The first major update of the Class of 2015 Top247 features multiple significant changes.
New five-star cornerback Iman Marshall has been dominant on the field for Long Beach (Calif.) Poly so far this season.
The early release of recruiting rankings and the speeding up of the college football recruiting cycle leads to prospects moving up and down within a ranking on a greater scale than previously. With more than a year (and nearly two years at initial release) remaining between now and the time these prospects sign, a prospect’s “delta” is much wider with regards to the range that they will end up as opposed to where they start. Therefore, it’s reasonable that there are plenty of big numbers when you look at the movement on today’s list. There are more than 40 prospects making their debut in the Top247 this release.
Our analysts have been on the road consistently since August and have had a heavy focus on 2015. We also have two new additions to our team in National Recruiting Insiders Kipp Adams and Ryan Bartow who have been invaluable to the process. New analysts bring new opinions and thus plenty of change.
247Sports recruiting rankings are long-term projections that take film evaluation, in-person evaluations both eyeball test-wise and at games, measurables like height, weight, speed, explosion and agility testing numbers, production at the high school level and feedback from coaches at all levels and scouts and analysts both in and outside of the 247Sports network.
-Jumbo athlete Canton Kaumatule (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou) remains the No. 1 overall prospect. That being said, we have identified several 2015s that could end up giving him a run for his money on the top spot when all is said and done.
-The number of five-star prospects in this cycle increased from 18 to 27. The new fives are cornerbacks Kevin Toliver II (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Kendall Sheffield (Missouri City, Texas/Fort Bend Marshall), defensive tackle Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson), quarterback/athlete Torrance Gibson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage), linebackers Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) and Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier), blazing all-purpose back Taj Griffin (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) and athlete Jaason Lewis (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes).
-There was significant movement in the state of California this update, but the fact remains that it is a banner year for talent in the Golden State, which produces more NFL talent than any other state on an annual basis. There are 41 prospects rated four-stars or higher in California thus far this cycle.
Could No. 2 overall prospect Terry Beckner Jr. of East St. Louis, Ill., eventually be No. 1 in the 2015 class?
-Quarterback, cornerback and defensive tackle are particularly deep positions for the 2015 cycle. It’s the best cycle for quality signal callers in years, there are three five-star cornerback prospects and there could end up being as many as five and three defensive tackles are among the top 10 prospects in the country with five rated five stars and several on the verge.
-Offensive tackle is a spot that isn’t as strong in terms of elite types, though Martez Ivey (Apopka, Fla.) is elite. As always there are plenty of tackle prospects in the Top247 because of the high position value, but only two five-star prospects currently and one could be better projected as an offensive guard.
-North Carolina could have its deepest cycle on record in 2015. The Tar Heel State has been trending up for a while, but there are perhaps more potential difference-makers in North Carolina this cycle than at any point in recent memory.
-The state of Washington, with seven Top247 prospects so far in 2015, has one of its best groups in recent years. Combine that with the cycle in California and another good group in the state of Arizona (though not as deep at first glance as 2014) and three prospects from Hawaii in the Top247 and the West looks like the best its been in recent memory.
-While the Midwest has several outstanding prospects, including recently-minted five-star Justin Hilliard and elite athlete/safety defensive back Brian Cole, it’s not as deep of a cycle in Ohio or Illinois at this point. Those states are somewhat top-heavy with elite prospects like Hilliard and Jerome Baker in Ohio and defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. in Illinois. Perhaps there are prospects who will emerge, but it’s not like 2014 in either of place. Good news is that there are plenty of 2016 prospects in the Buckeye State and Land of Lincoln that seem to be popping up daily, so this is more than likely an aberration rather than a trend.