The nation's No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2012, 5-star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, MO), is head and shoulders above every prospect in this year's recruiting class in terms of athletic ability and build, but how does he stack up against last year's top prospect Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, SC)?
Both prospects are similar in the sense that no one in that lines up against them at their respective positions has a chance at stopping either of them.
The 6'6", 220 pound receiver torched the competition at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and had the highlight of the game with a one-handed 79-yard touchdown snag in the first half. Green-Beckham had no equals on the field in that game and he proved that throughout the Army Bowl practices as well.
High school defenses pulled out all the stops to shut down Green-Beckham, but no one could even slow him up let alone take him out of a game. The Hillcrest High School star finished his senior season with 119 receptions for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Given his massive build, 4.43 second 40-yard dash time and leaping ability Green-Beckham has drawn comparisons to one of the NFL's best young receivers, Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.
On the other hand, Clowney was the nation's most dominant player on defense in 2011 and was un-blockable at strong-side defensive end.
At the Under Armour All-American game Clowney did not shine as brightly as Green-Beckham did at the Army Bowl, however his dominance during the week of practices leading up to the All-Star game was equally if not more impressive.
The difference in their position makes it difficult to compare the two, but the better prospect is Clowney for the simple fact that there are not as many dominant defensive linemen straight out of high school compared to the number of wide receivers who often garner high rankings.
Clowney proved he deserved the nation's top spot a year ago in his freshman year at South Carolina where he racked up 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks and was named the SEC's freshman of the year.
Green-Beckham is in a position to thrive in Missouri's spread offense, but with the Tigers moving to the SEC the competition level is much higher than he would have faced in the Big 12.
There has also been a tendency for Green-Beckham to lose concentration and drop some easily passes, but when he is on his game there is not a defensive back in the country that can stop him, which will not be the case in the SEC.
Both of these prospects are extremely rare talents, however Clowney was the more college ready prospect coming out of high school and he proved it in 2011.
Green-Beckham will get his chance to prove the doubters wrong, however as of now the slight edge goes to Clowney in the matter of who is the better No. 1 overall prospect in the past two years.
Zach Dirlam is the Lead Editor of College Basketball and Big Ten Columnist for the Fox Sports, MSN and YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. He is also undergoing a trial period as a Michigan Football Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his blog, Dirlam’s Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story along with other articles and video reports on the major sports. Follow him on Twitter @ZachDirlam_SPAW!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!