an effective on-field communicator, he can check in and out of fronts, stunts, alignments and coverages, and he is a great leader.
I love his 6'3", 230-pound frame, instincts and play smarts. Bolden is a solid hitter who delivers a blow to the ball-carrier and flashes good wrap-tackling ability.
86. Tanner Mangum, QB (BYU)
There some QBs you study on film, and you just notice the game comes simply and easily to them. That's a trait Matt Leinart showed, according to Norm Chow at USC.
Mangum shows me that on a 6'2", 185-pound frame.
I see how he makes solid decisions, lets his skill players do their thing by delivering the football in position for them to make plays and he has pretty good accuracy. His arm strength is good enough to be a threat to all defensive levels.
Mangum will be fine at BYU.
85. Dillon Lee, LB (Alabama)
Lee is a versatile defender who stands 6'4" and 220 pounds, and plays with great instincts. He plays the run with fantastic recognition and attacks the line of scrimmage with tenacity.
I also believe Lee has the burst to finish off the ball-carriers he seeks out. His speed is better than many people think, and his length will allow him to factor as a blitzer since he will clog up throwing lanes naturally.
Lee's committed to Alabama.
84. Camrhon Hughes, OT (Texas)
At 6'7" and 290 pounds, Hughes has the frame you want in a tackle. I think he's long and athletic enough to play left tackle in college.
Hughes flashes good knee bend, set quickness and mirror ability in pass-protection. He has the ceiling to gain strength to move targets around in the run game as well.
Texas has him committed.
83. Troy Hinds, DE (BYU)
Hinds has been such a problem on the Utah high school football scene that many teams just shy away from him. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, he is an excellent pass-rusher.
Hinds has a great burst off the edge, can close to finish and he has great pursuit ability. He can play the run with strength, but he also has the range to chase.
Hinds is committed to BYU.
82. Peter Jinkens, LB (Texas)
A Texas commit, at 6'1" and 210 pounds, Jinkens is a technician. He's a natural wrap-tackler who really works at playing the LB spot like it's supposed to be played: with good technique mixed with some amazing ferociousness.
Jinkens has excellent tackling technique as he locates his targets. He sinks his hips, and strikes hard and through the ball-carrier, wrapping up and bringing them down in one fluid motion. Jinkens plays with great toughness and range, and he should be a multiple-year starter in college.
81. Colin Thompson, TE (Florida)
A big and physical prospect, Thompson is a 6'5", 255-pound monster who can block and catch—two things you want in a tight end.
While he won't wow you with his speed, Thompson has a huge strike zone, leans on defenders as an in-line blocker and has great strength.
He's committed to Florida.
80. Avery Johnson, WR (LSU)
Johnson is the younger brother of LSU and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.
At 6'2" and 185 pounds, Johnson is not just riding his brother's coattails.
He's a super deep threat with a big frame who can do it all. Johnson is a great athlete with natural ball skills, and he can develop into an All-Conference player.
LSU will get Johnson after all.
79. Ricky Parks, TE (Auburn)
Parks has played some quarterback for his high school squad and is also athletic enough to play some wide receiver.
However, many consider his prime spot to be tight end.
Parks is 6'4", 230 pounds and shows good speed to match up with safeties and linebackers in the passing game. Parks is a bit raw as a blocker and will need to add strength, but his athleticism and play speed should make him a nice pass-catching tight end.
He's headed to Auburn.
78. Se'Von Pittman, DE (Ohio State)
Pittman is a 6'4", 225-pound defensive end who does what an end is supposed to do: rush the passer. He flies off the ball and just crashes down hard off the edges all night.
Athletic and agile, Pittman does a solid job staying clean and has a burst to close and finish. He can be a bit of a one-trick pony at times since he lacks strength, but a college strength program will improve that.
Pittman switched to Ohio State from Michigan State.
77. Byron Marshall, RB (Oregon)
At 5'10" and 195 pounds, Marshall makes the most of his money on the edges. He's quick to escape and turn the corner, and if he gets his shoulders square upfield, he's gone.
Marshall easily will be able to be used on sweeps, pitches and screens in college. Marshall is dangerous in space and can split the safeties deep.
Marshall is going to Oregon.
76. Dan Voltz, OG (Wisconsin)
Voltz is a 6'4", 290-pound guard prospect who shows grit, toughness and strength.
He works every snap, can maul in the run game and he'll hold his own against power on the inside. Voltz has the versatility to play all five spots, but I like him as a guard.
He's headed to Wisconsin.
75. Thomas Johnson, WR (Decommitted)
Johnson is a playmaker in every sense of the word. He may not be the biggest receiver, but he has great speed and a knack for finding the end zone.
At 6'0" and 175 pounds, he is dangerous after the catch. RAC is his middle name, and getting to pay-dirt is his game.
[Editor's note: Thomas Johnson has recently decommitted from Texas]
74. Ty Darlington, OG/OC (Oklahoma)
Darlington is one of my underrated prospects, as I feel he should be valued higher than what many give him credit for.
He's a 6'3", 275-pound OL who can play all five OL spots, but I think he'll be a center or OG in college.
Darlington has great technique and toughness, he fires out of his stance and can wall/position defenders. He also has great hand placement and plays with good leverage.
Oklahoma gets this one.
73. Bryce Treggs, WR (Cal)
Treggs is a quick WR who stands 5'11" and 175 pounds, and is dangerous after the catch. He can roll out of his cuts and scoot around the field with ease.
He's not overly big, but Treggs can beat you with speed and playmaking ability. He'll go across the middle if needed, and he can also return kicks and punts.
Treggs is headed for Cal.
72. Alex Ross, RB (Oklahoma)
Ross is a physical runner who never backs down from defenders. At 6'1" and 205 pounds, he loves to mix it up in between the tackles and dares tacklers to challenge him in alleys.
Ross gets to and through holes with solid explosion and decisiveness. He wastes no time and knows what he wants to get out of each carry.
Oklahoma has him locked up.
71. William Mahone, RB (Notre Dame)
Mahone is like Savon Huggins—a 6'0", 195-pound back with solid pop and quickness. Mahone is a quicker-than-fast athlete who also has good run strength.
Mahone doesn't shy away from tugging it up the middle and will bang with the big boys. He plays faster than many think.
He's committed to Notre Dame.
70. Connor Brewer, QB (Texas)
This is a QB who just wins and gets the job done.
At 6'3" and 190 pounds, Brewer has a solid arm, good accuracy and excellent intangibles.
There are whispers that he has that special trait that is indescribable, but obvious.
Brewer also has great athleticism and can get out and run. He becomes a physical player when toting the rock and is tough to bring down solo by a defender.
Texas has him locked up.
69. Carlos Watkins, DL/OL (Clemson)
Watkins is a 6'4", 280-pound trench player who has played all over the field for his high school team. From DL to WR to fullback to OL, he's shown versatility.
Looks like his college position will either be DT or OG since he shows good foot quickness, solid strength and agility for either position.
Watkins is headed to Clemson.
68. Elijah Shumate, SS/OLB (Notre Dame)
Shumate is a player I liken to former Arizona State star Adam Archuleta; at 6'1" and 200 pounds, Shumate has great instincts versus the run and fills alleys quickly.
He can play outside 'backer and strong safety, and he is nasty in the box. Shumate can stand to improve his coverage ability, but he's too good in the box to be asked to play in space often.
He's headed to Notre Dame.
67. Evan Boehm, OC (Missouri)
Boehm is a 6'3", 290-pound center prospect who bantered as the best pivot lineman prospect in America. He fires out low, yet fast and hard, and likes to mix it up at the point of attack.
Boehm shows great technique, instincts and intelligence of blocking schemes, along with the awareness of blitzes, tricks and stunts by defenses. He should develop into a starting center very early on in college.
He's committed to Missouri.
66. Greg Garmon, RB (Iowa)
Big backs with vision are among my favorite types, and Garmon is exactly that. At 6'2" and 200 pounds, you can almost see his eyes processing information quickly on tape, and he sees blocks very well.
Once he makes his selection of where to attack, Garmon sticks his foot in the ground and charges upfield, showing excellent speed. He should be an exciting player in college.
Garmon is headed to Iowa.
65. Jordan Payton, WR (Cal)
Payton is one of the best players in the country, but his recruitment is also one of the most interesting sagas as well.
At 6'2" and 190 pounds, Payton is perhaps the best receiver in Southern California.
He was once committed to USC, but that relationship is over. Payton is now headed to Cal, as he chose the Bears over UCLA, Michigan and Notre Dame.
64. Vadal Alexander, OT (LSU)
Alexander is a 6'6", 310-pound offensive line prospect who can play tackle and guard. He can use his size to maul in the interior, but he is also athletic enough to mirror on the edge.
Alexander will likely start out as a right tackle since he can anchor a team's running game by jumping targets on the line at the snap and by tossing them around with ease.
LSU has Alexander in the fold.
63. Wes Brown, RB (Maryland)
Brown is a very solid running back prospect from the Mid-Atlantic region and has the tools be a complete runner on the collegiate level. He's solid in all areas of his game, standing at 6'0" and 190 pounds.
Brown shows good patience and understanding when to attack downhill out of his stance and when to let things develop. He can pick and slide to holes, and he has the juice to skate through.
Maryland nabbed him last week.
62. Jordan Simmons, OL (USC)
Simmons has the talent and ability to play tackle and guard , but I like him as a guard more.
At 6'5" and 335 pounds, he shows very good athletic ability, strength and balance as a blocker. He can even play some center in a pinch, too.
Simmons does have some baby fat around his body, but a college strength program will shed that, and he is one of the very elite line prospects in the country.
USC has him locked in.
61. Cyrus Jones, RB (Alabama)
Jones is a 5'11", 185-pounder who can do some serious damage. He's a speedster with excellent quickness, and it translates to WR, RB or DB.
Jones is a flash with the ball in his hands and makes plays. He could be a great RB or CB in college, but it looks like WR is his future position.
That will be in Tuscaloosa, as Jones is committed to Alabama.
60. Kent Taylor, TE (Florida)
Taylor could easily be listed as a big receiver instead of a tight end. At 6'5" and 215 pounds, he can be used in a variety of ways for an offense.
A tight end, H-back, fullback or receiver, Taylor is an offensive weapon. He can snatch balls around his frame, catch in crowds and is also factor as a blocker.
Taylor's committed to Florida.
59. Tommy Schutt, DT (Ohio State)
At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Schutt plays with great explosiveness at the snap. Combine that with a great motor and very good strength, and you see a great player in action.
Schutt shows the potential to develop into either a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 two-gapping end. He also flashes very good ability to use his hands to shed and escape blocks.
Schutt is committed to Ohio State.
58. Jonathan Taylor, DT (Georgia)
At 6'4" and 307 pounds, Taylor is a major annoyance in the middle for offensive linemen. He can jump snaps, wreak havoc and he has great strength to push the pocket up the middle.
Taylor also has some athletic ability to chase in short areas versus the run. He should be a solid defensive tackle in college.
He is headed to Georgia.
57. Eugene Lewis, WR (Penn State)
Lewis is a 6'2", 180-pounder who will see his mark mostly made in the intermediate passing game.
He has the tools to develop into a very good No. 2 receiver. Lewis works his routes well, sets up defenders and can break out quickly from cuts at the junction point. He won't wow you deep, but he can get by if he has to.
Lewis is pledged to Penn State.
56. James Ross, LB (Michigan)
At 6'1" and 215 pounds, what's so impressive about Ross is this will be only his third year of playing football. He's already shown natural instincts, and his potential is off the charts.
Ross is a natural MIKE 'backer who plugs the run, jumps backs in alleys and uses his athleticism to play with range. Once he gets seasoned in college, he could be a prime-time steal.
He's all Michigan's.
55. Michael Starts, DL/OL (Texas Tech)
At 6'5" and 275 pounds, Starts reminds me a bit of USC tackle Tyron Smith coming out of high school; he's extremely athletic and can play both guard and tackle.
Starts shows easy movement in his pulls and traps, and is dynamic on the second level. He can hit moving targets and is productive in space.
Starts is headed to Texas Tech to play DL.
54. Brock Stadnik, OT (South Carolina)
Stadnik lines up each snap with one thing in mind: to finish his target off. He looks to pancake everyone in his way and does so most of the time.
At 6'5" and 290 pounds, he has very good technique and can drive-block very, very well. I think he can play right tackle and guard in college with ease.
South Carolina locked him up in May.
53. Jelani Hamilton, DE (Miami)
Hamilton first caught my eye by having a solid Under Armour combine showing in January. From a solid St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) program, he is a solid defensive end prospect.
Hamilton shows the ability to become a good end, as he can play the pass and run. He has adequate snap quickness, solid use of hands, strength and a burst. He also flashes good range to chase ball-carriers around in stopping the run.
He's committed to Miami.
52. Deontay Greenberry, WR (Notre Dame)
At 6'3" and 180 pounds, Greenberry has a tall and long frame that aids his strike zone. He snatches everything around him, but it's release quickness and separation quickness that will make him a great college pass-catcher.
He shows good play speed and has some wiggle in his athleticism. Greenberry has good RAC skills and is a solid playmaker.
He's committed to Notre Dame.
51. Jonathan Bullard, DE (Florida)
Bullard is a 6'4", 250-pound DE prospect who shows excellent play strength on tape. He'll easily be able to set the edge in college, and he reminds me a bit of the Jets' OLB, Bryan Thomas.
Bullard is a solid athlete who has a solid get off, good movement skills and can get after the passer.
He's headed to Florida.
50. T.J. Yeldon, RB (Alabama)
At 6'1" and 200 pounds, Yeldon is the top RB prospect in Alabama this year. He has excellent size, and he has home run potential since he shows a good burst and long speed on tape.
Some teams like him on defense, but Yeldon feels RB is his top spot. He will be an every-down runner in college and has averaged a staggering 11.5 yards per carry so far this season.
Yeldon switched from Auburn to Alabama a few weeks ago.
49. Geno Smith, CB (Alabama)
Smith is a tall and long corner at 6'0" and 165 pounds. He really excels in off-man and zone coverage. This is where he flashes his smooth backpedal, loose hips and transition quickness.
He lacks strength to jam effectively at the line, but he is so good in coverage that he can still be thrown on an island and forgotten about. He also shows good hands to make picks on balls outside his frame.
Smith committed to Alabama over Auburn.
48. Mario Pender, RB (Florida State)
Pender averaged almost 14 yards a carry last season.
Do me a favor: Go back and read that one more time—because that's amazing.
At 6'0" and more than 200 pounds, Pender has fantastic speed to hit creases and skate through. He does a solid job of banging inside and can break a few tackles as well. Pender runs tough and is very durable.
He's bound for Florida State.
47. Noor Davis, LB (Stanford)
Davis is a big 6'4", 225-pound LB who is also looked at as a potential DE prospect. Yet, I think he is most valuable as a two-down LB/third-down, sub-rusher type.
Davis is very athletic, changes direction well for such a tall player in space and can cover pretty well at this stage of his development. He had more than 11 tackles and eight sacks last year.
Davis is bound for Stanford.
46. Tee Shepard, DB (Notre Dame)
Shepard is another cover corner who is among the top in the nation.
At 6'0" and more than 170 pounds, he can play free safety and corner. He shows the coverage skills of a corner, which is where I think he projects best. Shepard is a great athlete with quick feet and transition ability on the perimeter.
He's headed for Notre Dame.
45. Durron Neal, WR (Oklahoma)
Neal has drawn some comparisons to Ryan Broyles and Jeremy Maclin.
At 6'0" and 185 pounds, he has good speed, quickness and runs solid routes. He shows an ability to attack the football at its highest point and seems to always find a way to get more yards out of a catch than he should.
Neal is committed to Oklahoma.
44. Warren Ball, RB (Ohio State)
Ball is a 6'2", 200-pound running back who is equally good as a receiver out of the backfield. We use the term "every-down" back a lot when evaluating running backs, but Ball is the epitome of the term.
He will be able to tote the rock on the first two initial downs, but he can also be used as a featured pass-catcher in the air-assault portion of his team's offense. He shows natural receiving skills and a great burst.
Ball is headed to Ohio State.
43. Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE/OLB (Northwestern)
At 6'4" and 220 pounds, Odenigbo is as a raw a prospect as there may be in the country. He's only played football for a few years, but watch his tape, and you see a ceiling that is as high as Mount Everest.
He's super athletic, quick and explodes off the ball. He plays very, very fast and has amazing range. If Odenigbo can find a program that has a great pass-rushing coach and can get stronger, he may have a long playing future ahead of him.
Odenigbo is committed to Northwestern.
42. Matt Davis, QB (Texas A&M)
Davis missed most of his junior season with a torn ACL, but the Houston-area prep football scene knows about him, and so do evaluators and college coaches.
At 6'1" and 200 pounds, he's a playmaking QB who can beat you on the ground or through the air.
Davis has a solid arm that can attack levels of the defense all over the field. He's accurate in and out of the pocket, and can make plays as a runner with his legs.
Davis is a Texas A&M commit.
41. LaDarrell McNeil, DB (Tennessee)
McNeil is a safety prospect who can play both the free and strong spots in the back-end.
At 6'2" and 190 pounds, he shows a very good knack to read and react versus the run, and he is dynamic in the box. Yet, he also has good enough athletic ability to roam around.
If I had to choose what specific spot I like him at, it would be strong safety. I like him more there just because he's a bit better playing the run than he is playing the pass.
McNeil is pledged to Tennessee.
40. Brionte Dunn, RB (Ohio State)
Dunn is your classic big-back prospect: He's a bruiser who does the dirty work in between the tackles and loves to mix it up in run alleys.
At 6'1" and 215 pounds, he's a chugger who relishes contact. I like the way Dunn finishes runs and plays to his size upon contact. He's physical and has excellent run instincts.
Ohio State has him solidly now.
39. Zach Kline, QB (Cal)
Kline is a 6'2", 205-pound QB with a cannon for an arm, good moxie, solid athleticism and good field vision. He shows solid pocket presence and can make accurate throws on the run.
Kline loves to let 'er rip and fit balls into tight windows, showing off his arm strength.
Cal gets him.
38. Kennedy Estelle, OT (Texas)
At 6'7" and 305 pounds, Estelle looks like a college tackle right now. He has excellent length throughout his frame and, most importantly, his arms. He can keep the rush out of his body and watch them pass the QB down after down.
But Estelle excels in the run game, showing mauler ability, and he finishes well. He can be used on an array of blocks and can play left tackle in college.
Estelle is headed to Texas.
37. Dominique Wheeler, WR (Texas Tech)
Wheeler is a fantastic receiver prospect.
At 6'1" and 180 pounds, he shows a great skill set on the offensive flanks. He has solid release quickness, eats cushion well, can stem a defender, can break in his routes and has solid hands. Wheeler also displays solid speed to get vertical and behind a secondary.
Wheeler is going to Texas Tech.
36. Matt Jones, RB (Florida)
Jones is a big back prospect who stands at 6'3" and 210 pounds. Most big backs are stiff, straight-line bruising types, but Jones is the contrary.
He has very good athleticism and has good wiggle for a big back. He is decisive with his reads, hits holes hard and can also be used as a receiver.
Jones is committed to Florida.
35. Travis Blanks, DB (Clemson)
Blanks is a big DB who feels he is a true corner, but many say he can play and fits better as a safety. He had more than 100 tackles and four picks last year.
He's physical and long as a press defender, jams well and has good coverage instincts. Blanks can also carry receivers deep and supports the run well.
Clemson has him locked.
34. Chris Black, WR (Alabama)
33. Dante Fowler, DE (Florida State)
Fowler is a tweener prospect who can be listed as a defensive end or an outside linebacker. Wherever he's listed, know he's a dynamic defender and pass-rusher.
At 6'3" and 240 pounds, he can play the run well and chase ball-carriers all over the field. On third downs, Fowler revs up his motor and gets after the passer with speed, quickness and explosion.
He's committed to Florida State—for now.
32. Zeke Pike, QB (Auburn)
At 6'6" and 225 pounds, Pike possesses a cannon of an arm to go along with elite size and very good athletic ability.
He can attack all levels of a defense, outside the numbers and up the seams. Pike has some gunslinger in him and will try to rifle balls in tight windows.
He's committed to Auburn.
31. Barry Sanders Jr., RB (Stanford)
At 5'9" and 190 pounds, Sanders actually does remind you a bit of his dad when you watch him on tape. He has excellent elusiveness and quickness in the open field, and just enough long speed to get to the house.
Sanders displays great balance to take hits and shoves in the box, and he can still stay on his feet and get upfield. He won't wow you with his stature, but he will with the ball in his hands.
Stanford locked him up last week.
30. Justin Shanks, DT (Florida State)
Shanks is a defensive tackle who I like a lot. At 6'4" and 295 pounds, he has the potential to play end in a 3-4, but he could also stick as a 4-3 tackle. Shanks is also athletic enough to trim down a bit and play strong-side end in a 40 front.
Shanks shows good snap quickness, strength at the point of attack, anchor ability and quickness to slip blocks. He is a solid DL prospect who has a high ceiling.
Florida State has him locked up.
29. Eli Harold, LB (Virginia)
Harold is an extremely explosive pass-rusher who can play DE or 3-4 OLB. He is a great athlete with good range, play speed in pursuit and a quick close on ball-carriers.
He's a hot name on the trail since many 4-3 programs see him as a two-down LB and sub-package/third-down DE.
Harold is committed to Virginia.
28. Kyle Kalis, OT (Michigan)
Kalis is a 6'5", 305-pound lineman's type of lineman. He's a lunch-pail type who works on the fronts each snap, whether at right or left tackle. Kalis is best in the run game, showing an ability to play with good leverage at the point of attack and displaying solid finishing ability.
Kalis can pull and trap well, due to his easy movement. As a pass-protector, he displays the solid foot quickness he needs to slide and mirror well. I like him most at right tackle.
He's committed to Michigan.
27. Channing Ward, DE (Ole Miss)
Ward is a 6'4", 240-pound pass-rush specialist who could play OLB in a 3-4 scheme. He has good athleticism, shows a pass-rushing plan and plays well with his hands.
He shows a burst at the snap and bend ability. Yet what really makes Ward special is knowing that his hands can be a weapon. Most rushers just try to out-run blockers and get stuck when engaged; Ward can get free.
He's headed to Ole Miss.
26. Trey Williams, RB (Texas A&M)
Williams is not very big, but he's very fast, slippery and explosive. Quick and elusive at 5'8" and 175 pounds, he is a stick of dynamite in the backfield and can score any time he touches the rock.
Williams uses his lack of height to his advantage, sliding and hiding behind his line, then darting out when he sees a crease. He may not be an every-down back in college, but I still expect Williams to be very productive.
He's committed to Texas A&M.
25. Sheldon Day, DT (Notre Dame)
Day has the size and skill set of a prototypical 4-3 under tackle. At 6'2" and 280 pounds, he does it with quickness at the snap and sheer will.
He flies off the ball and is even athletic enough to play a little defensive end, too. He shows a quick read/react ability to the run and can anchor well in the middle.
Day's all Irish.
24. Duke Johnson, RB (Miami)
Johnson shows athleticism that speaks to me as being quicker than fast. At 5'9" and 180 pounds, he's an elusive ball-carrier who can shake and bake with the best of them.
Dangerous in the open field, Johnson always looks for the even the smallest crease to skate through and can hide well behind his blockers to pick and slide to holes.
He's headed to Miami.
23. Adolphus Washington, DE (Ohio State)
Washington is another pass-rusher who is among the elite in the country this year.
At 6'5" and 250 pounds, Washington has the size to play the strong side in college, but he also has the athleticism, play speed and quickness to man the weak side as well.
He has a long frame to stay clean, he can convert speed into power quickly and forcefully, and he bends solidly. Washington is also a noted hoops prospect, which is why you hear the Julius Peppers comparisons.
He's committed to Ohio State.
22. Jessamen Dunker, OT (Florida)
Dunker may possess the highest ceiling of any offensive line prospect in the nation for 2012. At 6'6" and 310 pounds, he is a former hoops player who has only played football for a limited amount of time.
His film shows a super-athletic future left tackle who can mirror quick rushers and match power in the run game. With coaching, Dunker could become an All-American player and perhaps a high-round draft pick.
Florida will be charged with bringing him along.
21. Ellis McCarthy, DT (Cal)
Ellis McCarthy may be the best DL and defensive player on the West Coast. He's a 6'5", 310-pound DT with an amazing-looking frame.
McCarthy shows great snap quickness off the ball, can skinny through doubles and play on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. He wreaks havoc in the middle, which is a testament to his awesome play strength.
Whenever McCarthy plays with leverage and a low pad level, he's virtually un-blockable. His snap quickness is the key to his pass-rush, as he's a menace to QBs from the middle.
Cal has him in the fold.
20. Ricardo Louis, WR (Auburn)
Louis is rising up many boards very fast. He's 6'2", 200 pounds and is a big-play threat from all over the field.
Louis played some QB in high school, but everyone who sees him projects him to kick out to the flanks and be a dynamic WR. Louis shows excellent play speed, solid hands, leaping ability and good RAC skills.
He's committed to Auburn.
19. Brian Poole, CB (Florida)
At 5'11" and 180 pounds, Poole is a sticky cover man who can carry receivers all around the field. He has great jamming ability when pressing and doesn't back down from anyone.
I think Poole can play both the field and boundary positions at corner, as he is athletic and quick enough to have the range for the field side. He can also support the run well as a boundary corner.
Florida has Poole's commitment.
18. Chris Casher, DE/OLB (Florida State)
Casher is a prospect who, early on, was seen as a potential receiver, but has lit it up the past few seasons as a defensive end.
Now he's mainly projected at end, and he's quicker and more athletic than many would expect at 6'4" and 235 pounds.
Casher shows a great burst at the snap and can run around blockers all contest long. He's long to stay clean and can convert speed to power. I also think Casher could play linebacker in college.
Florida State is where he's headed.
17. Jabari Ruffin, OLB (USC)
Ruffin is a great-looking prospect. Standing in the 6'3"-6'4", 230-pound range, he's a great athlete on the field.
Ruffin makes plays on offense as TE/WR/RB, but his future more than likely lies on defense as an OLB. I think Ruffin can play the SAM spot at the second level since he plays stout against the run, but he can also cover TEs and RBs in coverage.
He's committed to USC.
16. Eddie Williams, DB (Alabama)
Williams is an elite free safety prospect who is 6'4" and 205 pounds. Some list him as an ATH because he is that versatile and shows an ability to factor in at a plethora of positions.
DS, WR and OLB are all spots you could see Williams play in college, but free safety is his best spot. He's instinctive in coverage, quick to recognize routes and he can pluck interceptions out of the air with ease.
Alabama has him locked up.
15. Shaq Roland, WR (South Carolina)
Roland is a receiver who is here because his ceiling is so high.
At 6'1" and 180 pounds, he has played multiple spots, but receiver is his definite future home position in college. He just needs to spend more time there and get coached up.
Dynamic with the ball in his hands, Roland shows very good play speed and explosiveness. He isn't very strong, but he can beat press with change of direction and quickness in his release. He flashes great separation quickness and solid hands.
Roland is a Gamecock.
14. Cayleb Jones, WR (Texas)
At 6'3" and 190 pounds, Jones is among the top receivers in Texas and the country.
Jones shows on tape that he is a player who understands he has a long frame, and he snatches balls all around him to increase his catching radius. He also shows solid quickness in and out of breaks, good route-running and the ability to catch in crowds.
He's bound for Texas.
13. Rushel Shell, RB (Pitt)
At 5'11" and 215 pounds, Shell is among the best running backs in the country. He has elite vision, awareness and run instincts to go along with great speed and run strength.
I full expect Shell to make an instant impact as a true freshman. He has the bulk, strength, size and speed to factor as a bell cow back immediately.
Pitt has him committed.
12. Landon Collins, SS (Alabama)
Landon Collins is a 5-star recruit and one of the top players in the country, as he can play both safety and outside linebacker.
At 6'0" and 210 pounds, Collins shows to be uber-instinctive in the box, physical against the run and he is your typical eighth defender to aid the front seven.
On the back-end, he's productive in space and in coverage, showing an ability to be a factor in the zone due to his awareness. He always finds a way to the ball and hates getting caught in traffic.
Collins is committed to Alabama.
11. Quay Evans, DT (Mississippi State)
At 6'2" and 320 pounds, Evans is an immovable object in the trenches. He has great strength, and I like him as a 1-technique or a nose tackle.
Once Evans gets his hands on a blocker and inside the body, it's over; he can use brute and sheer strength to toss them around or power over them to get into the backfield.
Evans will be a Mississippi State Bulldog.
10. Gunner Kiel, QB (LSU)
At 6'4" and more than 200 pounds, Kiel will have to fend off some top gunslingers through the cycle for top QB honors.
Yet, he is one of the top prospects at the moment, and has a great arm, mobility, accuracy and solid vision. He reminds me a bit of Blaine Gabbert.
Kiel is headed to LSU.
9. John Theus, OT (Georgia)
At 6'6" and 295 pounds, Theus excels at drive-blocking and has the ability to finish.
Solid in pass protection, I think Theus' best spot is right tackle, but I won't be shocked if he becomes a good left tackle. He moves targets off their marks with ease, has quick feet and plays physically at the point of attack.
Theus is a Georgia pledge.
8. Malcom Brown, DT (Texas)
At 6'2" and 280 pounds, Brown looks like a great future 3-technique, as his quickness at the snap is formidable.
He flies off he ball, blows by guards, disrupts offensive fronts and plays in the backfield. He's the type of player who should be among the career leaders in the TFL department after he leaves Texas.
7. Reggie Ragland, LB (Alabama)
Ragland is a fantastic prospect in my eyes, as the only knock I question with him is his COD.
Other than that, he's a heat-seeking missile.
Many project Ragland as a linebacker in college, as he shows tremendous instincts, run-plugging ability and plays to his size at the point of attack. Ragland also has the speed and range to make tackles outside the box, and he works in coverage as well.
He's pledged to Alabama.
6. Keith Marshall, RB (Georgia)
Perhaps the fastest running back in the country, Marshall is a touchdown machine. I liken him to a Marshall Faulk, as he can impact the game as a runner, receiver and even as a returner.
At 5'11" and 185 pounds, Marshall has been timed in the 4.3 range in the 40.
Marshall is headed to Georgia.
5. Shaq Thompson, DB (Cal)
At 6'2" and 210 pounds, Thompson is a talented player who will line up at safety for the Bears, although he could get a look as a running back. Thompson has very good play speed and athleticism to go along with solid instincts on the back-end.
Thompson has a solid, quick back pedal and is quick to read and react versus the run. He flashes a willingness to plug holes against ball-carriers, and can be very effective in the box as an extra defender. Thompson has very good range and is not looked off easily.
Cal has him locked in.
4. D.J. Humphries, OT (Florida)
The natural comparison for Humphries' game seems to be Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and rightfully so.
At 6'6" and 270 pounds, Humphries is a left tackle through and through, and is likely the country's best athlete in the trenches.
Humphries is headed for Florida.
3. Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State)
At 6'4" and 190 pounds, Winston combines a rifle for an arm with great play speed and running ability.
He's a flat-out playmaker thanks to his dual-threat skill set.
Winston can sit in the pocket, survey the field and snap throws to all levels of the defense. He can also escape outside the pocket and dazzle as a runner. He's also an elite baseball prospect.
Winston is committed to Florida State.
2. Noah Spence, DE (Ohio State)
A 6'4", 240-pound speed rusher—and a natural at getting after the passer—Spence is viewed as the best pass-rushing DE in America. He has a sharp first step and burst to close on the passer and finish.
Spence stays clean, is strong enough to convert speed to power and can do this standing up. He shows excellent backside pursuit speed, flashes strength at the point of attack and could also be a short-area underneath zone defender.
He's committed to Ohio State.
1. Johnathan Gray, RB (Texas)
Gray is the top running back in the country on my board, as the 5'11", 195-pounder produces more than three average players put together.
He has more than 6,000 yards and 109 touchdowns over the past two seasons alone. Gray has elite vision, feel, instincts, elusiveness, speed and quickness.
Texas is where he will tote the rock.