Julius Randle was one of the most dominating players during the 2012 summer recruiting period. He was, without question, the second-best player at the Nike Peach Jam. He won the Elite 24 dunk contest and was one of four MVP's for the game.
Despite his scorching summer, Randle fell in two major recruiting services' rankings: Scout and ESPN.
In the Scout rankings, Randle dropped from second to fourth.
In the ESPN 100, Randle dropped from second to third.
When some analysts consider Randle better than Jabari Parker, the drop in rankings might be a head-scratcher. Dig deeper and you'll find that every major recruiting service has different opinions on the order of the top five players in the 2013 class.
Scout has Randle ranked fourth. On ESPN and Max Preps, he's third. CBS Sports has him ranked fifth, the lowest of any major recruiting service. He's first on SLAM Online, Future 150, Rivals and 24/7 Sports.
Only once did Randle take to Twitter because of his lower ranking:
Lol at scout ..— Julius Randle (@J30_RANDLE) August 7, 2012
Although Randle may be upset with the analysts at Scout, it shows his competitive nature.
Where would you rank Julius Randle in the 2013 class?
Randle is an Alpha Dog, and he wants to be the best. Of the eight recruiting services listed above, he's the best player in the 2013 class according to half of them—not a bad consolation prize for dropping a few ranks.
All recruiting experts can agree on one thing: Randle is a highly coveted, top-five player in the 2013 class. Only two other recruits have earned the top spot in 2013 recruit rankings: Parker and Andrew Harrison.
The argument can be made that all three players deserve the top ranking. Some would even throw Aaron Harrison and Aaron Gordon into the mix.
The fivesome of Randle, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Parker and Gordon have separated themselves from the rest of the 2013 class. The fact that they are all so closely ranked makes it easy to understand why Randle dropped in some rankings and rose in others.
It comes down to personal preference. All three players that are ranked as the best-in-class are deserving. An argument can be made for each player, and because they all play a different position (minus Gordon and Randle), they all possess different, yet dominating characteristics.
For four recruiting services, Randle's superior summer was enough to take over the top spot. Other services (Scout, ESPN and CBS Sports) saw the summer clinic that the Harrison twins put on and thought that deserved a bolstered rank.
That is the reason why Randle fell; opinions simply changed.
Who should be the top recruit in 2013?
Randle didn't play poorly. Anyone that says that clearly did not watch the Nike Peach Jam, where he dropped 22 points and 13 rebounds per game in less than 30 minutes per contest. They also didn't catch this dunk at the ESPN Elite 24 dunk contest.
He's had a momentous summer, but some recruiting services think others (namely Parker and Aaron Harrison) have done enough to earn a better ranking.
The bottom line: Randle is one of the best. He and four other players in the 2013 class are all deserving of a No. 1 ranking.