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January 23, 2009
Movement in Pa., Mich. and Mo. state rankings
Postseason State Rankings:
The state of Pennsylvania isn't as deep for the class of 2009 as it has been in past years, but there is plenty of talent at the top. And at the top is where you'll find most of the big movement in the final Rivals.com postseason Pennsylvania top 40, including a new No. 1, Monroeville Gateway defensive back Corey Brown.
Brown, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who could play numerous positions in college, passed teammate Dorian Bell for the top spot in the state rankings with back-to-back stellar all-star performances. Playing defensive back at the Hawaii/Mainland all-star game, he intercepted three passes and was all over the field. He followed that by playing wide receiver at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and hauling in a touchdown pass. Brown will play defensive back at Ohio State.
Bell was also a standout at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and averaged nearly nine tackles per game as a senior. The 6-foot, 226-pounder will join Brown at Ohio State. Bell was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in Pennsylvania in the Rivals.com preseason Pennsylvania top 40.
West Scranton offensive tackle Eric Shrive checks in at No. 3 in the state, a bump of two slots from his preseason ranking. Shrive, a 6-7, 285-pounder, played on a team that struggled this past season, but he was outstanding adjusting to playing guard at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He'll play his college ball at Penn State.
Rounding out the top five is Philadelphia Northeast wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes at No. 4 and Springfield Cardinal O'Hara quarterback Tom Savage at No. 5. Stokes caught 45 passes for 555 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season and had a good week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Stokes is a soft verbal commitment to Tennessee. Savage has a rough senior season behind a very inexperienced offensive line but bounced back with a strong week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He will play at Rutgers in college.
The other Pennsylvania players ranked in the final Rivals250 include Beaver Falls wide receiver Todd Thomas and Harrisburg Central Dauphin defensive end Jack Lippert, who check in at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, in the state. Thomas had a big senior season, accounting for more than 1,300 all-purpose yards in leading his team to a 12-1 record. Lippert also had a solid senior year with 11 sacks. Both players will play their college ball at Pitt.
Pittsburgh Penn Hills linebacker Dan Mason, Jeannette athlete Jordan Hall and Homestead Steel Valley defensive tackle Tyrone Ezell round out the top 10. Mason, who will play at Pitt, had 10 sacks as a senior. Hall, who will join Brown and Bell at Ohio State, scored 24 touchdowns as a running back this past season. Ezell, a Chicago native, will play his ball at Pitt with Thomas, Lippert and Mason.
A few of the bigger movers outside the top 10 include Shrive's teammate, linebacker Shawn Bodtmann, who moved up from No. 24 up to No. 18 in the final rankings. Bodtmann is headed to Nebraska. Wexford North Allegheny offensive tackle Ryan Schlieper also made a big move up to No. 28 from No. 34 after a solid senior season. Schlieper will play at Maryland and is the son of former MLB pitcher Rich Schlieper.
New additions to the top 40 include Randor wide receiver Jonathan Coleman, who is headed to Boston College, and Mercerburg Academy offensive tackle Curtis Feight who will play at West Virginia. Both players are new to football in their own way as Coleman played football for the first time as a senior and Feight came over from Germany to play American football for the first time as a junior.
Breaking down the schools with the most commitments in the top 40, Pitt has eight commitments followed by Penn State with seven and Ohio State, Rutgers, UConn and West Virginia with three each.
Moves in Michigan and Missouri
The main changes occurred down the list some with Bennie Fowler, a receiver from Detroit Country Day, moved into the rankings at No. 15. Also making a nice move up was safety Kenneth Watkins of Birmingham Brother Rice at No. 16. Toward the bottom of the ranking were new debuts from Delano Collins at No. 30, Rodney Woodland at No. 33 and Drew Moulton at No. 34.
In the Missouri postseason top 20, the top three players – Sheldon Richardson, Ronnie Wingo Jr. and Nathan Scheelhaase – held down the top spots as they did in the preseason rankings. The only change came at No. 1 where Richardson and Wingo flip-flopped at the top two spots.
The biggest move comes at No. 5 where T.J. Moe of Fort Zumwalt West landed. After a masterful senior season that saw him earn all-state and all-metro honors, Moe moves up ahead of Blue Springs South quarterback Blaine Dalton at No. 6. Making moves into the ranking were Derrion Thomas at No. 16, Mark Hill at No. 18 and Ghaali Muhammad at No. 20.