Rarity defines the Class of 2013 in the early stages of the cycle.
Some have compared Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's top overall prospect for the 2013 class, to the late Reggie White.
The first release of the Top247 for the Class of 2013 features two prospects with the “franchise” rating (more than 100) from 247Sports.
The franchise rating is not given every recruiting cycle. Previously, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (who signed with South Carolina) and offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (whos signed with Alabama) were rated 105 and 102, respectively, during the 2011 recruiting cycle. Defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) debuts with a rating of 103, while linebacker Reuben Foster (LaGrange, Ga./Troup) makes his debut with a rating of 102.
Players like Nkemdiche, the nation’s top-ranked 2013 prospect, certainly aren’t present in every recruiting cycle. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder, who has drawn comparisons to the late Reggie White, an all-pro, is a great blend of size and freakish athleticism.
"It has been good to coach (Nkemdiche), because he is such a great player, but also a great person,” Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. “He is playing within our scheme at Grayson and he is doing what he is coached to do. I am proud of his humility and the player he has become. When it comes to play and workout, he puts 100 percent into it."
Conn played college football at Alabama and coaches high school football at the highest level in the state of Georgia, and says that he’s never seen an athlete like Nkemdiche on the football field.
"(Nkemdiche) is by far the best I have ever seen, and I mean he plays so hard,” Conn said. “It is so hard to get a player to play as hard as Robert does on every single play. He literally plays like his hair on fire on every single play. I have been around great players but never anybody that plays this hard and fast at his size. He just produces and that is what makes him so special and so fun to coach."
Nkemdiche has offers from all over the country. Alabama is thought to be the early frontrunner, but LSU is strong as well. He visited Alabama this past weekend unofficially for the Tide's game with LSU.
Another unique aspect of this cycle- there is another special prospect in the same state as the No. 1 prospect, one who could have been the No. 1 prospect in another recruiting cycle. Foster is the best linebacker prospect in the entire country (all classes) on the high school level. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder has been a star since his sophomore year (he may have been the top linebacker prospect in the country even that year), has natural instincts and speed
"I didn't know how exactly fast he was until a few weeks ago when we had four touchdown lead against a team and Foster ran a kid down from 60 yards all the way across the field with a bad ankle,” Troup County head coach Charles Flowers said. “That is just a testimony to what type of player he is, others would have quit being up on a team that much, but not Reuben. That one play is what makes him special, that one play. Reuben is a leader, he is going to get it done and he is going to make everybody else get it done too on his team. He is a very likeable kid and you can count him to bust his tail for his teammates. I can't think of one single person that dislikes Reuben to be honest. Recruiting has not phased him at all. He wants to play all the time at any position I will let him."
Foster is a natural, competitive football player. At the Atlanta MVP Camp in March, a setting where many elite linebackers would simply go through the motions (it’s a position that, after all, thrives on play in pads and contact), Foster was flying around in pass defense drills, tipping passes, covering receivers and taking extra reps at various positions. In an era when love of playing the game is a legitimate question mark for many talented prospects, Foster has zero issues in that department. Certainly he's the No. 2 player in the country and a franchise prospect based on what he does in pads in game settings, but the camp performance just reinforced what Flowers (and 247Sports) already knew about his intense approach to every aspect of playing and training for the sport.
Foster had a combined 222 tackles in both his freshman and sophomore seasons at Troup and is well on his way to triple digit tackles this season.
Foster remains firm to the Crimson Tide, the team he grew up pulling for.
Top quarterbackThe nation’s top quarterback prospect is Kevin Olsen (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills). Olsen is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and plays for his father at Wayne Hills High. Olsen has an excellent arm, good size and feet and operates out of a pro-style offense at the high school level.
-No five-star prospects have been uncovered in the state of Texas so far and there’s a chance 2013 will feature no five-stars from the Lone Star State. There very well could be one or more at some point, we just haven’t seen it yet.
-No five-star prospects have been uncovered in the state of California so far. Now, there are bound to be some stars pop up in the Golden State at some point.
-There are two linebackers from the state of Indiana among the top prospects in the country in Jaylon Smith (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) and Tim Kimbrough (Indianapolis/Warren Central). Hardly a football powerhouse, it is rare for the Hoosier State to have one elite prospect, much less two.
Rusty Mansell contributed to this report