B/R's Top 100: Ranking 2011's 100 Best College Football Recruits, Pt. 1
For true fanatics, college football recruiting replaces its more active counterpart for much of the offseason.
It may not be as exciting, but recruiting can be just callous enough, just contentious enough, to make us forget for a moment that it's still May.
Nothing could be as contentious as a list, and recruiting is chock-full of them. Rivals' 250 is set to release later this week. Scout has had its top 300 up for some time. And ESPN will be narrowing down its 11,000 ESPNU watchlist members into an actual 150 any day now.
To that mix, I humbly add B/R's top 100, the 100 best college football recruits in the 2011 class.
Here are Nos. 100-51. When possible, I've either embedded or included a link to a recruit's film so you can evaluate their positioning yourself.
No. 100: Darian Cooper, DT
Darian Cooper is a 6'3", 245-lb defensive tackle from DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland.
If you recognize the name DeMatha, it may be because Cooper's teammate, Cyrus Kouandjio, is considered the top offensive tackle prospect in the country.
Kouandjio is getting a lion's share of the accolades, but film of Cooper blowing up interior linemen on the line of scrimmage is no less worthy of acclaim. Check it out below.
As for his suitors, Cooper holds offers from Penn State, Michigan, UCLA and Clemson, among others. He's visited UCLA and Penn State and just got back from Michigan after seeing their BBQ at the Big House event. He's declined to name a leader.
No. 99: Reese Dismukes, C - Auburn
Spanish Fort, AL center Reese DIsmukes chose Auburn over Alabama, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Stanford and Ole Miss.
Scout's third-best center, his decision was noteworthy enough to land on the local news, further proof that they really care more in the SEC.
Dismukes is a 6'3", 275-pound prospect who was Class-5A All-State as a junior. You should be able to catch ESPN's (typically bad) film of him here.
No. 98: Jameel Poteat, RB
Lacking only true breakaway speed to complete an outstanding repertoire, Harrisburg, PA running back prospect Jameel Poteat holds offers from Florida, Pitt, USC, West Virginia, Iowa and Notre Dame, among many others.
He's a true up-the-middle buster with balance and power, who also flashes the lateral speed to do damage on tosses on the outside. He reminded me of Michigan State's Javon Ringer, which means it no surprise he's the target of many power-running games (or running games that feature a power back, like Florida and USC).
Cue the Rocky soundtrack:
No. 97: Albert Louis-Jean, CB - Miami
Miami reached up all the way to Brockton, Massachusetts to grab cornerback Albert Louis-Jean, who also held offers from Penn State and Notre Dame before he committed to the Hurricanes in late March.
The 6'1", 175-lb CB was mentioned in an article on a Nike Camp at Virginia Tech as having the playmaking ability to succeed at the next level. Another said he matched up well against Iowa commit Marcus Grant.
6'1" sounds a little tall for a true corner, so if he fills out more, a move to safety might be in order. Don't believe me? Check this hit out.
No. 96: Damiere Byrd, ATH
Damiere Byrd clocked in as 2011's fastest prospect after a 4.2 40 at a Nike combine in Philadelphia.
Anyone with that 40 will be getting chased all through the recruiting cycle, but Florida might be the only one with the speed to appeal to him. I've read Oregon is in the mix, too.
No. 95: Travis Hughes, LB
At 6'1" and 220-lbs, Virginia Beach linebacker Travis Hughes might strike you as undersized.
But the Kempsville HS middle linebacker brings that athletic element to the linebacker position (he's also an accomplished running back) that defensive coordinators are looking to more and more to combat speed RBs and zone coverage drops.
He compiled 79 tackles and rushed for 1500 yards as a junior, which speaks volumes about his endurance. He was also recently invited to the Army All-American bowl.
For some reason, his name was linked to Michigan's recent BBQ at the Big House event, but I'm almost certain he didn't show—the Maize and Blue are making a connection, apparently.
Rivals lists his interest in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia Tech as "high" to the exclusion of all other schools, but again, I don't know where that's coming from.
In other words, don't bother looking for an early commitment out of him. Watch his film instead...defensive highlights are near the end.
No. 94: Ron Tanner, S
Ron Tanner is a 6'0", 190-lb safety out of Columbus, Ohio weighing offers from in and around the Big Ten.
He recorded 81 tackles and seven interceptions on defense, and posted 1,305 passing yards, 600 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns on offense, good for second-team all-state honors in a banner year for Ohio talent.
Him and fellow Ohio safety Eilar Hardy (who just missed the cut for this list) were the top safety prospects at a Nike camp in Columbus, with Tanner being the faster of the two.
Michigan seemed to jump on him early, but now he looks like a lock for Ohio State, even with safety Jeremy Cash already in the fold.
You can watch his highlight video here.
No. 93: CJ Uzomah, QB
CJ Uzomah is a 6'5", 230-lb athlete/quarterback out of Suwannee, Georgia, part of the immensely talented (albeit raw) quarterback class this year.
He's played wide receiver for most of high school, but switched to quarterback as a junior and led his team deep into the state playoffs.
He completed 63 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and rushed for five more. Film of him can be found here—I especially liked his pocket presence.
He's considering many schools including Georgia, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Alabama, but declined to name a favorite.
I think his rocket arm and intimidating physical gifts would fit great at Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets were linked to him early, but I didn't see much in a recent search to suggest he concurs.
No. 92: Terrell Chestnut, ATH
Pottsgrove, PA athlete Terrell Chestnut looks like the kind of recruit the South is producing off of a conveyor belt: shifty, quick, strong and capable of beating anyone to the outside on offense.
Unfortunately, he might project best as a cornerback, but he could still see snaps on offense if he finds the right system.
He reminds me of South Carolina's dynamic cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, who subbed in on the Gamecocks' Wildcat downs and tore up Clemson in the rivalry game.
He's compiling offers at a record rate (surprise: South Carolina is one of them) and plans to keep his visits short and sweet this summer as he searches for a favorite.
Watch for West Virginia, Michigan, Pitt, SoCar and Penn State to pursue him hard—I know the Nittany Lions are especially in need of cornerbacks.
Pottsgrove highlight film here, Chestnut wears No.10 and plays QB (might be NSFW):
No. 91: Darion Arrington, S
Scout's No. 4 safety is Darion Arrington of Wiggins, Mississippi.
Yet for such a high ranking, the 6'1", 215-lb prospect holds few concrete offers outside of Mississippi and Alabama.
Those are in fact the two most likely places for his verbal, but with scouts from all over the country showing up to his high school, more could be on the way.
Without video, he's a pretty big mystery, but with 79 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery, he's worth a risk.
No. 90: Marquise Williams, QB
Marquise Williams is a 6'3", 218-lb shotgun QB out of Charlotte, North Carolina. He drew comparisons to QB Cardale Jones—another B/R top 100 player—for his size, his big arm and a high upside.
He struggled with accuracy at another camp, but his final list suggests he's a prospect worth molding.
LSU, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Michigan are the finalists for his verbal, and as far as I've seen, Williams is sure to take officials to ND, UNC and Michigan this fall.
Here's some extremely quiet video of Williams' high school, Mallard Creek, facing off against Mooresville.
No. 89: Jaxon Shipley, WR - Texas
Brownwood, Texas wide receiver and Longhorms commitment Jaxon Shipley is as elusive with the football as Jordan, his older brother. Though Jordan was clocked with a faster 40, Shipley can take those short rub routes Texas is famous for way downfield and also looks more slippery on film.
The 6'0", 170-lb receiver will show off both in the slot and as a kick-return specialist, where, like his brother, he's shown he can take kicks the distance with speed and an uncanny eye for blocks downfield.
Shipley can't wait to enroll at Texas. I'm not sure if that means he's enrolling early, but I'm predicting he'll be an impact freshman in the slot no matter what.
No. 88: Pat Martin, DB
Pat Martin of Greenville, South Carolina is a true under-the-radar story, one of those players who showed up to a camp an unknown and came away holding offers from several BCS programs.
Since then, the 6'0", 196-lb strong safety has impressed at a Nike camp in Alabama and holds upwards of 15 offers, including from LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee.
He waited for a Buckeye offer that never came, and now looks to compile more offers as he searches for the right fit. Highlights ahoy:
No. 87: Ishaq Williams, DE
Ishaq Williams of Brooklyn, NY was the subject of a JC Shurburtt recruiting article focusing on the growing number of solid DL recruits coming out of the Empire State.
That lengthy offer sheet is also what's preventing him from narrowing down favorites, though he did visit Rutgers, Penn State, Syracuse and others unofficially.
He could end up a top five weakside end prospect in another banner year for the position. Watch for the softspoken Williams to try and manage the chaos by cutting down his list of favorites this summer.
No. 86: Brett Hundley, QB
After a solid but somewhat unheralded start, Chandler, AZ quarterback Brett Hundley has been climbing the radar of the recruitniks in past weeks.
He's the top prospect on a loaded roster at Chandler High School.
Along with Texas A&M, UCLA and Nebraska, Michigan recently offered, and now Oregon is giving chase, just as B/R Pac-10 expert Aron Glatzer predicted.
His recruitment is blowing up right now, so it's too early to name favorites or even give an indication of who he will visit. But I like Oregon, Michigan and A&M to make his first cut.
No. 85: Michael Bennett, DT - Ohio State
Centerville, OH lineman Michael Bennett is the most recent commit in an outstanding defensive line class for the Buckeyes.
Bennett, a 6'3", 275-lb junior who was also a beastly offensive guard for Centerville, was offered by several BCS schools and most of the Big Ten, but chose the Buckeyes over Michigan and Northwestern.
Most recruitniks believe he projects better as a DT than a guard, but his mean streak on either side of the ball is beyond speculation. Scout's No. 6 DT is about 25 pounds away from being one of the most fearsome three-tech tackles in the class.
Video can be found here, courtesy of ScoutingOhio.
No. 84: Anthony Zettel, OG
Although Rivals lists him as a strongside end, and he plays offensive tackle in high school, Anthony Zettel is one of 2011's top interior line prospects.
Scout's No. 6 guard out of West Branch, MI, Zettel has been favoring the in-state Wolverines for some time, but holding off on making his commitment official.
Michigan will try to fend off Penn State, UCLA, Iowa, Michigan State and Cincinnati—his top six—as they attempt to lock down his verbal. But as is becoming clear, it could take until this fall, when the team hits the field, before he's 100%.
No. 83: Erique Florence, S
Valley, Alabama safety Erique Florence was one of the most sought-after in-state prospects of the annual Alabama-Auburn recruit skirmish boogaloo.
The 6'2", 181-lb safety runs a sub-4.5 40. With the way Auburn (and Alabama) pushes for early commits, I don't think he'll still be uncommitted by the time fall ball kicks off.
No. 82: Damian Swann, DB
Atlanta, Georgia cornerback/free safety Damian Swann is at the middle of a tug-of-war between SEC powers Georgia and Alabama.
The 6'0", 175-lb athlete splits duties as a quarterback and wide receiver, and is contending for the top Atlanta prospect in a loaded year.
With all those hats, it's hard to tell who he is in his highlight film. Just assume he's whoever is making the bigger play.
No. 81: Cody Kessler, QB
One of the best remaining QB prospects still "on the board," Bakersfield, CA quarterback Cody Kessler is a pro-style quarterback in the mold of Boise State's Kellen Moore.
Like Moore, Kessler lacks in height (he's only 6'1"), but makes up for it with great athleticism and a passion for the game that he's manifesting in a wealth of camp appearances.
Rivals posts a 4.9 40 and a load of offers from every Pac-10 school, plus Boise State, Alabama and Nebraska.
Cal, USC and UCLA lead for his services, and there were rumblings that he was close to accepting one of either USC's or UCLA's offers when they first came down the pike last week.
The Bruins are the only one of the three to not have already taken quarterbacks, so I like their chances with him. Of course, Boise State will need another Kellen Moore very soon, so consider them the deserving underdog, as usual.
No. 80: Kris Harley, DT - Virginia Tech
Surprise greeted DT Kris Harley's decision to commit to Virginia Tech in early April. The Indianapolis native held offers from Oklahoma, USC, Nebraska and was on the verge of an Ohio State offer when he decided.
In retrospect, Harley is just the type of top-tier defensive recruit Virginia Tech lands and builds a great defense on. This could be a year they hit their recruiting stride again.
Harley is 6'2", 256-lbs and posted 91 tackles and five sacks as a junior. From the DT position, that is outstanding production. I'm coming up short on film, but his offers and the buzz around his commitment (Scout's No. 13 DT, an ESPNU 150 watch list member) suggest he'll be a high four-star player and an All-American invitee.
No. 79: Davaris Daniels, WR
Notre Dame holds the edge over Michigan State, Oklahoma and Miami for Vernon Hills, IL wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, another in a long line of great receivers from the heart of the Plains.
Scout's No. 8 receiver, the 6'3", 190-lb Daniels pulls quintuple duty for his high school team, playing receiver, punt returner, kick returner, quarterback and free safety.
If the Wildcat package survives Charlie Weis' firing, he could be a great guy to put in the backfield.
No. 78: Brey Cook, OT
Brey Cook is a 6'6", 295-lb offensive tackle out of Springdale, Arkansas holding offers from a wide smattering of schools, including Alabama, USC, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida State and North Carolina, among many others.
Oklahoma fans think he's a lock for the Sooners, but the hometown Razorbacks aren't laying down, nor are Alabama and Auburn, who will battle for his attention when he visits both campuses in June.
Cook, ThaRinger's No 52 prospect on their official 250 list, is his high school's first ever selection to the Under-Armour All American game and he's very excited.
Film of him can be found here.
No. 77: Brandon Fulse, TE
Brandon Fulse out of Fort Meade, Florida was part of a trio of players making the Sunshine State into your one-stop shop for tight ends.
From a stacked offer sheet, Fulse likes the Florida heavies (the Gators, Seminoles, South Florida Bulls and Canes). He wants to get a better look at Clemson (though the Tigers might prefer Jay Rome a touch more) and I've also heard his name linked to Georgia.
I'm not sure how TE A.C. Leonard's commitment to Florida is affecting his decision, but if that maxes out Florida's allotment at the TE position, this is as open as it looks between the rest of the schools.
Here's an interview to watch:
No. 76: Evan Crower, QB - Stanford
Feel free to compare 6'4", 182-lb QB Evan Crower to Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. In terms of size, pocket presence, and arm strength, that's who the Stanford commit reminded me of in his film.
The San Diego, CA native doesn't have the quick release of Bradford, however. In fact, his ponderous wind-up is shades of Tim Tebow.
But if Scout's No. 6 quarterback can combine his physical talents with faster decision-making (and add another 20 pounds, for the sake of his shoulder), he could do for Jim Harbaugh's national ambitions what Bradford did for OU's.
No. 75: Stephon Tuitt, DE
When you're 6'5", 260 lbs with offers from Georgia, Auburn and Notre Dame, yeah, sometimes you stand out a little bit.
That's not a bad thing for Stephon Tuitt, a native of Monroe, Georgia and another outstanding 2011 prospect from the Peach State.
Independent recruiting site ThaRinger ranks him the No. 66 player on their top 250 board, and he's Scout's 17th-best defensive end.
Scout's reservations have to do with his rawness, but he "has a high ceiling," and considering the quality of his offers, he should be able to reach it.
Highlights of him (as an OL) can be found here.
No. 74: Tobias Singleton, WR/ATH
The trouble with Mississippi recruits is how little film makes it onto the internet.
I'll trust word of mouth in putting Madison, MS recruit Tobias Singleton on this list. Both MaxPreps' Tom Lemming and ThaRinger's top 250 include as a top-70 prospect.
The interest from UCLA (who leads for him), Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma suggests he'll be a big-time D-I recruit. I'd just rather see it with my own eyes.
No. 73; Brandon Williams, RB - Oklahoma
Brandon Williams, a top 10 all-purpose back out of Brookshire, Texas, was overshadowed by the trio of top Texas running backs that have dominated most recruiting lists so far.
But watching his film shows why he holds his own as a top 100 recruit. His first step on the counter play reminds me of Percy Harvin's—effective in getting linebackers to flow the wrong direction, but not so ponderous that he loses breakaway speed.
He hits the hole quickly, and the churning motion of his arms tells you he's running his heart out. With a 6'1" frame and at full weight (probably another 20 pounds), he'll remind you of Georgia Tech's Anthony Allen—speedy, bruising, lethal in the open field.
An awesome get for Oklahoma, even if it meant the Baylor Bears had to say goodbye.
No. 72: Watts Dantzler, OT
Watts Dantzler of Dalton, Georgia has a look and a name that hollers "offensive tackle in the SEC."
He's currently deciding between three such schools as his final destination. Auburn, Alabama and Georgia survived a cut from a final list that originally included Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
The 6'7", 315-pounder narrowed down his list to those finalists from an offer sheet of top SEC and ACC teams. Stanford and Notre Dame also offered.
Considering his final list, this should be a slugfest that could decided by how other tackle commits drop for those three schools.
No. 71: Wayne Lyons, S
Fort Lauderdale, Florida safety Wayne Lyons is the feel-good prospect of the 2011 class, a Myron Rolle-type recruit who can teach calculus with one hand and pick passes off with the other.
The 6'0, 185-lb safety is looking for a school that can help him become a Rhodes Scholar.
He's got an impressive offer list to choose from, but as of yet no leaders to report.
No. 70: Jeoffrey Pagan, DE - Florida
After Florida's epic haul on the defensive line in the last class, it's almost easy to overlook solid four-star weakside ends like Asheville, NC's Jeoffrey Pagan.
In a word, don't. Pagan held offers from every major school in the BCS conferences—Ohio State, USC, Florida State and Virginia Tech, as well as LSU, Alabama and Georgia—before committing to Florida shortly after visiting their spring game.
Pagan runs a 4.63 40, stands 6'4" and weighs 250 lbs...and based on Florida's 2010 crop, might redshirt. What a world.
No. 69: Cardale Jones, QB
Film of Cardale Jones hitting his Glenville teammate in stride about 50 yards downfield was what led me to declare 2011 the year of the quarterback in recruiting.
Jones will likely end up Ohio State's second-tier QB commit behind Braxton Miller, though in my opinion he could be as talented with some top-level QB coaching.
Jones shows flashes of a raw Vince Young in his cannon arm, pocket presence and scrambling ability.
The 6'5", 217-lb QB out of Ohio's old reliable Glenville Academy has what it takes to become the most decorated and successful QB in the class if he can find the right system.
Though the Ohio State offer he's long been coveting looks like it's in the mail, I hope he considers Michigan as more than just a good candidate for second place.
No. 68: Ryne Reeves, C - Nebraska
Ryne Reeves of Crete, Nebraska is Scout's No. 2 center and part of an outstanding offensive line haul for the Cornhuskers.
Reeves is widely considered the best recruit in the state for 2011. At 6'3", 290-lbs, he's the ideal size for a center. He's beasted his way to a gold medal in the shotput and participated in a Junior All-American combine, which speaks to his outstanding strength.
He should be the brains and brawn of some awesome Nebraska offensive lines for years to come.
No. 67: Antwaun Woods, DT - USC
Antwaun Woods, a native of Woodland Hills, California, is USC's second huge get at the defensive tackle position after George Uko, a top-tier defensive tackle whom the Trojans signed in the most recent class.
The fruits of Ed Orgeron's return to Southern Cal are revealing themselves in commits like Woods. Scout's No. 6 DT, Woods has been invited to the Under Armour All-American game and has the potential to contend for a fifth star even in a loaded year for defensive line recruits.
At 6'1" and 322-lbs, Woods will occupy a one- or three-tech role for USC. He can also play interior line after starting for Taft High School on the OL as a freshman.
Video of his Nike Camp appearance can be found here.
No. 66: Charone Peake, WR
Charone Peake of Roebuck, South Carolina has been trying to decide whether he resembles Georgia's AJ Green or Clemson's Jacoby Ford more.
For my money, I'd say the 6'3", 185-lb receiver out of Dorman High School is more like Hamburger Helper. He does just fine by himself.
Florida join Clemson and Georgia atop his finalists list, with the in-state Tigers holding a narrow lead after getting him on campus for their spring game. Make no mistake, though; this will stretch into the fall as officials are in order.
For now, content yourself with some awesome film.
No. 65: Rodney Coe, RB/LB
Rodney Coe, a linebacker/running back out of Edwardsville, Illinois, has Iowa, Kansas State and Missouri among his list of finalists. In other news, you just got a raise, lost twenty pounds and get to go through high school again, because clearly the universe kids us.
No, our eyes don't deceive. An Army All-American is considering three schools not exactly storming the recruiting trail.
They may not bring the fireworks, but all three would allow Coe to decide what position he thinks he should play, which is a serious question for a kid who projects as a top inside linebacker and as a running back.
It will be hard to keep him away from the linebackers. At 6'3" and 230-lbs, he's an ideal candidate at an inside spot. But watch his highlight film on offense, and you'll see one helluva running back, too.
Nos. 64 & 63: Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek, WR & QB - USC
One look at Victor Blackwell's highlight film (in which Max Wittek can't help but be featured) tells you how Blackwell averaged a whopping 20 yards plus per catch as a junior: Wittek could hit Blackwell in stride on every throw, and the wide receiver could go the distance on every catch.
Both students of USC pipeline-in-the-making Mater Dei, Blackwell brings elite speed and vision, while Wittek is one of the best true pro-style prospects in the class.
Wittek throws extremely well off play-action (USC's bread and butter) and just needs time and training to get up to the level of physical preparedness the Trojans expect out of their quarterbacks.
To paraphrase Kirk Herbstreit in the NCAA video game series, good chemistry between a QB and a receiver is vital to effective timing. After another high school year of being Wittek's go-to guy, Blackwell will have a rooting interest in the competition between his former QB and 2010 commit Jesse Scroggins when Matt Barkley moves on to the pros.
No. 62: Greg Townsend, DE
Beverly Hills, CA is where Greg Townsend and his father, Greg Townsend, call home.
The younger Townsend is trying to follow in his father's footsteps as a disruptive defensive end for first the TCU Horned Frogs and then the Oakland Raiders, where he had a Hall of Fame-caliber career.
Greg Jr. holds USC, TCU, Oregon, Washington and Miami among his favorites but maintains that he will remain open as he travels throughout the summer. His father taught him right—he values an education above all else.
USC fans are confident he'll stick to the West Coast, but don't count out what Gary Patterson has built at TCU. The Frogs have the familial connection and are no slouches at producing NFL-level talent.
Highlight film here.
No. 61: Trey Metoyer, WR - Oklahoma
His highlight film numbers are only slightly off. Whitehouse, TX wide receiver Trey Metoyer hauled in 74 passes for 1,260 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. That's Ryan Broyles-type production.
The speedy, shifty receiver who has one of the best all-around games in the class. He stands 6'2", weighs just shy of 200 pounds and runs a 4.42 40.
His highlight film catches show him playing with reckless abandon to the point of bodily harm. With how many passes he'll be hauling in from Landry Jones and Blake Bell, he better be ready to take some licks.
No. 60: Trey Depriest, OLB
Outside linebacker Trey DePriest is one of the headliners in a banner year for Ohio state talent.
As a junior, the 6'2", 231-lb linebacker compiled 101 tackles, 10 TFLs, seven sacks and three forced fumbles for Springfield HS.
Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma top DePriest's whopping offer sheet, and are at the top of his consideration.
His speed puts him in the backfield right off the snap, and he sheds blocks like the elites. Comparisons to last year's Jordan Hicks are apt—both can lay the wood on a scrambling QB , and both will be studs if allotted a redshirt year.
No. 59: Jordan Walsh, G
Sorry for the bad picture—you'd think with the number of offers Glen Ellyn, IL guard Jordan Walsh has accrued, there'd be better media out there.
Walsh is Scout's No. 2 guard in a so-so year for the position. The 6'3", 275-lb recruit has been getting interest from most of the Big Ten, UCLA, and USC, and just added Tennessee to the list.
While that list gets bigger, don't expect a favorite to emerge until mid-summer.
Film of him can be found here.
No. 58: Matt Hegarty, OT - Notre Dame
Matt Hegarty of Aztec, New Mexico was at one time a reputed lock for the Texas Longhorns, but the Fighting Irish wooed him away during their spring game.
Scout's 9th-best offensive tackle will need time to fill out his 6'5", 265-lb frame into a more prototypical build, but recruitniks are confident that the raw tools are there for Hegarty to become a BCS-caliber player.
The Irish may not have that kind of time with the state of their offensive line and the tragic loss of OT Matt James from the last class, so Hegarty might be pressed into duty early.
No. 57: Kelvin Benjamin, WR
Kelvin Benjamin might not be as tall as he looks in that picture, but at 6'6", the Belle Glade, Florida receiver will tower over just about any defensive back out there.
For his size, Benjamin's gait is very smooth and he's an elite route-runner.
Miami has held a lead over Florida for a little while, although Alabama, Florida State and USC aren't too far out of the picture.
Because of an age restriction, Benjamin will be unable to play the entirety of his senior season for Belle Glade, and he's pondering a transfer. That should give him more time to agonize over what must be a tough decision.
No. 56: Ray Drew, DE
Thomasville, Georgia defensive end Ray Drew has one of the most impressive offer sheets I've seen, a testament both to his talent and to how wide-open his recruitment is.
Scout's No. 6 defensive end is drawing rave reviews for everything from his pass-rush technique to his uninhibited play on special teams.
His production—72 tackles, 16 TFLs, seven sacks and three forced fumbles—earned him an invite to both the Under-Armour and Army All-American games.
Georgia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Clemson are recruiting him hardest, but looking for a leader is presumptive. He's waiting until as long as possible so he knows he's making the right decision.
Watch him discuss his recruitment here.
No. 55: Kiaro Holts, OT
Along with Kris Harley, Kiaro Holts is Warren Central's other great prospect for 2011, albeit on the offensive side of the line.
6'5", 270-lb tackle is Scout's fifth-best tackle, has an impressive offer sheet and landed an invite to the Army All-American Bowl.
The Big Ten is trying to hold onto him, but I think he might favor a move out of the Midwest. His offer sheet is getting extensive as schools like USC, Cal and Virginia Tech throw their hat in the ring, and you have to like the Hokies' chances after they landed his teammate, Kris Harley.
Highlight video here.
No. 54: Tyler Moore, OT - Nebraska
Nebraska kicked off its 2011 class with some great OL commits, one of them being Clearwater, FL OT Tyler Moore.
Moore has filled out into a 6'6", 305-lb frame and sounds like one of the best drive-blocking tackles in the class per Scout's assessment.
His struggles in pass protection will be addressed in time. For now, the Huskers will take the dominance he promises in the running game.
Moore held offers from the likes of Michigan, Cal, Florida, Ohio State and Florida State before committing to NU last October.
No. 53: Ben Koyack, TE - Notre Dame
Oil City, Pennsylvania tight end Ben Koyack is one of those tight ends in name only. The 6'5", 230-lb player is more like a wide receiver in disguise.
Koyack posted 743 yards and five touchdowns in abbreviated action for his high school team (he missed the end of the season with a knee injury).
He's the perfect fit for Brian Kelly's system. His size and speed will present match-up problems, and he has the hands and the endurance to catch upwards of 10 passes a game when healthy.
He was Kelly's first big recruiting landing in what is now a bygone era of suspicion over whether the new Irish coach could recruit like his predecessor. Watch his highlight film below.
No. 52: Kevin McReynolds, DT
Not only is DC defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds one of the most highly-sought recruits for 2011, but he's another feel-good story in the class.
Inspired by the example Wayne Lyons is setting, McReynolds is starting a program to help underpriveleged children in his neighborhood.
The 6'3", 277-lb tackle has posted a 4.77 40 on his Rivals page, absurd for a DT recruit.
Rumor had it that he gave Ohio State a verbal commitment at their spring game, but that turned out to be false. McReynolds claims to hold no favorites and looks forward to a summer of making visits and organizing his charity work. Good luck to him.
No. 51: Savon Huggins, RB
Jersey City running back Savon Huggins has been racking up offers since the first time a coach saw him bulldoze a linebacker.
The 6'0", 190-lb running back has dominated at every level of competition.
He reminds me of Ohio State's Beanie Wells, with a running style less composed but no less versatile or effective.
That versatility has landed him upwards of 50 offers (!) and the attention of every top-tier running game in America.
Penn State, Florida, Alabama and Oregon are in pursuit, and Rutgers is playing the homer card. Check his offer sheet for more.