Three new five-star prospects and a 15 new additions highlight the most recent update of the Class of 2014 Top247.
New Orleans defensive tackle Gerald Willis is a new five-star in the Class of 2014 Top247.
This latest thorough reshuffling of the Top247 is the result of our team of analysts traveling the country to see prospects in-person and senior film evaluation. 247Sports recently added National Recruiting Insiders Kipp Adams and Ryan Bartow to the team and this is the first Class of 2014 Top247 released since their additions. With new analysts comes new information and evaluations, so change is to be expected.
A committee of 40 recruiting analysts from coast-to-coast within the 247Sports network contributes to our rankings process. Information, data and personal rankings are obtained from this committee and our lead national recruiting analysts craft the list.
247Sports prospect rankings are projections to the next level of football and beyond. We use NFL Draft data and standards to determine position value and order of rank. Beyond that, there are a number of standards and evaluation points to arrive at our ratings and rankings. Those include:
-Data/Measurables such as height, weight, 40 and shuttle as it relates to position and athleticism.
-On-field production at the high school level
-Feedback from coaches on all levels, scouts and analysts from all levels.
Gerald Willis, DT, New Orleans (La.) Edna Carr- The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Willis has enjoyed a good senior campaign and he has been a riser in the Top247 since an outstanding showing at The Opening this past summer. He has gotten stronger at the point of attack this season and the fact that his added size gives him the opportunity to be an uber-athletic defensive tackle prospect at the college level. Willis, an Under Armour All-American, has LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida and others on his short list. He’s predicted to pick the Tigers.
Arrion Springs, CB, San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt- Springs, an Oregon commit, takes over the the top spot at his position in the Lone Star State thanks to outstanding senior film, which combined with his size (6-foot, 190 pounds), speed (4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and overall athleticism puts him in the “cant miss” category. 247Sports evaluated Springs in person and it’s clear that his long-term projection is higher considering those factors.
Wide receiver Frank Iheanacho is a 6-foot-7 basketball import who could very well be a five-star at the end of this cycle. He makes his debut in the 2014 Top247 this week.
Christian Miller, OLB, Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley- Almost universally, our analysts rated the 6-foot-4, 218-pound Miller among the top 30 in the country. He’s been extremely productive this season for his high school, which has produced the likes of Michael and Peter Boulware and former Auburn linebacker Travis Williams over the years, and has NFL bloodlines (father Corey played for the New York Giants for eight years). Miller also is not done physically maturing and could end up being a 6-foot-4, 250-pound monster at the linebacker position without losing his elite athletic ability. Miller is committed to Alabama with Georgia making a push. He’s a perfect fit in either school’s defensive scheme.
Brian Wallace, OT, St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers- There are some who turn on the tape of the 6-foot-6, 305-pound Wallace and the athleticism (not necessarily the overall game) reminds them of current Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio when he was in high school. 247Sports has seen Wallace in person this season and he is a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection. On the recruiting front, Iowa, Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State and Oklahoma comprise the lead group.
Frank Iheanacho, WR, Houston (Texas) Westside- Iheancho did not play football last season as the 6-foot-7, 220-pound freak athlete was full-time basketball. There have been countless players to transition from the hardwood to the gridiron that end up elite in football eventually. What’s impressed us about Ihenacho on film is that he’s already a somewhat polished receiver. He times his jumps perfectly, has excellent hands and is a relatively advanced route runner for the high school level. Houston jumped in with the first offer, but this list will reach double-digits shortly. Texas A&M and Texas both are sniffing around. Ihenacho could realistically end up as a five-star prospect in our final 2014 rankings.
Alex Bookser, OT, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Mt. Lebanon- Bookser’s versatility, size and mean streak are too much to ignore, so the 6-foot-6, 295-pounder, who’s projected as an offensive tackle in college, makes his debut in the 2014 Top247. Currently, Pitt is the predicted destination for the elite jumbo athlete.
Kolton Miller, OT, Roseville (Calif.)- The 6-foot-8, 280-pound Miller jumped out at our analysts during the Bay Area Nike Football Training Camp this past spring and he has continued to progress. Miller could be the top “hidden gem” national-level recruit on the offensive line this cycle. Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State and Fresno State have offered. The Beavers could be in line to land a great prospect.
Dravon Henry, ATH, Aliquippa (Pa.)- Our analysts in Pennsylvania believe the versatile, productive Henry is the top prospect in the Keystone State this recruiting cycle, so he makes his return to the Top247 based on that and senior production. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Henry is likely a safety in college. West Virginia, Pittsburgh- no strangers to fighting recruiting battles in talent-rich Western Pennsylvania- are the two teams to beat.
Samaje Perine, RB, Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson- The 5-foot-11, 233-pound Perine has completely recovered from injury and is enjoying a good senior season of high school football. With his health recovery complete, that eases many of the questions about his future development and projection level. Perine is committed to Oklahoma.
Wisconsin running back commit Taiwan Deal has been outstanding for DeMatha (Md.) and at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds and fast has freight-train type ability.
Koa Farmer, S, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame- The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Farmer has excellent size and speed and while he remains committed to Cal, other programs have taken notice and are trying to get him to flip. He’s a prospect that has excellent coverage ability and because of his size and athleticism he has an impact against the run.
Marshawn Williams, RB, Hampton (Va.) Phoebus- Williams has put up staggering numbers in the Tidewater this season (1,158 yards, 19 touchdowns thus far) and his high level of production facilitates his return to the Top247. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Williams has long been a commitment to Virginia Tech and has the chance to make an instant impact next season for the Hokies.
Dyshon Sims, OT, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes- Sims, a Georgia commit, is a 6-foot-4, 278-pound offensive lineman with elite athleticism whose best days of football are still ahead of him. His recruitment started a little slow, but once programs found out about him, he had a slew of major offers. Sims has flashed some of his excellent potential on the field this season and is a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage- On a team with a 247Composite five-star 2014 running back (Sony Michel) and a 2015 Top247 five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, the 5-foot-9, 167-pound McKenzie may be the most dynamic playmaker for his team this season. He has elite quickness and speed and could project long-term as a return specialist. West Virginia or Notre Dame are the two best bets in his recruitment right now. He has long been considered an Irish lean, but the Mountaineers are trending.
Khairi Clark, DT, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna- Clark, a Florida commit, returns to the Top247 after dropping out during the summer. The 6-foot-2, 325-pound run stuffer has shown the ability to develop this season.
Taiwan Deal, RB, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha- Deal’s senior film is extremely impressive. He’s a violent runner with excellent vision and feet and at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds is a load to bring down. He’s committed to Wisconsin, which has had outstanding success evaluating the running back position through the years and having great production at the position on the field. One piece of feedback we received on Deal simply stated- “This kid is very good”- we agree.
George Panos, OG, Hartland (Wisc.) Arrowhead- When you stack up the interior offensive line prospects nationally, Panos is in the neighborhood with the best of the best. There are some who believe that the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Badgers legacy (father is former captain Joe Panos) could have a two or three-year run as an All-B1G performer with the right development and of course barring injury. After watching some of his senior film, we don’t think that’s too far off. Panos will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and could end up even higher nationally among the offensive guard prospects.
New Jersey's Mike Gesicki is now the No. 1 tight end prospect for the 2014 class and made a jump of more than 150 spots in the latest Top247.
Here's a look at some of the prospects that made positive moves up in the Top247.
Ishmael Zamora, WR, Houston (Texas) Elsik- The Baylor commit has size (6-3, 201 pounds), great athleticism (state champion on the track) and his senior film is impressive.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Manahawkin (N.J.) Southern Regional- The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder takes over as the top prospect at his position nationally. A rare athlete with great hands and athleticism, it looks like he will play in the Big Ten at Ohio State (probable), Penn State or Wisconsin.
Jacob Pugh, OLB, Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby- The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Pugh is an elite talent that has backed it up on the field. Our analysts have always been high on him and as the Florida State commit has continued to impress, it’s allowed us to do what we’ve always thought we should- move him up.
Travis Rudolph, WR, Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman- Rudolph is a skilled receiver with good size and great speed who likely will be an early playing time candidate at whatever program he picks. Miami, Florida, Florida State and Alabama all are in the mix.
Artavis Scott, WR, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake- Scott has been compared to former Clemson (ironically the school he’s committed to) and Oakland Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford and our analysts on the ground in Florida love his production and explosiveness.
Garrett Dickerson, TE, Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic- After evaluating him further, we switched Dickerson’s projected position to tight end, which moved him up significantly because he projects higher there based on what we’ve seen. Stanford is the current team to beat.
Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington- Explosiveness it the word we hear over and over again when we talk to people about Thomas. He showed that at The Opening and he’s shown it this season so far, too. He’s part of an excellent class at Miami (Fla.) and could end up even higher.
Darrion Owens, LB, Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf- The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Owens, a Miami commit, is similar to Christian Miller in frame and athleticism. He started his career as a safety and will likely be a (current Georgia safety/linebacker) Josh Harvey-Clemons “type” in for the Hurricanes within the scheme of their defense. Big-time athlete.
Dewayne Hendrix, DE, O’Fallon (Ill.)- The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Hendrix is perhaps one of the more overlooked prospects in the Midwest this cycle. After checking in on him in person this season, his stock rose a bit in our eyes. Hendrix is predicted to commit to Tennessee when he makes a decision (he has family ties) and has received an invite to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Treon Harris, ATH, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington- Harris, who is committed to Florida State as an athlete, moves up based on elite-level high school production, which raises his projection level. Being the son of Tim “Ice” Harris (BTW head coach) and younger brother of NFL cornerback Brandon Harris gives Treon a low bust factor as well. Harris is a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral- McLaurin committed to Ohio State this summer thanks in large part to his elite speed (4.41 in the 40 confirmed multiple times). This football season, however, he’s upped his production the gridiron, alleviating the concerns that he was more “athlete” than “football player”.
Rashaan Evans, OLB, Auburn (Ala.)- Evans is not only an elite athlete for his size, he’s an exceptional football “player” who can do everything including special teams. He’s a potential five-star prospect after we get to evaluate him further- possibly at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and the Under Armour All-American Game. The hometown team is the team to beat here.
Will Clapp, OG, New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin- Clapp, who is committed to LSU, has grown- he’s now 6-foot-4.5 and according to our analysts on the ground in Louisiana, has improved his flexibility and knee bend.
Lawrence Marshall, DE, Southfield (Mich.)- Marshall has added good weight this year and long-time area coach John Bechtel of Farmington called him the best player he’s ever coached against. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and never faced a player like him before,” he said.
Kenny Young, ILB, New Orleans (La.) John Curtis- During the midst of a monster senior season, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection has answered legitimate questions about his toughness. That raises his projection level quite a bit. On the recruiting front, LSU is the team to beat.
Jesse Aniebonam, DE, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel- Aniebonam is by far the best prospect at Good Counsel for this recruiting cycle and has backed it up with stellar play on the field. He’s quicker than we thought and the Maryland commit has an excellent chance to push for a starting role next year when the Terps commence their inaugural battles in the Big Ten. Aniebonam is a U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection and could end up in the top 50 when all is said and done.
Bo Scarbrough, RB/ATH, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG- Scarbrough has returned to sophomore form this season at IMG (transferred there before the season) and thus moves back up in the prospect rankings. With consistent big showings for the rest of this season, he could slide back into five-star status following the Under Armour All-America Game in January. Scarbrough is committed to Alabama.
Brandon Harris, QB, Bossier City (La.) Parkway- Harris, an LSU commit, has outstanding arm strength, which we knew, but has improved his accuracy this season. One long-time Louisiana scout believes Harris’ arm is a strong as he’s seen. Combine that with his running ability and the weapons he will likely have around him in Baton Rouge and there’s scary potential on offense in the coming years for Les Miles and company. We are looking forward to the Under Armour All-America Game to see if he can out-dual the other quarterbacks there.
Delvin Purifoy, OLB, Pensacola (Fla.)- Just like Pugh, we’ve liked Purifoy (also a Florida State commit) for some time and he’s been outstanding this season, raising his projection level. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Purifoy has been quite instinctive in racking up double digit tackle games this season.
Jaden Gault, OT, Madison (Wisc.) Moona Grove- It would not surprise us if the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Gault moves up even higher following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The Wisconsin commit has size, athleticism and tenacity.
Toa Lobendahn, OG, La Habra (Calif.)- Lobendahn, a USC commit, is one of the most technically sound and athletic interior offensive line prospects this cycle. After seeing him in person, we learned that he’s developed a bit physically, so the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection moves up.
Kyle Trout, OT, Lancaster (Ohio)- Some of the concerns about Trout’s athleticism have subsided this season as Trout has been very good opening holes for his team’s power running game. We’ve always liked the Ohio State commit and are considering changing his projected position to offensive guard, where he may have higher upside.
Will Richardson, OT, Burlington (N.C.) Cummings- The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Virginia commit has great feet and has made some strides on the field this season, raising his projection level. Other programs also have recognized this and are not giving up on flipping him from the Wahoos.
Nic Weishar, TE, Chicago (Ill.) Marist- The Notre Dame commit has been exceptionally productive on the field this season and is up to 233 pounds. Weishar also snagged a spot on the roster for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Great hands and his frame appears to be filling out nicely.
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