Top 25 National High School Football Recruits
Top 25 Football Prospects In 2013 Class
Well, the regular season for college football has come to an end. Which means bowl season is upon us, and National Signing Day after that.
That makes this the perfect time to give an updated look at the top 25 National High School Football Recruits.
This kind of list rarely stays the same. Injuries, high school seasons, camp circuits, all star games, etc. all have impacts on where the recruits are ranked.
This list is vastly different than how it was last August, and will surely change again before NSD. After all, now that the high school seasons are over, we get to look forward to the all star games. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the Under Armour All-America Game and the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl are the biggest all star games, with the Army game being the most notable.
One thing to note with this years class is the caliber of talent on defense. While there are certainly some very talented offensive players in this class, the defense really takes the cake. All three levels of the defense (line, linebackers and secondary) all are very well represented in my ranking.
The offensive line and quarterbacks have the fewest prospects on this list, while the defensive line and backs both have the most.
Overall, there's fourteen defensive players and eleven offensive players. While that may seem somewhat even, four out of the top five players are all on the defensive side of the ball, making the caliber of the defense so extraordinary.
The prospect I've ranked number one might surprise some people. It's a very close call between the players at one and two, but the film never lies.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the top 25 college football prospects in the United States…
#25: E.J. Levenberry Jr. - Outside Linebacker
The standout linebacker from C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, is currently committed to the Florida State Seminoles. At 6'3'' 226lbs, he offers excellent size for his position, and compliments that with fantastic speed and agility. He's truly a sideline to sideline playmaker, and will fit perfectly into the classic 'Noles outside 'backer position.
#24: Grant Hill - Offensive Tackle
At 6'6'' 315lbs, you can't ask for better size. And considering how big he is, he's remarkably agile. He has excellent mechanics for the position already, and could step in and play right away. That'll be possible too. Hill, from Huntsville, Alabama, is committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide will be looking to replace soon to be departed D.J. Fluker on the right side of their offensive line. The Tide played elite line prospect Cyrus Kouandjio as a true frosh two years ago, and they may do it again for Hill.
#23: Leon McQuay III - Safety
This star safety from Armwood High School in Seffner, Florida, is currently uncommitted, but could be close to making a decision. The Vanderbilt Commodores, the Southern Cal Trojans and the Florida State Seminoles are all in his top three. Most indications have McQuay going to Vandy, which would make him the highest ranked prospect the 'Dores have ever signed.
#22: Ricky Seals-Jones - Athlete
The insanely athletic nephew of Eric Dickerson is a physical marvel at 6'5'' 220lbs. He's excelled at numerous positions at Sealy High School (quarterback, wide receiver, safety and kick returner), and could play any of those positions at the next level. Seals-Jones, currently uncommitted, will be making his decision in the next few days. I think the LSU Tigers will win the battle for his services.
#21: Taquan Mizzell - Running Back
This fantastic all-purpose back hails from Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is the latest elite player to come out of 'The 757'. Mizzell is currently committed to the Virginia Cavaliers, where he will be a good fit in Mike London's various offensive schemes. Considering the coaching staff shakeup occurring in Charlottesville, there's still a chance he could change his mind about the Cavs.
#20: Kenny Bigelow - Defensive Tackle
This 6'3'' 295lb monster from Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland, is currently committed to the Southern Cal Trojans. He reminds me a lot of Shaun Cody coming out of high school, and Cody blew up in defensive line coach Ed Orgeron's penetrating scheme at SC. Bigelow could have similar success.
#19: Jonathan Allen - Defensive End/Linebacker
Allen, from Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, offers excellent versatility at 6'3'' 255lbs. He's excellent at both rushing the passer and stopping the run, making him an ideal candidate for either defensive end or outside linebacker. Technically he's an end, but considering he's going to play for the Alabama Crimson Tide's 3-4 defense, he'll probably play outside linebacker.
#18: Laquon Treadwell - Wide Receiver
The star pass-catcher from Crete Monee High in Crete, Illinois, is uncommitted at this time, but has narrowed his list to two schools. While the Oklahoma Sooners still have a chance, Treadwell has indicated that the Ole Miss Rebels are clearly in the drivers seat at this point in time. The 6'3'' 200lb wideout would be a perfect fit in Hugh Freeze's high octane offense.
#17: Laremy Tunsil - Offensive Tackle
The 6'6'' 295lb beast is incredibly athletic, especially considering his immense size. Hailing from Columbia High School in Lake City, Florida, Tunsil is currently uncommitted. All indications are pointing to a duel between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the top tackles services. Inside sources to Tunsil have indicated that the 'Dawgs could have the lead.
#16: Derrick Henry - Athlete
This star 'ball player from Yulee Florida is technically being recruited as an athlete, but he'll certainly be playing running back next year for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He's truly a physical marvel at 6'3'' 250lbs with a laser timed 4.4 second 40 yard dash and a 40" vertical leap. Henry rushed for a jaw dropping 4,260 yards and 55 touchdowns this year alone. For his prep career he set a national rushing record with 12,121 rushing yards. He's the real deal, folks.
#15: Greg Bryant - Running Back
After the praise I just heaped on Derrick Henry, you must wonder why he's not the top running back in the country. I actually have him ranked third. Bryant, from Delray Beach Florida, is a more complete back, with better hands and feet. He's excellent at reading a defense and making proper adjustments. He's the son of a football coach, which explains a lot. Bryant is currently uncommitted, but after a fantastic visit to South Bend to see the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, he could be dreaming of Touchdown Jesus.
#14: Matthew Thomas - Outside Linebacker
This star outside linebacker from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami is prototypical of what to expect from south Florida star football players. He's big, fast and very athletic. He's currently uncommitted, but could be leaning towards the Florida State Seminoles. At 6'3'' 205lbs, he fits the mold of linebackers that FSU loves.
#13: Montravious Adams - Defensive Tackle
This elite 6'3'' 290lbs tackle, from Dooly Georgia, is currently uncommitted, and hasn't give a whole lot of indication as to who he's favoring. Most sources point to the Georgia Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers in the lead. Wherever he goes, he could play immediately. He's equally adept at rushing the passer and stuffing the run. Considering his constant contact with the Bulldogs staff, and his location, I'd have to assume the 'Dawgs are in the lead.
#12: Vernon Hargreaves III - Cornerback
The star defensive back from Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida, is currently committed to the Florida Gators. He'll be an excellent fit in Will Muschamps's high flying defense. Hargreaves is a playmaker in the finest sense of the word. While going against elite competition, he finished his senior year with more than a hundred tackles, four forced fumbles and five interceptions.
#11: Jaylon Smith - Outside Linebacker
Smith, from Bishop Luers High in Fort Wayne Indiana, is choosing to join the ferocious defense in nearby South Bend. He'll be an excellent fit with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, especially considering his playmaking skills. He's the fastest linebacker in the country, and at 6'3'' 215lbs, has the frame to get even bigger. The Irish are getting a good one here, folks.
#10: Max Browne - Quarterback
Most have Browne, from the powerhouse Skyline High School in Sammamish Washington, as the number one signal caller in the class. While I agree he's elite, he doesn't quite have the arm strength that you would expect from a player of his size (6'5'' 215lbs). He's a heady player though, and makes excellent reads. He's a perfect fit for the pro-style scheme in which he'll play with the Southern Cal Trojans.
#9: O.J. Howard - Tight End
It takes a rare talent for a tight end to be ranked this high, but Howard is absolutely worthy of such a lofty status. Simply put, he's the best prep tight end I've ever seen on film. WIth a 6'6'' 220lb frame, the possibilities are endless for this freak athlete. Howard, from Autauga Academy in Autauga Alabama, is electing to stay close to home and play for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
#8: Jalen Ramsey - Cornerback
Ramsey, from Brentwood Academy in Nashville, is committed to the Southern Cal Trojans. This elite cornerback is a ballhawk, and offers excellent size for the position at 6'0'' 190lbs. He's superb in both man and zone coverages, and will be needed to defend against the high powered offenses in the Pac 12.
#7: Derrick Green - Running Back
Green is as physically menacing as running backs get at a jacked 6'0'' 230lbs. He has the skills to be considered a complete back, but his hands are overshadowed by his downhill running style, which proves to be punishing. Green, from Hermitage High in Richmond Virginia, is uncommitted right now, but many are speculating that the Michigan Wolverines are the team to beat for his services. He should be an excellent fit in Offensive Coordinator Al Borges pro-style offense.
#6: Su'a Cravens - Safety
Cravens is the top safety for a reason. This standout defensive back, from Vista Murrieta High in Murrieta, California, is fantastic in all phases of the game. He's a powerful run stuffer and also has the speed to keep up with wide receivers in coverage. Cravens is committed to the Southern Cal Trojans, and should pair nicely with fellow five star commit Jalen Ramsey. Cravens will be the next great SC safety in the mold of T.J. McDonald.
#5: Kendall Fuller - Cornerback
Fuller's entire family, it seems, either played or plays for the Virginia Tech Hokies, and he'll be no different. The Hokies proved this year they're in need of an infusion of talent on their usually stellar defense, and Fuller will help solve that riddle. Fuller, from the elite Good Counsel High in Olney, Maryland, isn't necessarily the biggest or fastest corner in the country, but has remarkable on field awareness. His superb playmaking skills are attributed to this. He's a ballhawk in the finest sense of the word, and will help the Hokie secondary immediately.
#4: Shane Morris - Quarterback
I'm confident I'm the only person alive who ranks him this highly, but his skills merit such a lofty ranking in my eyes. He's got the strongest arm from probably the past three recruiting classes, and has the fire that you need in your team leader. His physical skills are incredibly impressive, but his fire and intensity is one of a kind in this years QB class. Morris, from De La Salle High in Warren, Michigan, is committed to his home state Michigan Wolverines, and could push Devin Gardner for the starting gig next year. He's a perfect fit in the Wolverines pro-style offense.
#3: Reuben Foster - Middle Linebacker
Foster, from Auburn, Alabama, ironically, was committed to the hometown Auburn Tigers until this afternoon. Foster had remained steadfast in his school choice throughout the coaching change, but de-committed when he learned the coach who was recruiting him, Trooper Taylor, might not be retained by new coach Gus Malzahn. There's a chance Taylor will stick around, especially considering he's a good coach and a phenomenal recruiter, but currently being investigated by the NCAA won't help his chances. Foster has indicated he'll follow Taylor wherever he goes. Whoever gets Taylor and Foster will get a heck of a linebacker. At 6'2'' 230lbs, Foster's got the strength and speed to play either inside or out, and is a punishing tackler.
#2: Robert Nkemdiche - Defensive End
I realize everyone has this stud from Loganville, Georgia, number one overall, on just about every ranking. And he could very well end up number one on this list before National Signing Day. His play throughout the all star games will be very telling of his true position on this list. At a shredded 6'5'' 270lbs, he certainly looks the part. He's fantastic against the run, but hasn't displayed the variety of pass rushing skills and moves necessary to be number one. His older brother, Denzel, is starring right now for the Ole Miss Rebels, and his mother has made her desire to see them play together apparent. All signs are pointing Nkemdiche to Oxford, Mississippi.
#1: Carl Lawson - Defensive End
Lawson is the complete package as a defensive end. He's fantastic against the run and is as developed of a pass rusher that we've seen since All-Galaxy prospect/player Jadeveon Clowney. His film utterly blows me away. In one on one drills against some of the best offensive linemen in this years class, he simply man handles them. At 6'2'' 255lbs, his size is the only thing that isn't elite. If this Auburn Tigers commit had Nkemdiche's size, he'd be the most heralded prospect since Clowney.