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December 12, 2013

Class of 2015 position rankings revealed


MORE: Rivals100 | Rivals250

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

With underclassmen getting exposure, attention and offers earlier and earlier in their career, the recruiting calendar has moved up, and so has the Rivals.com evaluation periods. After seeing many of the nation's top 2015 prospects in camps over the summer and on the field this fall, the complete rankings are out earlier than ever. With today's release of the complete position rankings, we take a look at the first group of position leaders, as well as some notable names to watch in the future.

INSIDE LOOK: RIVALS.COM POSITION RANKINGS
Pro-style quarterbacks
Headliner: Josh Rosen, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Other notable: Nick Johns, Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga
Comment: Players from California occupy the top three spots at this position, as Rosen managed to hold off fellow five-star and Alabama commit Ricky Town. Rosen has several big-time suitors, including USC, UCLA, Washington and Tennessee. Johns struggled during his junior year and he dropped from four-star status and starts as the No. 14 player at the position.
Dual-threat quarterbacks
Headliner: Jarrett Stidham, Stephenville, Texas
Other notable: Alex Delton, Hays, Kan.
Comment: Stindham, who just picked up an offer from Oregon, the ultimate dual-threat offense school, was in the discussion for a fifth star. Even though he didn't get it this go-round, he'll have to settle for starting out as the country's top overall prospect at the position. The Ducks join an already crowded offer list, which includes the likes of Texas, TCU, Texas A&M and several others. Stock is trending the other way for Delton, who lost his fourth star and settled in at No. 10 at the position. To date, Kansas State is his only offer.
All-purpose backs
Headliner: Taj Griffin Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern
Other notable: Alex Delton, Hays, Kan.
Comment: Griffin actually fell from his 6.0 rating this cycle but managed to still hang on to the No. 1 spot at his position. Several programs are vying for his services, including Georgia and Oregon. Pushing Griffin at the position is Miami prospect Tim Irvin, who also happens to be the nephew of NFL legend Michael Irvin. Samuel starts of the rankings as the first non-four star, coming in at No. 6.
Running backs
Headliner: Damien Harris Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern
Other notable: Derrius Guice Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic
Comment: Harris was one of the initial 10 five-stars named by Rivals back in August and the Michigan commit not only held on to that distinction but also the No. 1 overall spot at running back. There are no other five-stars at the position, but Guice was among the biggest movers. He's now rated as a 5.9 and as the No. 9 overall player at the position. LSU appears to be the early favorite to add the hometown prospect.
Fullbacks
Headliner: Joshua Thomas, Buford (Ga.)
Other notable: None
Comment: Without enough prospects identified at the position yet, the full rankings will have to wait. However, Thomas sits alone as the clear No. 1 at the position. He projects well at linebacker as well, so things could change down the road depending on his recruitment. Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Missouri are among his early offers.
Wide receivers
Headliner: George Campbell Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake
Other notable: Tyron Johnson New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton
Comment: A pair of Florida prospects headline the position with Michigan commit Campbell out in front at No. 1. Right on his heels is newly-minted five-star Calvin Ridley, who blew up with a monster junior season. Among the suitors for Ridley are Alabama, Miami and Florida State. While he's still a few spots away from the top at No. 5, Johnson's stock is on the rise and he moved up to a 6.0 rating this period. LSU and Texas A&M are among the early schools in the mix.
Tight ends
Headliner: Alize Jones Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Other notable: Devonaire Clarington Miami (Fla.) Westmister Christian
Comment: The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Jones is the only 6.0 rated tight end in his class, so the UCLA commit earns the No. 1 spot to start. Among those chasing him are Clarington, who rose to a 5.9 during the latest evaluation period and currently sits at No. 3. Among the schools in the mix for Clarington are Florida and Miami.
Offensive tackles
Headliner: Mitch Hyatt, Suwannee (Ga.) North Gwinnett
Other notable: Jake Fruhmorgen, Tampa (Fla.) Plant
Comment: Hyatt continues to be at the head of his class when it comes to the offensive tackle position, but several other players have their eye on the No. 1 spot. Among them is new five-star Maea Teuhema, the Texas commit who now sits at No. 2. Clemson is thought to be the early leader for Hyatt, with several other schools, including Georgia, trying to keep pace. Fruhmorgen was one of four players to move from a 5.8 to a 5.9 and now sits at No. 6 overall. As far as the race for his signature, Florida seems to be the early favorite but he has strong family ties to Alabama.
Offensive guards
Headliner: Jalin Barnett, Lawton (Okla.)
Other notable: Quarvez Boulware Washington (D.C.) Friendship
Comment: Barnett turned an excellent junior season into a jump to a 6.0 and in the process took over the No. 1 overall spot. Despite being from out of the region, several SEC programs like Alabama and Auburn join local favorite Oklahoma on his offer list. The same can't be said for Boulware, who dropped to a 5.8 and landed at No. 9 at the position. Maryland and Florida State are among the schools after him.
Centers
Headliner: Zach Rogers Lewisville (Texas) Hebron
Other notable: None
Comments: Center is another position that often takes time to shake out, with the initial ranking a clear example. Arkansas commit Rogers starts out at the No. 1 spot, despite falling to a 5.8 this evaluation period. Right now only five players are ranked, with Florida prospect Luke Hiers coming in at No. 2. Kentucky, Miami and Florida are the early favorites for Heirs.
Weakside defensive ends
Headliner: Mekhi Brown Columbus (Ga.) Carver
Other notable: Rashod Berry Lorain (Ohio)
Comment: This was another position that didn't see a ton of upward movement, with Alabama commit Brown holding onto the No. 1 spot despite losing his fifth star. The only other 6.0 is North Carolina prospect Jalen Dalton, who appears to be the biggest early contender to Brown's title. Berry was another prospect who slid during this evaluation period and he starts off at No. 17 overall after losing his fourth star. Berry's biggest offers come from Bowling Green, Akron and Toledo.
Strongside defensive ends
Headliner: Byron Cowart Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
Other notable: Canton Kaumatule Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
Comment: Cowart proved last offseason on the camp circuit that he has the potential to be one of the most dominant defensive players in his class and he backed it up this fall on the field as well. He earned his fifth star and took over the No. 1 spot at the position. Florida figures to be a big player in his recruitment, but SEC foes Vanderbilt and Alabama will also likely factor into the mix. Kaumatule continues to be an enigma, but showed promise during his junior year and is now ranked No. 9 at his position.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES
Headliner: Trenton Thompson Albany (Ga.) Westover
Other notable: Daron Payne Birmingham (Ala.) Shades Valley
Comment: Defensive tackle is shaping up to be one of the deepest and most competitive positions in the 2015 class. Not only is Thompson the No. 1 overall player in the country, but there's already two other five-star defensive tackles in Payne and No. 3 defensive tackle Rasheem Green. When it comes to recruiting, Georgia leads Auburn as the early favorite for Thompson, while the Tigers and Tide figure to battle it out for Payne.
Inside linebackers
Headliner: Justin Hilliard Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier
Other notable: Cecil Cherry Frostproof (Fla.)
Comment: Without a five-star at the position, Hilliard is the cream of the crop as the lone 6.0. With this year's linebacker crop a little on the thin side, schools like Penn State, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame figure to battle it out for Hilliard. Tennessee commit Cherry was the last player to make the four-star cut and sits at No. 8 overall at the position.
Outside linebackers
Headliner: John Houston, Gardena, (Calif.) Junipero Serra
Other notable: Darrell Williams, Hoover (Ala.)
Comment: Houston starts the cycle as the only five-star at the position so he grabs the No. 1 overall spot. Like most top-flight talents in Southern California, this is poised to be a USC-UCLA battle for his services. Williams is one of the big movers at the position and is now rated as a 6.0 and No. 3. Plenty of SEC schools will be vying for Williams, with Alabama and Auburn likely to be at the top of the list.
Cornerbacks
Headliner: Kevin Toliver II Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Other notable: Iman Marshall Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Comment: It's another loaded year at the cornerback position, with initial five-star and LSU commit Toliver holding onto the No. 1 spot. With so many schools still chasing Toliver, LSU will likely have to hold off in-state schools like Florida and Florida State for Toliver's services in the future. Marshall is one of four five-stars at the position and currently sits in the No. 4 position. Powerhouse Poly has a tradition of producing great talent for programs in the West, with UCLA and USC being the most aggressive early in the chase for Marshall.
Safeties
Headliner: Jamal Peters Bassfield (Miss.)
Other notable: Kendrell McFadden Hollywood (Fla.) McArthur
Comment: Safety is another position without a truly dominant player at this point in the process, so 5.9-rated Peters takes the No. 1 spot. Florida State, LSU as well as Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the schools in the mix right now. While Peters is trending up McFadden is moving in the opposite direction, becoming a 5.8 and coming in at No. 12 at the position. He lists a top five of Miami, Florida State, Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M.
Athletes
Headliner: Jerome Baker, Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine
Other notable: Ray Ray McCloud III, Tampa (Fla.) Sickles
Comment: Baker is one of four 6.0-rated prospects at the athlete position, but got the nod this time around for his potential to play several positions at the next level. Several schools are in the mix, including Illinois, Ohio State and Penn State. McCloud continues to prove at every turn that he's a viable prospect at both running back and defensive back. He moved up to a 5.9 and starts as the No. 10 ranked player at the position.



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