Winners and Losers of New ESPN 300 Recruiting Rankings
ESPN updated its list of the nation's Top 300 senior football prospects on Wednesday. The 2014 recruiting class continues to be dissected position-by-position as high school football season hits its final stretch.
New game footage and increased analysis led to the latest ESPN 300 rankings. We take a look at those most affected by the revised list.
Winner: 4-Star QB Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif.)
Quarterback Brad Kaaya continues to climb in ESPN's recruiting rankings. The Chaminade Prep passer made a significant leap for the second straight update.
Kaaya went from No. 252 to No. 171 when new rankings were unveiled on July 30. This time around, he rises to No. 128.
To review, that's a 124-spot jump since midsummer.
Kaaya is completing approximately 60 percent of his passes this season, per MaxPreps. He's thrown for 1,638 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.
The 6'4", 215-pound prospect committed to Miami in May. He also considered offers from USC, UCLA and San Diego State.
Winner: 4-Star WR Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn.)
Wide receiver Josh Malone is racking up monstrous numbers as a senior, so it's no surprise to see him rise in the rankings. The 6'2.5", 190-pound playmaker leaps from No. 99 to No. 48 on the list.
Malone, a standout at Station Camp High School, is absolutely manhandling opponents this season. He has 47 receptions for 987 yards and 18 total touchdowns this season, per 247Sports.
It's a significant explosion in production when you consider he compiled 51 catches for 1,112 yards and 18 touchdowns during his sophomore and junior seasons combined.
Malone is heavily considering offers from Florida State, Tennessee and Georgia.
Loser: 4-Star DT Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard was stripped of a star in the latest ESPN rankings. He dropped from the rarefied ranks of 5-star talent, announced as a 4-star in this latest installment.
The 6'3", 310-pound Pine Forest High School prospect is now listed at No. 24 among class of 2014 recruits. Gaillard was ranked the nation's No. 12 overall recruit when he committed to Georgia in July.
He is now the slotted as the country's fifth-best defensive lineman. Before committing to the Bulldogs, Galliard considered offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU and South Carolina.
Winner: 4-Star LB Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill.)
Linebacker Clifton Garrett is among the most complete defensive prospects in the 2014 class. A rise in the rankings reflects his strong play.
Garrett, a 6'2", 230-pound standout at Plainfield South High School, gained 22 spots on the list. He jumped from No. 59 to No. 37.
The uncommitted prospect now ranks third nationally among linebacker recruits. Garrett, a dominant run defender with impressive speed, is likely to play inside at the next level.
He is considering offers from Florida, Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss, among others.
Winner: 4-Star RB Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga.)
Explosive running back Nick Chubb continues to climb Georgia's all-time rushing yardage list. His ascension extends to ESPN's rankings.
Chubb went from No. 106 to No. 64 in the latest rankings. That places him eighth among all running backs.
The 5'11", 215-pound Cedartown High School star is dominating as a senior. Through eight games, Chubb has tallied 2,115 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.
He is nearly certain to eclipse 2,500 rushing yards for the second consecutive season. Chubb chose Georgia over offers from Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Loser: USC Trojans
The USC football program is clearly in flux these days, as the Lane Kiffin era came to a crashing halt in September. Uncertainty has cost the Trojans dearly on the recruiting trail.
It hasn't just been the team's inability to land top-tier commitments. USC has lost significant members from its 2014 recruiting class, including two defenders featured in ESPN's new rankings.
Defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif.) decommitted from the Trojans in September. He is ranked No. 240 overall and No. 20 at his position.
Smallwood, a 4-star prospect, is considering offers from Notre Dame, California and Oklahoma.
Linebacker Derik Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif.) ended his verbal pact with USC this month. The 4-star recruit committed to Arizona State on Oct. 27.
Calhoun is currently ranked No. 224 by ESPN. He is listed as the 15th-best outside linebacker.
Winner: 4-Star WR Frank Iheanacho (Houston, Texas)
Wide receiver Frank Iheanacho has quickly emerged among the nation's most intriguing offensive weapons. The 6'7", 220-pound West Side High School star didn't play football as a junior, but he's burst onto the scene this fall.
Iheanacho went from unranked to No. 89 on the latest ESPN rankings list. That places him 11th nationally among wide receivers.
Through eight contests this season, Iheanacho has 30 catches for 465 yards and 10 touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. The gifted athlete remains uncommitted.
Iheanacho's offer list features Florida State, Texas A&M, LSU, Houston and TCU.
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