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July 21, 2009

Three earn five-star status in new Rivals100

MORE: The Rivals100 | Ask the experts about the ranking

The top two players are the same, but there are some dramatic changes in the latest update to the Rivals100.

The ranking of the top 100 high school football recruits in the nation features Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall tackle Seantrel Henderson and Temple (Texas) High running back Lache Seastrunk in the top two spots. But after that there was quite a bit of movement throughout the rankings.

Ronald Powell, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound strongside defensive end from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, climbed nine spots to move to No. 3. Kyle Prater - a 6-5, 205-pound wide receiver from Hillside (Ill.) Proviso West - earned his fifth star and bolted up the rankings from No. 19 to No. 4.

Making the biggest move, though, was Sharrif Floyd of Philadelphia Washington. Floyd, who reminds analysts of Corey Simon, cemented his stock as the nation's fastest-rising prospect with a dominating few months that saw him move to No. 9 overall and into the five-star category; he was No. 91 in the previous ranking.

Overall, there are three new five-star players, and the top 17 players in the nation are now five-star prospects. Along with Floyd and Prater, Gardena (Calif.) Serra athlete Robert Woods also earned his fifth star. Woods climbed one spot, from 17th to 16th, but he received a bump to five-star status after dominating last week at the Nike 7-on-7 Tournament.

BIG MOVER
Sharrif Floyd moves up from No. 91 to No. 9 in the Rivals100.

Up, up and away

Six players who weren't in the Rivals250 made debuts in the newest set of rankings. What's even more remarkable is that two now are ranked in the top 50.

Defensive end T.J. Stripling of Decatur (Ga.) Southwest DeKalb is the highest-ranked of the newcomers, at No. 28. He dominated at the Athens Nike Camp and the Tennessee camp, and Stripling reminded analysts of New York Giants defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka with his explosive pass-rushing ability and raw potential.

Palmdale (Calif.) High cornerback Joshua Shaw previously was ranked as a three-star prospect based on defensive game-film review alone. But after seeing him in person, there was no question he is an elite prospect worthy of a spot in the Rivals100. Shaw dominated everywhere he went this spring and summer, showcasing his coverage ability, amazing frame and solid speed. His efforts led him to be ranked as the nation's No. 45 player overall and the No. 3 cornerback.

Pittsburgh Penn Hills cornerback Cullen Christian, Provo (Utah) Timpview defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, New Port Rickey (Fla.) Gulf defensive tackle Leon Orr and Bessemer (Ala.) Jess Lanier outside linebacker LaDarius Owens were the others who weren't in the 250 previously who now are in the top 100.

Some in, some out

Every addition to the Rivals100 means others must fall out to make room. Two notable players ran into off-field issues, which were the central reasons for their removal from the list.

Defensive end Jamel Turner of Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline previously was ranked 30th in the nation, and Charlotte (N.C.) Independence cornerback Victor Hampton was at No. 51. Neither is in the Rivals100 now after off-field issues came to light with both players.

Fre'Shad Hunter, Ahmad Dixon, Zack McCray, Joe Boisture, Jordon James, Paul Jones, Michaelee Harris and C.J. Fiedorowicz were ranked toward the bottom of the Rivals100 in the previous update, but none of them made the list this time around. Still, all will show up in the Rivals250 near the top 100, which will be released Wednesday.

Rankings questions answered

Rivals.com recruiting analysts will answer subscribers' questions about the updated Rivals100 in a mailbag format Tuesday afternoon. Subscribers are encouraged to submit their questions through this submission form Rivals100 Rankings questions.

Not every question will be answered, but the analysts will get to as many as they can and the responses will be posted as part of a special "Rankings Mailbag."

Etc.

The state of Florida led the way with 17 players in the Rivals100, followed by 15 from California and 11 from Texas. Florida will have 44 players in the Rivals250, while California and Texas each will have 34.

Phillip Sims remains the nation's top quarterback prospect, followed by Blake Bell and Jesse Scroggins. But BYU commit Jake Heaps of Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline made a big jump and now is No. 99.

After wowing observers at California's camp, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa of Portland (Ore.) David Douglas moved up from 55th to 19th. He could earn his fifth star with an impressive performance at the upcoming Top Gun Camp.

Safety Dion Bailey of Lakewood (Calif.) High moved into the Rivals100 after strong performances at the USC Rising Star Camp and the Air Strike Passing Tournament this summer. Bailey, a recent Trojans commit, checks in at No. 81.



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