Breaking Down New 5-Star Recruits in 2014 Rivals100
Rivals.com has updated its Rivals100 rankings, and along with the update comes four new 5-star recruits.
Offensive tackles Damian Prince and Quenton Nelson, running back Joe Mixon and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan have all received an elite 5-star ranking now that Rivals has finished the spring evaluation period.
In other news at the top of the list, 5-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand is still ranked as the No. 1 overall recruit, which is a stark contrast to the ESPN 150 rankings, where Hand is the No. 4 overall prospect.
ESPN's No. 1 recruit, Leonard Fournette, is ranked No. 3 overall by Rivals.
The new 5-stars are the big news of the day, though, so let's break these players down to see why Rivals promoted them to 5-star recruits.
Note: All scouting and analysis done via tape study of film provided on recruit's 247Sports and Rivals.com profile pages.
Damian Prince, 5-Star OT, Bishop McNamara High School (Md.)
Prince checks in at 6'5'', 292 pounds, according to Rivals.
Even at his height, he plays with good bend in his knees and can win the "pad level battle" at the line of scrimmage. He has quick feet, a balanced base and he does a good job of extending his arms and using his strength to drive the line of scrimmage back.
Prince is an elite pass-blocker who has the agility to to stay in front of defenders and shuffle his feet instead of reaching.
According to his 247Sports interest list, Alabama, Florida State, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are all in the running for his commitment.
Joe Mixon, 5-Star RB, Freedom High School (Calif.)
Joe Mixon is a strong running back. He has great size at 6'2'', 207 pounds, according to Rivals, and he can be a blend of a power and speed rusher.
He's a strong runner with long strides and he's hard to take down. He can be elusive in the open field, has good vision, displays a great cut move and he's athletic. Mixon is a "one cut and go" who can find the hole, explode through and pick up big chunks of yardage at a time.
While he's not extremely fast, his long strides allow him to "kick it into second gear" in the open field, and he'll also be effective between the tackles.
Overall, Mixon is a complete, solid running back recruit.
USC is on top of his interest list, according to 247Sports, followed by Oklahoma, California, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, Washington and Oregon.
Quenton Nelson, 5-Star OT, Red Bank Catholic High (N.J.) *Notre Dame Commitment
Quenton Nelson is 6'5'', 301 pounds, according to Rivals, so he has the size to be great at the college level.
Nelson is big, but he's also extremely quick and agile for his size. He moves around almost like a tight end, so he'll be good in open space as a blocker. He can also pull down the line, get upfield and be a lead blocker on power plays.
He has quick footwork, good hands, extension and strength. Nelson is good at the second level, where he has the ability to engage a linebacker or safety, lock up and drive backward. As a pass defender, he has a balanced base, a good punch and a solid kick step.
Nelson is committed to Notre Dame.
Raekwon McMillan, 5-Star ILB, Liberty County High School (Ga.)
Raekwon McMillan is ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the class, according to Rivals, and he's certainly deserving of his fifth star.
He has the size you like to see at 6'3'', 235 pounds, and Rivals has him running a 4.65 40.
Because of that speed, he's a sideline-to-sideline defender as a middle linebacker. He has the strength and aggressiveness to step up, fill the strong A or weak B gaps and take on a lead blocker or runner, but his agility and speed also lets him run the alley, chase down the ball-carrier on the edge and make a big play.
He has a quick, downhill first step and reads the offense well. McMillan is a hard hitter, but he's also a fundamental tackler.
Ohio State appears to be the leader for his commitment, at least according to his 247Sports interest list, but Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and USC are also in the running as well.