Breaking Down New 5-Star Recruits in 247Sports' Updated 2015 Rankings

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 19, 2014

Texas quarterback Kyler Murray
Texas quarterback Kyler MurrayCredit: 247Sports

The evaluation of America's next crop of senior high school football stars has just begun, but we've already seen several recruits rise in the rankings. Online ranking sites continue to update the 2015 class hierarchy in terms of talent and potential, including 247Sports.

The site revealed a revised list of recruiting ratings Tuesday with California quarterback and USC commit Ricky Town taking over the top spot. Various prospects climbed and fell in national rankings, while a few entered elite territory by earning 5-star status.

247Sports elevated five players to the highest level of rating, which now includes 30 total prospects. We take a closer look at these freshly anointed 5-stars to understand why they belong among the nation's best and what lies ahead in their respective recruitments.


Quarterback Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas)

Murray led Allen High School to its second straight state title and earned Texas' Gatorade Player of the Year honors. He is 27-0 as a starting quarterback, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The 5'11", 170-pound prospect is slightly undersized by prototypical standards but his playmaking skills outweigh a slight lack of height.

Murray has already thrown for more than 5,600 yards and 63 scores. His dual-threat capabilities are also evident in his stats, with more than 2,500 yards and 44 scores on the ground.

Murray has pedigree on his side, being the son of former standout Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray.

Unsurprisingly, the Aggies are in the mix for his services. He also holds offers from Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, Texas and TCU. 

Murray is rated the fifth-best player in the Lone Star State by 247Sports.


Defensive end Josh Sweat (Chesapeake, Va.)

Credit: 247Sports

The 6'5", 230-pound prospect formed a dominant duo with 5-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown at Oscar Smith High School last season. Brown, the 2013 Gatorade National Player of the Year, will play for Virginia next fall so it should be interesting to see how Sweat handles more attention along the defensive front.

He excelled as a junior, tallying 94 total tackles. Sweat registered 31 tackles for a loss and added 22 sacks, showing rare athleticism off the edge that opponents simply couldn't contain.

His recruitment gained momentum after the season, as offers from UCLA, USC, Michigan State, Georgia and South Carolina arrived since December. Florida State and Virginia Tech established themselves as top options earlier in the process.

Sweat is rated the nation's No. 10 overall prospect and top weak-side defensive end by 247Sports.


Safety Derwin James (Auburndale, Fla.)

The Haines City Senior High School standout committed to Florida State during his freshman year. James hasn't shied away from the hype, progressing his game during each of the past two seasons.

He was named to the MaxPreps Sophomore All-American Team in 2012 and remains on the national radar as a coveted recruit despite his longtime ties to the Seminoles. South Carolina, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Miami are among dozens of programs aiming to pry him away from the Seminoles.

The 6'2", 201-pound defensive back also plays linebacker at the high school level. James possesses the size and skill set to play various roles in the back seven at the next level.

That versatility will keep teams salivating about his potential until national signing day. 247Sports rates James as America's No. 1 safety prospect and the fifth-best player in Florida.


Wide receiver Preston Williams (Hampton, Ga.)

The 6'5", 205-pound pass target presents a dominant option in any offensive attack. Williams recently accepted an invitation to compete in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next January.

Williams enjoyed an explosive junior campaign at Lovejoy High School, catching 59 passes for 1,388 yards and 14 touchdowns.

His speed transitions well into special teams. Williams returned three punts for touchdowns in 2013, per Clayton News-Daily reporter Derrick Mahone.

He committed to Tennessee in September, setting the foundation for what could be another strong recruiting class in Knoxville. His offer list also includes Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Auburn.

Williams is rated the nation's No. 1 receiver recruit by 247Sports.


Defensive end Jalen Dalton (Clemmons, N.C.)

Credit: 247Sports

The promising prospect from West Forsyth High School fits the mold of football's new defensive end breed. Dalton possesses the burst of a basketball forward and brings that quickness to a position that continues to command more athleticism.

The 6'5", 220-pound defender saw his recruitment heat up last spring, when Virginia, Florida State and North Carolina highlighted a slew of scholarship offers. His list now features Michigan, Clemson, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

He is rated the country's No. 4 weak-side defensive end prospect by 247Sports.

The Army All-American Bowl selection still has strides to make against the run but his ceiling is sky high when it comes to pass-rushing. Categorize Dalton as raw but really special.


All advanced statistics via unless otherwise noted