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October 14, 2009

Big men make big moves in Rivals250

MORE: New names in Rivals250 | Rivals250 chat

Camps are in the rearview mirror. Seven-on-sevens are a thing of the past. As Rivals.com continues to update its top 100 and top 250 players in the Class of 2010, all current and future adjustments will be based on one thing - the way a player performs in pads.

Summer is the time for wide receivers, defensive backs and quarterbacks to showcase their speed and arm strength. Fall is the time for the physical to emerge. Consequently, in the first Rivals250 update based solely on in-game performances, it is fitting that two of the biggest movers are big nasties on the offensive line.

On Tuesday with the unveiling of the Rivals100, Olive Branch, Miss., offensive tackle and Auburn commit Shon Coleman made the jump from a three-star on the cusp of four-star status to one of the most highly rated offensive tackles in the country and the No. 76 player overall.

A similar movement headlines the release of the Rivals250. Texas A&M offensive tackle commit Shep Klinke entered the 2009 season as a solid three-star prospect. But after dominating everyone in front of him as a senior at Katy (Texas) High School he's earned a much higher standing. Along with a bump to four-star status, Klinke debuted in the Rivals250 at No. 130.

After watching Klinke easily handle a talented Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus squad back in September, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Barry Every came away very impressed.

"[Klinke is a] massive offensive lineman that has strong arms and can move his feet after engaging defenders," Every noted after the game. "Klinke played with a mean streak as he drove several opponents to the turf, and he is a natural knee and hip bender."

That upgrade only adds to an already highly rated Texas A&M offensive line class. Klinke becomes the fourth Aggies offensive line commit rated as a four-star prospect.

Not all news was good news for Texas A&M fans, though. Dallas Skyline linebacker and Aggies commit Corey Nelson fell from the No. 45 player nationally to No. 149. He was joined by Cody Riggs (66 to 103) and Damien Robinson (79 to 170) as players who fell from the Rivals100 to the Rivals250.

Florida commit Jonathan Dowling took an even bigger hit, falling from No. 62 nationally to all the way out of the Rivals250.

Those drops, however, made room for some big jumps:

The second-biggest debut on the list came from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive tackle Cassius Marsh. The U.S. Army All-American still won't be the highest-rated prospect on his loaded high school team, but his performances on some big stages have been too impressive to ignore.

LSU cornerback commit Tyrann Mathieu emerged from obscurity this summer with some strong performances at camps to earn four-star status. This fall, however, he has proved that he is more than just a camp all-star. Mathieu has done a little bit of everything for his New Orleans St. Augustine program and debuts at No. 239 in the Rivals250.

While Mack Brown remains the top-rated running back in the state of Georgia, two other in-state backs gained some ground. Rajaan Bennett of Powder Springs (Ga.) Mceachern and Rajion Neal of Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek have both put together monster senior campaigns to earn appearances among the top 250 at No. 235 and 245, respectively.

Geneo Grissom, a sack machine out of Hutchinson, Kan., went from three-star prospect to within the top 250 with a monster start to his senior season.

MORE: The Rivals250 | New names in Rivals250 | Rivals250 chat

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