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June 1, 2012

Ups, downs of new positional rankings

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

POS: PQB | DQB | RB | APB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC | DT | WDE | SDE | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH | K

Since our initial rankings for the class of 2013 back in February, prospects across the country have been taking part in camps and combines, and Rivals.com analysts have been watching and evaluating. Some prospects have proven themselves worthy of higher consideration, while others did not meet expectations. Here is a look at the notable movements within each position ranking.

Pro-style quarterbacks

Notable riser: Danny Etling, Terre Haute (Ind.) South Vigo (New addition)
Notable dropper: Sefo Liufau, Tacoma (Wash.) Bellarmine Prep (down 10 spots)
Comments: There were minor changes in the top 10, except for Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County's Brice Ramsey jumping seven spots from the previous rankings and landing at No. 9. Purdue commit Danny Etling also makes a strong move to the No. 16 spot, while California commit Jared Goff makes his debut as a four-star and jumps six spots to No. 15 on the list.

Dual-threat quarterbacks

Notable riser: Anthony Jennings, Marietta, Ga. (New addition)
Notable dropper: Tra'von Chapman, Kent (Ohio) Theodore Roosevelt (down 8 spots)
Comments: Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne's Troy Williams comes in from the pro-style rankings and takes over the No. 2 spot on the list behind five-star Tyrone Swoopes. Ohio's Malik Zaire, Georgia's Anthony Jennings, California's Johnny Stanton and Maryland's Shane Cockerille all make moves higher on the list.

All-purpose backs

Notable riser: Corion Webster, Atlanta, Texas (New addition)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The story in this rankings update is the prospects moving in from other positions. Alvin Kamara of Norcross, Ga., T.J. Logan of Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford, Ryan Switzer of Charleston (W.V.) George Washington and Aregeros Turner of Akron (Ohio) Copley each were reclassified as all-purpose backs and find spots in the top 10.

Running backs

Notable riser: Derrick Green, Richmond (Va.) Heritage (new No. 1)
Notable dropper: DaVonte Young, Tustin, Calif. (down 13 spots)
Comments: The biggest news at the running back position is Green taking over the top spot on the list from Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha's Thomas Tyner. Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict's Jordan Wilkins also moved up, from No. 16 to No. 11, off his strong showing at the Rivals.com/VTO Alabama Camp.

Fullbacks

Notable riser: Chris Hall, Tulsa (Okla.) Union (up 2 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: There was only one move in the fullback position rankings, and that was from 6-foot, 235-pound Chris Hall, who moved into the third spot on the list based on the strength of new film.

Wide Receivers

Notable riser: Tony Stevens, Orlando (Fla.) Evans (up 16 spots)
Notable dropper: Vequan Jones, Wylie (Tex.) East (down 34 spots)
Comments: The top six remained unchanged, while Moreno Valley Rancho Verde's Demorea Stringfellow just edged his fellow Californian, Steven Mitchell, to take over the No. 7 spot. Eldridge Massington of West Mesquite (Tex.) and Isaiah Jones of Milton (Fla.) made strong moves and are now ranked in the top 20.

Tight ends

Notable riser: Danny Mattingly, Spokane (Wash.) Mead (up 13 spots)
Notable dropper: Christian Morgan, Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian Academy (down 5 spots)
Comments: Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy's Hunter Henry shakes up the top five with his move from No. 6 to No. 4. Otherwise, the top eight remain unchanged. Mattingly and Durham (N.C.) Hillside's Josh McNeil are both trending in a positive direction from their previous rankings, and now reside in the top 12.

Offensive tackles

Notable riser: Nico Falah, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco (up 15 spots)
Notable dropper: Aaron Cochran, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach (down 41 spots)
Comments: Most of the action was in the bottom section of the list, where 25 new prospects were added to the rankings to bring the list to a total of 70. UCLA commit Sean Dowling of Fallbrook (Calif.) makes the highest debut, checking in at No. 41 on the list.

Offensive guards

Notable riser: Ira Denson, Madison, Fla. (New addition)
Notable dropper: Reeve Koehler, Honolulu (Haw.) St. Louis (down 3 spots)
Comments: John Montelus of Everett (Mass.), Grant Hill of Huntsville (Ala.), John Lopez of Orange (Calif.) Lutheran and David Dawson of Detroit Cass Tech all move over from the offensive tackle position and find places in the top 10. The position also has a new No. 1, with Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian's Khaliel Rodgers replacing Koehler in the top spot.

Offensive centers

Notable riser: Brad North, Allen, Tex. (New addition)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Five more spots were added to the ranking, bringing the total to 15. The highest newcomer was North, who checks in at No. 5 on the list. Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton's Cory Helms also makes a strong debut, landing at the No. 7 spot.

Weakside defensive ends

Notable riser: Ebenezer Ogundeko, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Thomas Jefferson (New addition)
Notable dropper: Tashawn Bower, Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata (down 16 spots)
Comments: The weakside defensive ends were a very active group in this rankings update. The top three are all new, with recently minted five-star Carl Lawson of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton now in the top spot followed by Baton Rouge (La.) University Laboratory's Tim Williams and Ashburn (Va.) Stonebridge's Jonathan Allen, who moved over from strongside defensive end, in spots two and three.

Strongside defensive ends

Notable riser: Wyatt Teller, Bealeton (Va.) Liberty (up 7 spots)
Notable dropper: Nazair Jones, Roanoke Rapids, N.C. (down 7 spots)
Comments: With the nation's No. 1 player, Robert Nkemdiche, moving into this position group, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Academy's Kenny Bigelow drops down to the No. 2 spot, but the position is very deep with five players ranked among the top 26 overall in the country. Dee Liner of Muscle Shoals, Ala., moves from No. 4 to No. 3 and gives the group three five-star prospects.

Defensive tackles

Notable riser: Scott Pagano, Honolulu (Haw.) Moanalua (up 14 spots)
Notable dropper: Isaiah Golden, Carthage, Tex. (down 7 spots)
Comments: Several prospects made strong moves higher on the list, most notable Pagano, who now resides in the No. 6 spot, and Dallas (Tex.) Kimball's Justin Manning who went from No. 9 to No. 3. Ten new spots were added to the ranking, with Houston (Tex.) Westfield's Hardreck Walker making the highest debut at No. 17 after earning his fourth star.

Inside linebackers

Notable riser: Ryne Rankin, Orlando (Fla.) East River (New addition)
Notable dropper: Brett Wade, Kennedale, Tex. (down 13 spots)
Comments: Another position change means another new No. 1. This time it is the nation's no. 2 player, Reuben Foster of Auburn, Ala., moving over from the outside linebacker group. Charlotte (N.C.) Vance's Larenz Bryant moves up one spot to complete the new top three. There were only minor changes after that, with Rankin making the highest debut at No. 17.

Outside linebackers

Notable riser: Mike Mitchell, Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian Academy (up 15 spots)
Notable dropper: Paul Whitmill, Bastrop, Tex. (down 9 spots)
Comments: When you are talking about depth of elite talent, the outside linebacker group will be tough to beat with 10 prospects ranked among the top 60 overall in the country. Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers' Jaylon Smith moves up from the No. 5 position to take over the top spot, and both he and the second ranked outside linebacker, Matthew Thomas of Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington earn five stars in the latest update.

Cornerbacks

Notable riser: Antwuan Davis, Bastrop, Tex. (up 5 spots)
Notable dropper: Sojourn Shelton, Plantation, Fla. (down 18 spots)
Comments: There were few big upward moves, but the list saw some shakeup with four players moving in from other positions and landing spots in the top 22. Of the non-position travelers, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely's Rashard Robinson makes the highest debut on the list, starting off in the No. 24 spot.

Safeties

Notable riser: Tahaan Goodman, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (up 12 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: With Goodman's rise to the No. 2, California prospects now hold down three of the top four positions on the list. Overall, though, there were very few big changes on the list and no one made a significant downward move.

Athletes

Notable riser: Tre'Davious White Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks (up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: Jesus Wilson, Miami (Fla.) Columbus (down 3 spots)
Comments: The athlete group lost several of their top players to other positions, but did add Destrehan (La.) four-star Rickey Jefferson in from the wide receiver group and he takes over the No. 5 position. Jerel Morrow of Emporia, Kan., makes the highest debut in the position rankings, landing at the No. 17 spot.



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