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October 4, 2005

Winds of change

The winds of change are always blowing.

For most of the country it's the wind ushering in Mother Nature's warning that fall is rapidly approaching. But for college football fans, the winds of change have swept in Rivals.com updated recruiting rankings for the month of October.

The first updated ranking to be unveiled is the Rivals 100 .

The Rivals100 are the nation's top 100 players regardless of position, and it will be followed by the release of the Rivals250 on Wednesday and then the updated position rankings and star rankings will be released on Thursday. On Tuesday, October 11, the first Rivals.com team rankings for the class of 2006 will also be revealed.

The Rivals.com player rankings are compiled after countless hours of film evaluation, personal observations and input from professional, college and high school coaches. Our team of recruiting analysts and Rivals.com publishers submitted their opinions on the top players in their area - helping develop the finished product.

There wasn't too much movement at the top of the Rivals100 as Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown star Percy Harvin remains as the nation's No. 1 prospect, followed by Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman offensive guard Andre Smith and Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School athlete Myron Rolle.

Harvin has done nothing to disappoint this season - proving he clearly belongs at the No. 1 spot. Through four games, Harvin had 19 catches for 388 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 11 rushes for 175 yards and six more scores. On defense, Harvin had two interception returns for touchdowns, and he's also brought back a punt and two kickoffs back for scores.

"He's unbelievable," Landstown coach Chris Beatty said. "It's hard to say anything about him that hasn't already been said."

Moving up to the No. 4 spot is Dallas Woodrow Wilson inside linebacker Sergio Kindle. Kindle, a Texas Longhorn commitment, has put up numbers that would make even Harvin jealous.

Kindle has already racked up 869 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns, helping his team to a 5-0 record. On defense, he's yet to record a game without registering double-digit tackles and opponents are only averaging seven points against Wilson.

Also moving up to the No. 5 slot was the nation's top quarterback - Matthew Stafford of Dallas Highland Park. Stafford, a Georgia commitment, had to battle through an injury in the preseason but he's now back full force, helping Highland Park jump out to a 5-0 record.

For the season, Stafford is 38 of 64 for 793 yards and 10 touchdown pass. While completing 59 percent of his passes are impressive, what's even more amazing is that he's yet to throw an interception.

No. 1 defensive tackle Gerald McCoy moves into the top 10 at the No. 10 spot. McCoy has blown through double and even triple teams this season and is currently gearing up for a monster Friday-night battle between Ardmore and star tight end prospect Jermaine Gresham, who is ranked as the nation's No. 50 player. McCoy has 46 tackles, 13 sacks, 10 forced fumble, two safeties and a touchdown for 4-1 Oklahoma City Southeast.

There are two new members to the five-star club.

Notre Dame fans will rejoice to find out that Crown Point (Ind.) Merrillville running back James Aldridge is one of those new five-star prospects. After just missing out on a five-star ranking the first few evaluations, it's become clear this season that the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder is one of the nation's best prospects. He moves up to the No. 17 spot overall in the nation, and it's a well deserved ranking for a complete player.

"He's the complete package," Merrillville coach Jeff Yelton said. "He has the extra gear and you can see a lot of times a guy might have an angle on him, and James can kick it into another gear and out-run him."

With the promotion of Aldridge and the recent commitment of cornerback Darrin Walls, the Irish now have two five-star prospects.

Alcoa, Tenn., athlete Brandon Warren moves up to the No. 20 spot overall and earns a fifth star based upon senior film evaluation. Warren has dominated on both sides of the ball and his ability to take over games could not be overlooked.

With any national list there are kids that move on and off the top 100 and this month's update is no exception.

Newcomers to the top 100 include safety Tervaris Johnson at No. 70, running back Cordera Eason at No. 77, offensive tackle Jake Bscherer at No. 80, strongside defensive end Deantwan Whitehead at No. 81, strongside defensive end Lamarr Houston at No. 86, cornerback Ryan Hill at No. 90, receiver Raymond Small at No. 91, receiver Jared White at No. 93, quarterback Jeremy Ricker at No. 95 and receiver Sam Shields at No. 100.

The most notable moves out of the top 100 were quarterbacks Zach Frazer, Neil Caudle and Pat Devlin. Offensive tackles Micah Kia and Aaron Brown were also bumped slighty down based upon the improved play of other prospects and an injury on Kia's part.

All of the players that were moved out of the top 100 will remain members of the Rivals250 and at the high four-star level.


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