College Football Recruiting: The Top 15 Names for 2012

John SmithCorrespondent IIFebruary 14, 2011

College Football Recruiting: The Top 15 Names for 2012

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    With Jadeveon Clowney committing to South Carolina, the 2011 recruiting season has officially come to an end.

    That being said, it is time to take a look ahead to the 2012 class, and the top high school juniors that will be making recruiting headlines come next year.

    A couple of these prospects have already made commitments, but the rest are in play and have lists of schools that they will be able to choose from.

    Leading up to Signing Day 2012, this list will no doubt change multiple times. However, here is an early look at the top 15 prospects of next year's recruiting class.


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RB Jonathan Gray

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 5-11

    Weight: 195

    High School (Hometown): Aledo HS (Aledo, TX)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Baylor, Florida, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

    Scouting Report: The state of Texas is known for its great high school football, and Jonathan Gray is the state's best running back.

    A versatile back at 5-11, 195, he should make a college football team very happy come next February.

OT John Theus

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-6

    Weight: 292

    High School (Hometown): The Bolles School (Jacksonville, FL)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Carolina 

    Scouting Report: The biggest strength of his game is in run blocking ability. At 6-6, 292 he comes off the ball hard and opens up holes for the running backs. An area of improvement is his pass blocking skills, but he still has quite a bit of time to work on that.

DT Eddie Goldman

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-3

    Weight: 290

    High School (Hometown): Edison-Friendship Public Charter School (Washington D.C.)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, California, Clemson, Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Miami (Fl), Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

    Scouting Report: Goldman has the size to make a major impact at the next level. When looking at the list, he has a lot of schools to decide from. One of those schools will pick up one of the best defensive lineman come next February.

RB Keith Marshall

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 5-11

    Weight: 190

    40 time: 4.32

    High School (Hometown): Millbrook (Raleigh, NC)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech

    Scouting Report: Marshall is one of the best running back recruits of the 2012 class, and he has the speed and agility necessary to make an impact on the next level. The one area of concern is his size, but that can be worked on leading up to fall 2012.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-5

    Weight: 210

    High School (Hometown): Hillcrest (Springfield, MO)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC

    Scouting Report: With wide receivers, you never know what you're going to get. But at 6-5, 210, one school will add a valuable piece to their team in 2012. He needs to put some more weight on to be a stud in college football, and he definitely has the time to do that.

OT Arik Armstead

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-8

    Weight: 275

    High School (Hometown): Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, CA)

    Schools Considering: Committed to USC

    Scouting Report: At 6-8, 275, Armstead will tower over defensive lineman at USC. With his height, he's expected to be a left tackle and to protect the quarterback.

    Armstead has the ability to do this, but he needs to work on technique. In high school, technique isn't important when you are physically dominant over your opponent.

    In college, however, the skill of the opposing players will increase, so it will be imperative that he improves his technique.

DE Mario Edwards

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-4

    Weight: 240

    High School (Hometown): Ryan (Denton, TX)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa

    Scouting Report: While he is no Jadeveon Clowney, Edwards is one of the best prospects of the 2012 class. He comes off the ball quick, and has great closing speed.

S Shaquille Thompson

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-1

    Weight: 180

    High School (Hometown): Grant Union (Sacramento, CA)

    Schools Considering: California, Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA, UNLV, USC

    Scouting Report: Does sports need another Shaquille? Yes, and for one of the above schools, Thompson will be a welcome addition at defensive back. Thompson plays on both sides of the ball, but expect him to play defense in college.

RB Rushel Shell

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 5-11

    Weight: 215

    40 time: 4.45

    High School (Hometown): Hopewell (Aliquippa, PA)

    Schools Considering: Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

    Scouting Report: Unlike the other running backs on this list, Rushel Shell has the size that few other running backs have. At 5-11, 215, he will be able to run between the tackles. However, he still has room for improvement in regards to his elusiveness.

    But at 215 pounds, you are not expecting him to be that elusive to begin with. He is more of a dominating type running back.

DT Dakota Ball

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-2

    Weight: 282

    High School (Hometown): Pepperell (Lindale, GA)

    Schools Considering: Committed to Alabama

    Scouting Report: Ball is 6-2, 282 pound defensive tackle that has already committed to Alabama. He has the size to make an impact, but he steps into a very tough situation at Alabama with the talent that Nick Saban already has.

OT Andrus Peat

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-7

    Weight: 280

    High School (Hometown): Corona Del Sol (Tempe, AZ)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, California, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Miami (Fl), Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Washington

    Scouting Report: Peat is another prototypical left tackle standing at 6-7, 280 pounds. Regardless of the school that he chooses, he should be able to make an impact starting in fall 2012.

CB Armani Reeves

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 5-11

    Weight: 180

    High School (Hometown): Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, MA)

    Schools Considering: Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia, Wake Forest

    Scouting Report: Reeves is another phenomenal athlete on this list. Although he played both wide receiver and running back in high school, he is expected to play on the defensive side of the ball in college.

DE Noah Spence

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-4

    Weight: 240

    High School (Hometown): Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, PA)

    Schools Considering: Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Virginia

    Scouting Report: None of the defensive end recruits, or for that matter any recruit in 2012, is going to match the talent of Jadeveon Clowney. However, Spence is a playmaker that comes off the ball fast and shows great tackling ability.

QB Connor Brewer

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-3

    Weight: 190

    High School (Hometown): Chaparral (Scottsdake, AZ)

    Schools Considering: Commited to Texas

    Scouting Report: Brewer stands tall in the pocket at 6-3, and he will compete for the starting spot when he steps onto the campus in Austin, Texas. He still has a lot of room to improve but has the time to do that.

OLB Kwon Alexander

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    Recruit Overview

    Height: 6-2

    Weight: 210

    High School (Hometown): Oxford (Oxford, AL)

    Schools Considering: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, USC

    Scouting Report: Alexander has the height to be a great outside linebacker for whatever school he decides to attend. He currently plays in a 3-4 defense, and that system will favor him more than a 4-3. However, he has great talent and could fit into either system.