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August 31, 2011
Though the Rivals100 and Rivals250 were released on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, the rest of the position rankings outside of the top 250 saw quite a bit of movement in the latest re-evaluation period as well. In fact, several prospects moved up to four-star status.
Fruit Cove (Fla.) Bartram Trail quarterback Nathan Peterman added a star while jumping up to No. 11 in the pro-style rankings after the Tennessee commit impressed at the Jimbo Fisher Football Camp. Another offensive prospect to make the four-star jump was Austin (Texas) Lake Travis tight end Griffin Gilbert. Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell came away impressed with the TCU commit at this summer's Gridiron Kings event in Florida.
"Gilbert was simply outstanding at Gridiron Kings, presenting a big target, catching almost everything thrown his way and showing the ability to stretch the field and be a red zone threat," Farrell said. "He can run after the catch, he fights for the ball in traffic and once he adds some needed muscle, he will be a complete tight end."
"Striker doesn't have prototypical size and is a bit of a hybrid player, but he is arguably one of the most disruptive defensive players in the Sunshine State," Rivals.com Florida analyst Chris Nee said. "His impact in the game setting can't be disputed and he will flourish in a playmaking, free to roam and attack, defensive position at the next level."
Just below Striker in the outside linebacker position rankings at No. 28 is fellow new four-star Brett Bafaro of Hillsboro (Ore.) Liberty.
"The first time we saw Bafaro was at The Opening and he is a jacked-up, physical linebacker," Rivals.com West Coast analyst Adam Gorney said. "I wish it was an event in pads because I would probably have been even more impressed with Bafaro. He doesn't have top-end speed for a linebacker but he can definitely move as he got out in coverage a few times and looked like a special player."
Though some new four-star prospects were added, some others fell to three-stars after further evaluation this summer. Two quarterbacks in Shane Dillon of El Cajon (Calif.) Christian and Tyler Cameron of Jupiter, Fla. Both fell slightly after their performances at the Elite 11 in California.
"I liked Dillon at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp in the spring and he was good at the Elite 11 but I do question his arm strength," Gorney said. "Sometimes the ball just doesn't get there with as much zip as the elite quarterbacks. Speaking only of the Elite 11, Dillon did make good decisions and I think he impressed camp counselor Trent Dilfer with his decision-making on the field and in the film room.
"I liked Cameron at times during the Elite 11 but there were also some inconsistent throws and poor decisions made that were of concern. It was tough to gauge him since he couldn't make plays with his feet or throw on the run much so it might not have been the fairest evaluation of his skills but there was enough to argue for at least a slight downgrade in the rankings."
Another Sunshine State quarterback to move down was Bennie Coney of Plant City, Fla.
"Coney had a mixed spring and summer," Nee said. "He had a good performance at Tampa Under Armour but struggled mightily in his spring game action against Armwood. Coney's pocket presence was poor and he looked out of sync. Coney is a physically gifted quarterback but he struggles to be consistent on the field. He performs well in camp settings, but struggled in the game setting last time in action. His game needs to catch up to his abilities when the pads go on."
"Wiggins is a talented athlete but needs to develop into a wide receiver further. He relies solely on his athleticism to make plays and lacks the technique we are looking for out of wide receivers.
"Jasper's stock wasn't down drastically; he was simply ranked higher than he should have been in the previous release. He is a talented athlete who likely plays wide receiver in college. He has a solid array of skills but doesn't separate himself from a majority of Division I wideouts that are out in there in any way."
Seffner (Fla.) Armwood offensive guard Cody Waldrop moved down a few spots at his position ranking and it led to a drop in stars.
"Waldrop saw a slight move down amongst the offensive guards sliding from No. 10 to No. 13 overall," Nee said. "He possesses good size and strength, and is a blue-collar player that plays with a chip on his shoulder. We still like him a lot as an offensive guard, but felt there were a few who deserved to move ahead."
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall Campus cornerback Wayne Morgan fell furthest of any new three-star prospect from No. 139 in the Rivals250 to No. 27 at his position.
"Morgan was solid at Rutgers NIKE and held his own as usual, but he struggled at the big all-star events like The Opening and Gridiron Kings mainly because of speed," Farrell said. "He's pretty fast straight-line but changing direction he struggles and he can be beaten deep. He was picked on a bit at each event and when compared to other corners he didn't fare so well."
Duncanville (Texas) offensive tackle Adam Butler made a big up to No. 41 at his position after a strong performance at the Ultimate100 camp.
"Butler is a long tackle who excels in pass protection," Rivals.com Southwest analyst Brian Perroni said. "He is incredibly polished already and has grown an inch over the past few months."
Also impressing Perroni was West Virginia quarterback commit Ford Childress of Houston Kinkaid as he moved up to the top pro-style prospect in the state of Texas.
"Childress is a big presence in the pocket with a very strong arm," Perroni said. "He showed a very good ability to read the field at the Texas 7-on-7 State Championship and he should thrive in West Virginia's offense."
Some new prospects from the Midwest entered the rankings as high three-stars. Mason (Ohio) offensive guard Joseph Spencer, Detroit (Mich.) Loyola strongside defensive end Stephon Hall, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville Academic Campus cornerback Sean Draper and Troy (Ohio) athlete Marcus Foster all made their debuts fairly high in their respective position rankings.
"Spencer is an athletic interior lineman who moves his feet well and is adept at reaching the second level and sealing linebackers," Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt said.
"Hall did not arrive on the recruiting scene until the beginning of summer, but he is an extremely athletic 6-foot-3, 262 pounds with great speed and power off the edge.
"Draper did not start at cornerback for Glenville until the end of his junior season, but then went out and earned first team all-Combine honors at the U.S. Army Junior Combine and also had a strong showing at the Ohio State NIKE Camp.
"Foster is an athletic safety who will come up and smack you in the mouth, but he is also a dynamic wide receiver with BCS level potential at that position."
Olive Branch (Miss.) wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan impressed Rivals.com Southeast Analyst Keith Niebuhr at the Hoover 7-on-7 event enough to give the Arkansas commit a bump in the rankings.
"Cowan is a smooth receiver, who runs excellent routes, has very good hands and is one of the more athletic receivers in the South," Niebuhr said. "Moving forward, he does need to pack on some weight and get physically stronger."
Some other prospects to make moves up their respective position rankings include Tulsa all-purpose back commit Quinton White of College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated, Michigan fullback commit Sione Houma of Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland, Purdue offensive tackle commit Jordan Roos of Celina (Texas), weakside defensive end Alex McCalister of Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth, inside linebacker Richie Brown of Long Beach (Miss.), Alabama outside linebacker commit Ryan Anderson of Daphne (Ala.), Michigan State outside linebacker commit Riley Bullough of Traverse City (Mich.) St. Francis Catholic, cornerback Devian Shelton of Inglewood (Calif.), athlete Traveon Henry of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Pine Crest and athlete Gary Simon of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Gibbs.