In 2011, the top five in the Rivals 100 are:
1. Jadeveon Clowney (DE), Rock Hill, SC: 6'6", 247 pounds (uncommitted)
2. Curtis Grant (LB), Richmond, VA: 6'3", 222 pounds (uncommitted)
3. George Farmer (WR), Gardena, CA: 6'2", 192 pounds (committed to USC)
4. Cyrus Kouandjio (OL), Hyattsville, MD: 6'6", 322 pounds (uncommitted)
5. De'Anthony Thomas (ATH), Los Angeles, CA: 5'9", 160 pounds (committed to USC)
So How'd They Do?
This one's the biggest reach, in that these kids are eight months from seeing the field in college. But I'll take a shot.
First off, I know everyone is going nuts about Clowney's athleticism for his size. But on a totally different note, I've read that he may milk his decision for a few weeks after Signing Day, which brings back memories of Bryce Brown and Terrelle Pryor. He doesn't need any more time; he simply wants to prolong the spotlight, which doesn't show me that this kid may have more on his mind than simply getting to work.
Curtis Grant should just pull the trigger for Ohio State. These coaches know what they're doing, and getting the top tackler from the Army All-American game is a huge start.
George Farmer is a confusing one to me. The kid has all the abilities, but I hate when scouts make the observation that he has the tendency to "take plays off." USC has too many stellar athletes at WR, and a smart QB will start avoiding a guy he can't count on.
Cyrus Kuoandijo will be tested wherever he chooses to play college ball, and most are predicting Alabama. His competition has been less than stellar in high school, and he's about to face top competition week after week. I still think he'll flourish under Nick Saban, but it's not a sure thing by any stretch.
De'Anthony Thomas would have been my pick for No. 1 on this board, and given the fact he's listed at 160 pounds, that's saying something. His coverage abilities in the Army All-American Game were unbelievable, and nothing short of a foolish switch to offense (he's flirted the idea of playing running back) can stop him.
Other Big Names in the 100?
Now it's time for my predictions for standouts in this class:
11. James Wilder Jr. (RB): Never bet against a kid who attacks the weight room like this guy does. However, this comes with two conditions: No. 1. A move to defense where he can put on weight and be a dominating LB, and No. 2. It happening soon, so he doesn't flip flop like a lot of superior athletes can at the next level.
26. Colt Lyerla (ATH): The sky is the limit for this kid. At 6'5" and 225, this kid has room to grow and could become a dominating edge rusher in college. However, just like Wilder, some are suggesting a move to offense, which would minimize his ability to make a difference on each and every play.
32. Jeff Driskel (QB): I loved what I saw from this kid in the Under Armor game. Although he can make yards with his legs, he used them predominantly to keep plays alive with his eyes downfield on his receivers.
41. Michael Bennett (DT): Yet another defensive tackle for Ohio State to groom, and then unleash on opposing backfields.
80. Delvon Simmons (DT): This guy was an animal at the Army AA game, and only goes 265 (at 6'5"). If he puts 20+ pounds on that frame, and keeps his athleticism, watch out.
And just for the heck of it, one kid (who's outside the Top 100) that I think we'll all be talking about in a few years:
193. Michael Eubank (QB): I simply don't understand why there wasn't more hype around this kid. He dominated at a top school in Southern California (Corona Centennial) as a senior. He looked amazing at the NUC All World Gridiron Classic Game, and at 6'5" and 230 pounds, he's the spitting image of Cam Newton, with possibly a better arm to boot! Here's video from his senior season.