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July 10, 2006
King leads the way in Georgia
The Rivals.com Georgia Top 50 for the Class of 2007 features no surprises at the top with two of the nation's top prospects at their positions leading the way.
Lilburn Parkview's Caleb King, the nation's top running back prospect and perhaps the state's top prospect at that position since Garrison Hearst, leads the way. King is an explosive athlete who is a multi-dimensional ball carrier.
He's quick enough to wiggle his way out of trouble on the inside and of course if he gets the corner, it's over. He also can catch passes out of the backfield and plays well enough in space to be considered a viable receiving threat.
Some question King's size (5-11, 195) and say that perhaps he's not big enough to be the nation's top running back based on those measurements. Well, the fact is, as it is with most players going from high school to college, that he will gain weight. For example, how much did former Auburn star Carnell Williams weigh when he got to Auburn and how much did he weigh when he left? Both Williams and King are the same height.
Behind King is cornerback Eric Berry from Fairburn Creekside. Berry, the nation's top cornerback prospect, is another that drew some questions because he doesn't play cornerback in high school, he plays quarterback.
This is a bit more of a risk than something as trivial as a few pounds from King, but the facts is that Berry has worked out as a corner in front of numerous coaches (college and high school) and in front of Rivals.com. Each time he has been very, very impressive and each time there has been no question which position he projects best at the college level. He also has elite speed (posted a 4.33 second 40-yard dash at the Athens NIKE Camp this year) and good size (6-0, 180) for a corner.
Allen Bailey from McIntosh County Academy is No. 3 in the Peach State. Bailey passes the eyeball test without a doubt. He's one of the most physically-impressive prospects you will see. Bailey also moves well and on film, shows good closing speed and an ability to get to the ball. The question about Bailey is where he will play. He wants to play linebacker at the next level, but with his build and speed, he likely will play defensive end.
Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward from Suwanee Peachtree Ridge, the son of the late Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, is the No. 4 prospect in Georgia. Heyward is an athletic two-way lineman that could play along the defensive or offensive lines. He's a basketball player, too, so he has good feet and moves well. Heyward may not be as good of a high school football player as some ranked below him at this time, but he's a better college prospect.
Another defensive tackle, Ted Laurent, from Powder Springs McEachern, is the No. 5 overall prospect. Laurent is a true nose tackle-type defensive lineman with a high motor and good strength.
Rounding out the top 10 are Gainesville offensive tackle Nick Claytor, the state's top offensive lineman, Marietta Kell running back Jonathan Dwyer, College Park North Clayton athlete Morgan Burnett, Tifton Tift County wide receiver Israel Troupe and Loganville Grayson defensive end Conrad Obi.
Claytor is a Rivals100 prospect. All the rest are inside the Rivals250.
Three prospects who have seen their stock rise in recent weeks are Dawsonville Dawson County defensive tackle Logan Walls, Claytor's teammate offensive guard C.J. Wood and Moultrie Colquitt County cornerback Vance Cuff.
Walls is from the hometown of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott and is a very similar player to former UGA standout David Pollack. Wood has been very impressive in multiple summer camps and has picked up scholarship offers from the Dawgs and Auburn while Cuff was outstanding at the Gainesville, Fla., NIKE Camp in May and has offers from Ohio State and others.