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January 26, 2006

Pennsylvania changes

At the beginning of the year the Keystone State featured two five-star prospects and three top 100 quarterbacks. Now that the season is done, there are no five stars and a single quarterback is still in the 100. However, there's still plenty of talent on our Rivals.com postseason Pennsylvania Top 50.

Future Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick out of Lebanon moved up two spots to the top of the ratings in the state. The 6-foot-5, 303-pounder had an impressive year accounting for 83 tackles, 47 of which were unassisted. Odrick finished the year with a solid performance in the Army All-American Bowl. The No. 31 player in the country should see a lot of time in Happy Valley next season.

Dropping one spot to No. 2 is Bishop McDevitt running back LeSean McCoy. Early in the year he was rated the top running back, but slipped to No. 7 after suffering a season-ending injury. McCoy was between Virginia Tech and Penn State until he announced recently he'll be waiting until next year due to his need to take classes at Milford Academy. Wherever he goes in 2007, he'll definitely be able to see the field early.

Woodland Hills cornerback Darrin Walls slipped one spot to No. 3 in the final rankings. Walls had an injury-plaugued season, but still showed flashes of the great potential Notre Dame is counting on.

Four-star Harrisburg linebacker Jeremiha Hunter moved up one spot to No. 4 by following up an impressive junior campaign with an excellent senior season despite changing schools. He's now deciding between Iowa, Penn State and Tennessee.

The other in-state power, Pittsburgh comes in at No. 5 with versatile athlete Dorin Dickerson. The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder finished another great year with over 1,850 yards and 28 touchdowns. Dickerson went on to play in the Army All-American Bowl and showed the ability to play either running back or wide receiver with his impressive physical nature. The four-star prospect should see the field early for the Panthers especially considering the loss of Greg Lee.

Maryland hauled in the state's top quarterback at No. 6 in Jeremy Ricker. Bishop McDevitt's Ricker jumped up two spots after leading the Crusaders to a 13-1 record and throwing for 2,195 yards, 30 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. There's an outside chance he could see the field as early as next season for the Terrapins.

Spots No. 7 and 8 go to Penn State again with quarterback Pat Devlin and defensive tackle Tom McEowen. Devlin stayed at No. 7 after another impressive year in which he accounted for nearly 3,300 yards of offense and 35 touchdowns. Devlin will be in the hunt to replace Michael Robinson this fall, although a redshirt year is also possible. Neshaminy's McEowen moved up one spot. He'll be a huge 6-foot-4, 279-pound inside forced for what looks like a great Penn State defensive line.

Pottsgrove's Brent Carter made the most dramatic jump in the rankings, up 26 spots to No. 9. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder will be a nice bruising back for Virginia to compliment New Jersey all-purpose back Kordell Young. Last year Carter ran for over 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Future Notre Dame quarterback Zach Frazer dropped a bit in the rankings after a rough year, throwing for 1,901 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. He did show a strong arm in practice for the Army All-American Bowl on touchdown passes to Hazelton and Harvin.

Pittsburgh pulled in three more recruits at No. 11, 12 and with tight end Nate Byham, defensive tackle John Malecki and athlete Aaron Smith. Byham showed good quickness and hands down in San Antonio, Tex. and has put up big numbers consistently. Malecki moved up 11 spots in the final rankings after having a very impressive season with 100 tackles, 20 for loss and 14 sacks. The 6-foot-0, 180-pound Smith moved up three spots after another solid year in which he racked up over 2,000 yards of offense and 14 touchdowns.

At No. 13, Plymouth-Whitemarsh athlete Da'Rel Scott moved up five spots and more importantly into the Rivals250. He made the move after an astounding senior season that had him rush for over 2,500 yards and score 38 touchdowns. He's headed to Maryland.

Rounding out the four-star prospects in the Keystone State are defensive tackle Jason Kates, fullback Brandon King and cornerback Aaron Berry. Kates and Berry are both Bishop McDevitt stars. Kates is still up in the air between a few schools and will likely choose between Michigan and NC State while Berry is expected to choose between Pitt and West Virginia on Thursday. King had a solid senior season and is expected to be used a lot by Ted Roof at Duke.

A lot of players made some major moves up in the final rankings including No. 17 Elijah Fields, No. 20 Anthony Leonard, No. 26 Abe Koroma, No. 28 Connor Dixon, No. 29 Nate Nix, No. 30 Barry Church, No. 32 Greg Robinson and No. 39 Chris Neild.

Fields jumped up 17 spots after an impressive 1,800 yard season. Leonard moved 25 spots by following his solid junior year with another good performance. Koroma wasn't well known a year ago, but Penn State noticed him and offered early. Dixon slid up 12 spots after a great year in which he had nearly 2,200 yards of offense, 30 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Future Panther Nix moved up 10 spots after a solid season with 88 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Church was another prospect to jump into the ratings after a solid senior year with 80 tackles, eight sacks and three interceptions. Robinson had a strong final year at Scotland School and has become one of the hottest linebackers remaining in this class. Lastly, Neild jumped into the rankings after a good year and a heated recruitment.



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