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August 15, 2013

Ranking the all-time five-stars: Ohio

MORE: Florida - Georgia - Louisiana - Md./D.C. - N.C.

As Georgia and Louisiana continue to produce talented players, it has come at the expense of Ohio among states at the top of the high school football totem pole.

The Buckeye State had a run in the mid-2000s when it might have made an argument to turn the Big Three of Florida, Texas and California into a Big Four, but that has slowly changed.

Ted Ginn Jr. was the highest-ranked player to come from Ohio as the No. 2 player in the class of 2004. His successes have been limited, and he represents the head of an otherwise unspectacular group of high school five-stars from Ohio.

Name Year/Rank
1 Ted Ginn Jr. 2004 No. 1
2 Chris Wells 2006 No. 3
3 Mike Adams 2008 No. 3
4 Prescott Burgess 2003 No. 6
5 Kyle Rudolph 2008 No. 20
6 Latwan Anderson 2010 No. 15
7 Jordan Hicks 2010 No. 16
8 Devier Posey 2008 No. 21
9 Alex Boone 2005 No. 20
10 Fred Davis 2004 No. 19

We Missed On...
Donte Whitner 2003 No. 27
From the class of 2002 -- when Rivals.com established the Rivals100 -- to the class of 2013, there have been 11 states to have double-digit players earn five-star rankings. This week, it is time to turn back the clock and put those players in order based on what they did in high school.

None of the players identified as midseason five-stars for the class of 2014 is considered for this ranking. Each is subject to change through the regular season and all-star game evaluations.

Ohio has had 17 players rated five-stars by Rivals.com, but most have been marginal players instead of the standouts many wanted.

Ginn, Chris Wells, Mike Adams, Devier Posey and Alex Boone were part of a very successful time at Ohio State, but their ceilings may have been lower than Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell initially expected.

"It seems odd that the state of Ohio has only had four prospects ranked in the top 10 nationally in all our years of the Rivals100, but that's the case," he said. "Ginn Jr. is the choice at No. 1 barely over Beanie Wells, and both went on to great success at Ohio State. Adams was so talented, with his combination of size and athleticism, that it's hard to believe he underachieved, while Boone falls into a similar category although less athletic.

"This is one of the most disappointing lists overall, with only Ginn and Wells making it as first-rounders and joining Rudolph and Boone as having solid but unspectacular NFL careers thus far."

Among the others who did not make the cut for the high school re-rank were still-in-college Adolphus Washington and Kyle Kalis. The disappointments, however, continued with Latwan Anderson and Maurice Clarett never reaching their potential.

Anderson was heavily recruited and chose Miami. He left the program, went to East Mississippi Community College and declared he was then going to Cincinnati. He didn't, and he hasn't been heard from on the football field since.

Clarett led the Buckeyes to a national championship and then unsuccessfully challenged the NFL draft eligibility rules. He was arrested in 2006 and was found to have a katana, a loaded AK-47 and two handguns, and he was wearing Kevlar body armor. After spending time in prison, he played a season with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League and in May of 2013 joined the Tiger Rugby Club outside of Columbus, Ohio.

Farrell said the talent wasted by Anderson was more disappointing, and he added there was another player from the Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville secondary who should have been given a fifth star.

"Donte Whitner was No. 27 overall in 2003 and just missed the cut as a five-star," Farrell said. "He and Antonio Cromartie are corners from that class who clearly proved they should have earned that coveted distinction."

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