The final Top247 for the class of 2012 is out and for the first time since the initial release, there is a new name at the top of the list. Mario Edwards out of Denton (Texas) Guyer is the new head of the class, moving up from No. 6 in the nation.
Mario Edwards is the nation's top overall football prospect for the Class of 2012.
A big factor in Edwards’ jump to the top of the list was his play in the Under Armour All-American Game and the preceding week of practice. During that week, Edwards dominated a talented setting and stated a convincing argument that a successful college future is only the beginning.
247Sports national analyst Gerry Hamilton was on hand to observe the show.
“Edwards weighed in at 297 pounds in Orlando and for a 6-3, 297-pound D-lineman, he’s as athletic as you will ever see,” he said. “He’s advanced with hands, has a quick first step and he’s a finisher. I think the sky is the limit as a prospect. His versatility being able to play defensive end and then roll inside on third downs to play the three-technique, I think that makes him a special prospect. ”
Currently Edwards is committed to Florida State, making his initial pledge back in March of 2011. However he has continued to consider LSU, Oklahoma and Texas leading up to National Signing Day.
Though the class of 2012 doesn’t feature a 247Sports “franchise player” (a player possessing a rating above 100), there are four players that will close the year with a 100 rating and each of those four were in consideration for the title of the nation’s top player.
The other three candidates consisted of Dorial Green-Beckham, Landon Collins and Arik Armstead. Green-Beckham went wire-to-wire in the No. 2 spot, and backed up his ranking with a US Army All-American Bowl record 79-yard touchdown grab on national television. Texas, Arkansas and Missouri look to be the favorites in Green-Beckham’s recruitment down the stretch.
Landon Collins checks in at No. 3 and continues to show that he is one of the most complete safety prospects we’ve seen in a long time. Collins committed to Alabama at the Under Armour All-American Game and stayed consistent with his previous ranking of No. 3.
Florida State defensive end commit Dante Fowler proved he was an elite prospect at his position during the practice sessions for the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game.
The final No. 1 candidate was Arik Armstead out of Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove. As a left tackle, Armstead would have likely made the No. 1 debate much simpler but as a defensive end – the position he is determined to play – Armstead didn’t show quite enough at the US Army All-American Bowl to hold off the talented Edwards.
Four new for five-stars
A five-star rating is not easy to earn and – once earned – not easy to keep. The 2012 class clearly illustrates that fact by closing the year with the slim number of 25 five-stars. In fact, the final ranking actually saw more prospects lose a fifth star than gain it.
Seven players were moved out of the five-star range: Jameis Winston (previous ranking: 4), John Theus (previous ranking: 8), Andrus Peat (previous ranking: 17), Devin Fuller (previous ranking: 21), Jarron Jones (previous ranking: 26) and Chris Black (previous ranking: 27).
Four prospects made the difficult leap across that five-star threshold:
Dante Fowler, WDE, Saint Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
Fowler’s senior year was disappointing in some respects but when he had an opportunity to line up against the best in the country at the Under Armour All-American Game, his performance was impossible to ignore. Folwer was simply dominating in both practice and the game showing a scary upside that compensated for his inconsistency during the fall. Fowler is committed to Florida State.
Javonte Magee, DT, San Antonio (Texas) Sam Houston
There may not be a defensive end prospect with more upside in the 2012 class than Virginia commit Eli Harold, a five star prospect according to 247Sports.
Projected as a defensive tackle, Magee has the athleticism of a defensive end and he showed it off in a big way at the US Army All-American Bowl. His play backed up strong senior film and his athleticism combined with his 6-6, 264-pound describes what a five-star should look like. Magee is considered a lean to Baylor.
Ryan Anderson, OLB, Daphne (Ala.) High School
Anderson joins his teammate and fellow Alabama commit T.J. Yeldon in the five-star ranks after a senior season that can only be described as dominating. Anderson finished the fall with 14.5 sacks, 23 tackles for loss and over 100 tackles from his outside linebacker position. He followed that up with one of the top weeks of practice at an all-star event that we’ve seen in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
Eli Harold, WDE, Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes
If Harold is this good at defensive end now, imagine how good he’ll be when he starts focusing on the position. The 6-4, 220-pounder was a nightmare for offensive linemen off the edge at the US Army All-American Bowl and after playing everything from wide receiver to quarterback in high school, he’s nowhere near realizing his potential and posted a blistering 4.41-second 40-yard dash time at a camp this summer. A commitment to Virginia, Harold has as much upside as anyone in the five-star ranks.
- Michigan commit Joe Bolden earned the highest debut in the Top247 thanks to his stellar performance in Orlando at the Under Armour All-American Game. Already a four-star but previously outside of the Top247, Bolden’s performance moved him all the way up to No. 58 nationally.
- The highest mover from within the Top247 came from another Under Armour performer in Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland’s Leonard Williams. Williams was part of an imposing defensive line group that competed in Orlando, five of whom are five-stars and Williams was right there with them from a talent standpoint. He jumped from barely inside the Top247 at No 242 all the way up to No. 47. Auburn and Florida are considered the leaders for his signature.
- The Top247 isn’t the only list to have a new name at the top. In the rankings shakeup, several position rankings found a new name at the top as well. Arik Armstead, previously listed at offensive tackle becomes the nation’s top athlete due to his desire to be a defensive lineman on the next level. After a strong Army Bowl week, D.J. Humphries jumped John Theus and Kyle Murphy as the nation’s top offensive tackle. Meanwhile Ronald Darby takes over the top cornerback spot after out-performing the other top candidates in Orlando.