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February 20, 2014

Ups, downs of latest positional rankings


MORE: Rivals100 | Rivals250

POS: PQB | DQB | RB | APB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DT | WDE | SDE | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH

After observing some of the major combines and reviewing junior films, the Rivals.com analysts have reranked the Class of 2015. Here are some of the notable moves by position as we head into the camp season, with the second annual Rivals Camp Series starting on Saturday in New Orleans.

INSIDE LOOK: RIVALS.COM POSITION RANKINGS
Pro-style quarterbacks
Notable riser: Tyler Hilinski, Upland, Calif. (Up 10 spots)
Notable dropper: Ross Trail, Olive Branch, Miss (Down 9 spots)
Comments: The top 13 names remain the same, with only a minor shuffle in the order. Hilinski is the biggest mover within the list, and Elmwood Park (N.J.) Memorial's Michael Dare is the lone new addition, replacing Denton (Tex) Guyer's Kevin Dillman, who dropped to a 5.5 rating and out of the rankings. California five-stars Josh Rosen and Ricky Town remain Nos. 1 and 2.
Dual-threat quarterbacks
Notable riser: Kyler Murray, Allen, Tex. (Up 2 spots)
Notable dropper: J'Mar Smith, Meridian, Miss. (Down 4 spots)
Comments: Stephenville, Texas' Jarrett Stidham remains No. 1, but he is the only member of the previous top 10 who stays in the same spot. Torrance Gibson of Plantation, Fla, moves over from the athlete position and debuts at No. 2 on the list, while Murray moves up to a 6.0 rating and jumps to No. 3. Detroit Cass Tech's Jayru Campbell drops out of the top 10 and out of the rankings.
All-purpose backs
Notable riser: Cameron Scarlett, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic (Debuts at No. 6)
Notable dropper: Patrick Carr, The Woodlands, Tex. (Down 10 spots)
Comments: What was a top 10 in the first position rankings release grows to a top 20 and features six players that move in from other positions. One of those new additions is Rodney Anderson of Katy, Tex., who was previously listed as a running back but debuts as the No. 1 all-purpose back in this ranking. Previous No. 3, Bradrick Shaw of Hoover, Ala., departs for the running back group.
Running backs
Notable riser: Ronald Jones II, McKinney (Tex.) North (Debuts at No. 2)
Notable dropper: Jay Bradford, Splendora, Tex. (Down 11 spots)
Comments: The biggest news is Jones, who is rated for the first time as a four-star and debuts as the No. 2 running back in the country for the 2015 class. Most of the action, though is in the second half of the list, where prospects like Alec Murphy, Ty'Son Williams, Aca'cedric Ware, KeShawn Vaughn, Myles Gaskin, Nigel Anderson, Tristian Houston and Devonte Williams either move up or are new ratings who debut on the list.
Fullbacks
Notable riser: David Ducre, Mandeville (La.) Lakeshore (Debuts at No. 1)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: This is the first ranking of the class of 2015 fullbacks, but Ducre moves up from a 5.6 rating to a 5.7 to debut as the top-ranked prospect at the position. D'Anthony Hopkins of Cureo, Tex., and Michael Daniel of Brookings, S.D. are new three-stars who fill out the final two spots in the initial ranking.
Wide receivers
Notable riser: Miles Boykin, New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic (Up 18 spots)
Notable dropper: Jazz Ferguson, St. Francesville (La.) East Feliciana (Down 13 spots)
Comments: There was a flip-flop among the top two, with Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch's Calvin Ridley taking over the top spot from Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake's George Campbell, who slides down to No. 2. Both are five-star prospects. Surprisingly there are no new four-stars in this cycle, but several new three-stars. Oak Lawn (Ill.) Richards' Spencer Tears makes the highest debut on the list, checking in at No. 42.
Tight ends
Notable riser: Hale Hentges, Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias (Up 4 spots)
Notable dropper: Devonaire Clarington, Miami Westminster Christian (Down 2 spots)
Comments: The top two remain the same, but Orlando (Fla.) First Academy's Garrett Williams and Hentges take over spots three and four on the list after seeing their stock rise in the last evaluation period. Avon (Conn.) Old Farms' Chris Clark and Columbia (Tenn.) Central's Jackson Harris are new four-stars who both rank in the top 10. The list expands from a top 10 to a top 15, with Clark and four others making their debuts.
Offensive tackles
Notable riser: Richie Petitbon, Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga (Up 9 spots)
Notable dropper: Malik Mackey, Atlanta Mays (Out of the ranking)
Comments: This is another huge position group, but like wide receiver, there are no new four-stars in the bunch. Several of the four-stars in the group, like Petitbon and Martez Ivey of Apopka, Fla., did see their stocks raise slightly, but the top 30 on the list undergoes few changes. The highest debut is at No. 31, where Montverde (Fla.) Academy's Abdul Bello checks in as the highest ranked three-star prospect.
Offensive guards
Notable riser: Lester Cotton, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Central (Up 6 spots)
Notable dropper: none
Comments: The top five remain the same from the previous ranking, but Cotton jumps up to No. 6 and Woodbridge (Va.) C.D. Hylton's Matthew Burrell Jr. migrates over from offensive tackle to debut at No. 7. Alabama commit Dallas Warmack also makes a positive move after earning his fourth star, while Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh's Ellis McKennie is the highest ranked new addition that has not moved over from another position, checking in at No. 20.
Centers
Notable riser: None
Notable dropper: Marvis Brown, Orange (Tex.) Little Cypress-Mauriceville (Down 1 spot)
Comments: Brown's drop from a 5.7 to a 5.6 rating is the only change in this position group. He trades places, then, with Honolulu (Haw.) St. Louis' Fred Ulu-Perry, who takes over the No. 4 spot while Brown ends up at No. 5.
Weakside defensive ends
Notable riser: Josh Sweat, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith (Up 4 spots)
Notable dropper: D'Andre Walker, Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes (Down 7 spots)
Comments: The move by Sweat earns him a spot in a top five that otherwise remains unchanged. Tennessee commit Andrew Butcher also moved higher within the four-stars and makes his first appearance in the top 10, landing at No. 8. The highest debut on the list was made by Keith Joseph Jr. of Pascagoula, Miss., who lands at No. 16 in a rankings that expands from 20 to 25 prospects.
Strongside defensive ends
Notable riser: Chauncey Rivers, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson (Up 8 spots)
Notable dropper: Adam McLean, North Potomac (Md.) Quince Orchard (Down 4 spots)
Comments: Georgia commit Rivers is joined by Darian Roseboro of Lincolnton, N.C., and Jonathan Ledbetter of Tucker, Ga., as four-stars who move up in this evaluation period and finish in the top 10. Roseboro finishes the highest of the trio and lands at No. 5, behind four players who maintain their spots from the last rankings. Several new names make the list for the first time, including Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside's Daytrieon Dean, who debuts at No. 22.
Defensive tackles
Notable riser: Kahlil McKenzie, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle (Up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: Ross Donelly, Cypress (Tex.) Cy-Fair (Out of the ranking)
Comments: While McKenzie makes the biggest move numbers-wise, an equally notable move is Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Jefferson County's CeCe Jefferson, jumping up to the No. 2 spot on the list and earning his fifth star. Those were the only notable moves in the top 20. Clayton (N.C.) Cleveland's Sterling Johnson makes the highest debut on the list, checking in at No. 22. He is one of four new 5.7 three-stars added to the ranking.
Inside linebackers
Notable riser: Leo Lewis, Brookhaven, Miss. (Debuts at No. 2)
Notable dropper: Johnathon Sutton, Swansea, S.C. (Down 2 spots)
Comments: Lewis went from unranked to a four-star and inside the national top 100. His addition bumps Cameron Smith of Granite Bay, Calif., down from No. 4 to No. 5, even though Smith actually raised his stock during this evaluation period and is now rated 5.9. The second-highest debut belongs to TCU commit Semaj Thomas of Forth Worth (Tex.) Southwest, who checks in at No. 11.
Outside linebackers
Notable riser: Roquan Smith, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County (Debuts at No. 5)
Notable dropper: Darrell Williams, Hoover, Ala. (Down 4 spots)
Comments: Smith headlines a group of four new four-star prospects that also includes Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean's Josh Barajas, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei's Ben Humphreys and Tevon Coney of Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.). All rank inside the top 20. Williams was joined by Missouri City (Tex.) Ridge Point's Cameron Townsend as prospects from the previous top 10 who drop, but both remain among the top 13.
Cornerbacks
Notable riser: Isaiah Langley, Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill (Up 7 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The cornerback rankings saw a ton of new talent enter the list after this evaluation period, with Pflugerville (Tex.) Hendrickson's P.J. Mbanasor debuting the highest at No. 24. He is joined by Pasadena (Calif.) Muir's Taeon Mason as new four-stars in this update. The only changes in the top 10 were Hogansville (Ga.) Callaway's Terry Godwin moving out to the athlete position and Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage's Tarvarus McFadden and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Iman Marshall swapping the Nos. 3 and 4 spots, with Marshall now checking in at No. 3.
Safeties
Notable riser: Rashad Roundtree, Evans (Ga.) Lakeside (Debuts at No. 1)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: While no one from the previous ranking saw their stock drop in this update, a ton of new names enter the list. Roundtree makes his debut as the top ranked safety in the country and earns five-stars right off the bat. Jordan Colbert of Griffin, Ga., is the only new four-star, but there are a ton of new three-stars. The list also grows from a ranking of 25 to a ranking of 35, so 10 new names enter theranking while all 25 from the previous list remain.
Athletes
Notable riser: Ryan Newsome, Aledo, Tex. (Up 14 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The athlete position usually sees a lot of names move in and out to other positions, and that was certainly the case in this update. The top five adds Goodwin, who debuts as the No. 1 ranked player at the position, but loses Gibson to dual-threat quarterback. Madison (Ala.) Academy's Kerryon Johnson moves up from 5.9 to. 6.0 and takes over the No. 4 position on the list. The rest of the moves happen in the bottom half, where Newsome and several new three-stars make an appearance.



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