The 5-star recruit. It's the status every high school football player in the country wants and only a very select few can call themselves one. They are the best of the best, elite of the elite and the players that every major program has made a priority to sign.
For this piece, I'm going to strictly focus on the uncommitted 5-star recruits and give you a quick update on the latest news and/or rumors regarding their recruitment.
Hopefully you'll feel this is a 5-star read. Here we go.
Perhaps the very most athletic offensive line prospect in the entire country, Humphries is a 6'6", 265 pound pure LT prospect that reminds many of D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
He has a host of offers from everyone, and the latest is still the norm with him: He really likes the Florida Gators.
It's only a matter of time for the Guys in Gainesville to receive Humphries' commitment, as he has stated he loves the city, team and history of the program.
6'5" and over 330 pounds, Simmons is an elite OL prospect that can play OT or OG. I have seen him up close and in person, and I can attest to his size. On tape, Simmons plays with good athleticism for a big man and has solid strength.
The latest has him saying he is looking for a program he is comfortable with and has coaching stability. He says Miami, USC, Utah, Washington, Colorado and Cal are recruiting him the hardest.
McCarthy made a name for himself at the junior Army game combine by dominating the one on ones. Now, he's a 6'5", 300-plus pound DT with almost no baby fat and great strength.
McCarthy is a national level recruit, with Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee having offered. Yet, many claim he is a USC lean at this point.
6'7" and 270 pounds, Murphy is wide and long framed tackle with long arms to stay clean from rushers, easy slide and mirror ability as a pass protector and bends very easily in his knees.
His 270 pound frame easily can tack on weight in college and I think he is a pure LT prospect. The latest update for Murphy has him focused on four schools in Stanford, USC, Cal and Oregon.
So in all likelihood, Murphy is Pac-12 bound.
Hamilton got slighted a bit yesterday in the first ESPNU 150 list, as he was not a 5-star recruit and ranked in the 60s. Yet he is a 5-star caliber player in my book, so I have him on this list.
6'4", 245 pounds, Hamilton great play strength along with snap quickness, closing ability, range and pass rush instincts.
The latest with him is his stating that Rutgers is his leader.
Garnett is listed as an OG, but it seems many schools feel he can and will be able to kick out to OT. 6'5", 275 pounds, Garnett has great athleticism, agility, balance and good movement skills on the offensive front.
For awhile, it seemed like this would be an Oregon vs. Washington battle, but recently, Garnett has stated he is highly intrigued by Notre Dame. He has researched the Irish academic programs thoroughly, loves the tradition and will likely take a trip there in the fall.
The top flank LB prospect in the nation, Alexander is a joy to watch on tape. He plays with excellent play speed and range, is a great blitzer and can hold his own in pass coverage thanks to great athletic ability on his 6'2", 210 pound frame.
Hailing from Alabama, the Tide and Auburn will be in the race until the end. Also look out for Oregon; however, Alexander still seems fairly open at this point and won't announce until signing day in all likelihood.
LSU, Miami, Florida, USC, Tennessee, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State have also offered.
Washington is a big DE prospect at 6'5", 250 pounds, but he is also so athletic that many programs are recruiting him as an OLB.
He can rush the passer with a quick first step, has long arms to keep blockers out of his body, solid play strength, can bend for a big man and shows a quick close on the ball.
He has named a top five in no order in Ohio State, Kentucky, Miami, Alabama and Michigan.
Winston is the top dual threat QB in the country, and the 6'4", 200 pound signal caller is rated the No. 2 overall QB prospect for 2012. He combines a strong arm with quick feet, play speed and instincts like a RB.
Winston is a very good baseball player and is considered a good prospect for the 2012 MLB Draft. He says he wants to see where he is drafted and could play college baseball.
Look for Alabama to win out over schools like LSU, Florida State, Stanford, Oklahoma, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.
The top WR in the South, Roland is a 6'1", 180 pound smooth and graceful receiver. He glides off the line is his release, can scoot all over the field and is almost Lynn Swann-esque.
He has a slew of offers, but is down to a core four of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida. I like the Gamecocks' chances for the Palmetto State native.
A decision could come in the coming weeks.
Goldman is a 6'4", DT that weighs over 305 pounds. He is very, very strong on his feet, quick to sit and anchor vs. double teams can make a mess in the middle.
I think he fits best in a 30-front as a nose, or an end, but Goldman wants to play the three-technique in a 4-3 scheme ultimately.
He has just narrowed his list down to a top 15 in alphabetical order consisting of:
Alabama, Auburn, California,Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina,North Carolina State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia.
Young is a 6'5", 270 pound noted fisherman that also pancakes defensive ends and protects QBs in his spare time. The latter likely will help pay for his college education because he's very, very good at it.
With his recruitment, it looks like Oklahoma leads, with Alabama, Florida and Georgia among others in the hunt. Look for the Sooners to win out in due time.
Jones is a 6'5", 290 pound DT prospect that combines snap quickness, strength at the point of attack and solid short area pursuit range vs. the run.
He gave a soft verbal to Penn State, and everyone figured that would be the end of his recruitment. We were wrong, as Jones has said he will take all five official visits in the fall.
One of the visits is surely to be to Syracuse, whom Jones has a very, very good and open relationship with. He was just in Upstate NY this past weekend and spent hours with the staff, even going as far as to say he speaks with the Orange staff more than he does with Penn State.
Shell is a 5'11", 215 pound RB from Pennsylvania that has the size, speed, instincts and quickness to be an every down back in college. He could make an instant impact as a true freshman.
Shell has not done many media interviews, but seems to be considering schools like Pitt, Ohio State, Auburn, Florida, Penn State, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oregon and Virginia.
The top safety is the country, Thompson is a 6'1", 180 pounder that can play potentially all four DB positions for a back end. He hits like a strong safety, has the range of a free safety and can play corner for a zone scheme defense.
He pledged to Cal early, but re-opened himself up. Look for Cal to win out, but for USC, Tennessee and Notre Dame to be among other schools seriously considered.
6'2", 320 pounds, Evans is a wrecking ball in the middle. Playing with excellent strength at all times, he can walk a guard back into the passer, collapse the middle and close or plug the run by anchoring and making a mess.
He's one the top players in the country, and the latest has him favoring Mississippi State over Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss.
Diggs is one of the best all around football players in the country. 6'0", 190 pounds, he can factor all over the place, but I like him best as WR. He's very quick and sudden, and while he doesn't have elite long speed, he's fast enough.
The programs that seem to standout for him are Miami, Virginia Tech, Florida, Alabama, Florida, Michigan and South Carolina. He'll make his choice at the Army game.
6'6", 295 pounds, Theus is one of the premier OT prospects in the country. He can plat LT or RT and really excels in run blocking by showing great leg strength, hand placement and finish ability.
He has narrowed his list down to a prime six of Georgia, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Alabama.
Spence is the best pass rusher in the country and stands 6'4", 240 pounds. He has an excellent first snap, explodes by blockers, has tremendous foot speed and closes on QBs in a flash. Spence can also play stand up 3-4 OLB.
He is considering schools like North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Pitt, USC, Pitt, Syracuse, Maryland and Michigan, among others.
Marshall is a 5'11", 190 pound speedster that can score from anywhere at anytime. He has a great burst to and through run alleys, jumps LBs on the second level and can scoot to the edges and turn the corner.
He has a top 12 of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia,Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Stanford, and USC, but Miami and Oregon have made it a top 14.
Peat is an excellent OT prospect that will be a great LT in college. He stands 6'7" and weighs over 280 pounds with long arms, good feet, easy movement, knee bend, patience and strength.
He has narrowed his list down to a top 13 in no order of Alabama, Oregon, Arkansas, USC, Florida, Michigan, Florida State, Auburn, Texas, Stanford, Nebraska, Miami and Notre Dame.
Kiel is the top QB prospect in the country. 6'4", 220 pounds, he plays with good pocket presence, scans the field well, has a good enough arm to attack outside the numbers, is very accurate,and flashes some running ability.
He is down to basically Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan and Indiana from various reports. It looks like OU is the leader, but each school is confident, as a decision could be made by this Sunday.
DGB is a big time talent and WR prospect that has heard his name mentioned and compared to some of the greats in the game today. 6'6", 220 pounds with 44. speed, he has the size, speed and skill level to be an instant star.
He has an offer from every major FBS school, and recently had an unofficial visit to Oklahoma, which he enjoyed. He is keeping his options open, as his recruitment will be a slow and thorough process.