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July 30, 2007

Category rankings: Safeties


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country to come up with the most extensive and accurate prospect rankings and evaluations you will find. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

Today we rank the top five safety prospects in four categories. Who is the fastest? The hardest hitter? Who has the best coverage skills? Our experts have come up with the complete list.

Safety rankings: Fastest | Best ball skills | Best coverage skills | Hardest hitter

Fastest
Jeremy Crabtree's take: Rahim Moore is also a star in track, so it's no surprise to me to see him atop this list. I also think people are decided by Barbour's speed because he's such a big, strong physical player.

Mike Farrell's take: Rahim Moore beat out Spencer Adams in a close battle. This isn't the fastest group of safeties compared with the last few years, but there are some very good athletes.

JC Shurburtt's take: Rahim Moore also is a track standout and his speed is what gives him the chance to be special. Spencer Adams also is very fast.

  • Vote: Who is the fastest?
  • 1. Rahim Moore, 6-0, 185, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey Moore highlights
    2. Spencer Adams, 6-2, 180, Matthews (N.C.) Butler Adams highlights
    3. Jarrell Barbour, 6-3, 190, Phoenix (Ariz.) Centennial Barbour highlights
    4. Okechuckwu Okoroha, 6-0, 183, Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt Okoroha highlights
    5. C.J. Holton, 6-2, 195, Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla Holton highlights
    Best Ball Skills
    Crabtree's take: I also thought Dan McCarthy should have been in this category, because he's got some really special ball skills, but I can't argue with any of the guys on this list. They're all very solid. I think Slaughter and Ibiloye are two really excellent players that fit perfectly in this group with their style of play.

    Farrell's take: Most of these guys have the ability to adjust to the ball and they don't leave many interceptions lying on the turf.

    Shurburtt's take: This group is solid top to bottom, led once again by Moore, who we ranked the nation's top prospect at his position.

  • Vote: Who has the best ball skills?
  • 1. Rahim Moore, 6-0, 185, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey Moore highlights
    2. Jamoris Slaughter, 6-1, 185, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Tucker Slaughter highlights
    3. Joseph Ibiloye, 6-2, 195, Garland (Texas) South Garland Ibiloye highlights
    4. Dee Finley, 6-3, 210, Auburn (Ala.) Finley highlights
    5. Rashun Dixon, 6-0, 185, Terry (Miss.) Dixon highlights
    Best Coverage Skills
    Crabtree's take: Blanton is really good in this category. Watching him lock somebody down is really impressive. He's good enough where he won't have to leave the field in nickel and dime situations.

    Farrell's take: Blanton is a blanket and is always around the football while Okoroha uses his long frame and strength to dominate in space.

    Shurburtt's take: Blanton doesn't have much in the way of speed, but his coverage skills are excellent.

  • Vote: Who has the best coverage skills?
  • 1. Robert Blanton, 6-1, 177, Charlotte (N.C.) Butler Blanton highlights
    2. Okechuckwu Okoroha, 6-0, 183, Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt Okoroha highlights
    3. Jarrell Barbour, 6-3, 190, Phoenix (Ariz.) Centennial Barbour highlights
    4. Rahim Moore, 6-0, 185, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey Moore highlights
    5. Dee Finley, 6-3, 210, Auburn (Ala.) Finley highlights
    Hardest Hitter
    Crabtree's take: Moody definitely can bring the wood, and with as big and physical as Finley is, he too is a star in this group. I like the way that Brewster is always in the right position to make the big hit, too. That's something that people overlook on the big hitters. You have to be in position to make the big hits.

    Farrell's take: Moody is a linebacker in a safety's body, he just brings the wood.

    Shurburtt's take: Hatcher to me is the hardest hitter. All of these other guys are very physical, but I can't see them being bigger hitters than Hatcher, who is a true headhunter.

  • Vote: Who is the hardest hitter?
  • 1. Nick Moody, 6-1, 218, Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic Moody highlights
    2. Dee Finley, 6-3, 210, Auburn (Ala.) Finley highlights
    3. C.J. Holton, 6-2, 195, Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla Holton highlights
    4. Karnell Hatcher, 6-2, 186, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic Hatcher highlights
    5. Nolan Brewster, 6-1, 195, Denver (Colo.) Mullen Brewster highlights



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