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July 22, 2009
Calif. WRs highlight additions to the Rivals250
MORE: The Rivals250 | Ask the experts about the ranking | Moves in the Rivals100 | Rivals100 Q&A
With 11 weeks since the release of the last Rivals250 and numerous evaluation opportunities in the interim, Rivals.com recruiting analysts have been busy.
There are more than 20 new additions to the 250. Led by Los Angeles Santee Educational Complex wide receiver Tevin Carter, who debuts at No. 111, skill-position prospects made the biggest splash on the list.
Carter, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who has committed to California, greatly raised his stock with his combination of size and speed.
Two other California wide receivers who debuted are Los Angeles Cathedral's Anthony Jefferson, who went from just outside the nation's top 50 wide receivers to No. 146 on the Rivals250, and Ontario (Calif.) Colony's Kenneth Scott, a Utah commitment who debuts at No. 228.
Orlando Dr. Phillips speedster Kenny Shaw earned his fourth star and checks in at No. 189. Rounding out the wide receiver additions is Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara's Brandon Coleman who checks in at No. 226.
There were numerous additions at defensive back and athlete, as well. Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise safety Titus Till moved into the 250 at No. 129 after an outstanding performance at the Virginia Nike Camp. He has committed to Maryland. Indianapolis Ben Davis safety Isaiah Lewis moved from three stars to four and debuts at No. 213, while Atlanta Westlake cornerback Darius Robinson is the other defensive back addition, debuting at No. 234.
At athlete, Kapolei (Hawaii) High standout Shaydon Akuna made the Rivals250 based on his recent performance at the All-Poly Camp in Hawaii. Akuna (6-3/210) projects as a linebacker but could be a safety. Prattville (Ala.) High athlete Sam Gibson and Stonewall (La.) North De Soto athlete Curtis Carter debuted at No. 177 and No. 199, respectively. Gibson has committed to LSU.
Passing and running
Other skill positions represented were quarterback and running back with three new additions overall, and one big move upward.
Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista quarterback Brett Nottingham earned his fourth star and checks in at No. 119, while Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton North signal-caller Taylor Graham went from no stars to No. 227 in the Rivals250. Nottingham has committed to UCLA, while Graham is headed to Ohio State.
At running back, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney star Braylon Heard jumped into the Rivals250 at No. 165, and Frederick (Md.) Linganore fullback Zach Zwinak is the only player at his position ranked. Zwinak checks in at No. 160, a big rise from No. 233. Heard has committed to West Virginia.
'Backers moving up
Before we get to the trenches, there are three linebackers who made big moves in the latest Rivals250. Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista's David Wilkerson makes his debut in the 250 at No. 219, and Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser's Josh Shirley and Cannonsburg (Pa.) Canon McMillan's Mike Hull made big moves up the 250. Shirley went from No. 205 to No. 113, and Hull moved from No. 182 to No. 145. Wilkerson has committed to Cal and Hull to Penn State.
The big guys
While the spring and summer is thought of as a showcase for the skill-position guys, numerous big men impressed at camps across the country and moved up or into the Rivals250.
Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny offensive tackle Thomas Ricketts sent in his junior film, and after a review, Ricketts jumped to No. 142 in the nation. Ricketts, a Penn State commitment, simply is nasty on film.
Yazoo City (Miss.) High tackle Demarco Cox used a combination of junior film and in-person dominance to earn a fourth star and check in at No. 157. Cox could end up doing his damage in college on the basketball court, though, as he's a top-100 prospect in hoops.
Petersburg (Va.) guard Quinton Spain dominated on the camp circuit since our last rankings, especially at the Virginia Nike Camp, and jumped from outside the 250 to No. 172. Spain is a West Virginia commitment, and has to be seen in person to truly be appreciated.
Pittsburgh Fox Chapel Area center Miles Dieffenbach jumped from three stars to four and now is No. 206 in the Rivals250. Dieffenbach clearly was the best offensive lineman at the Penn State Nike Camp. Dieffenbach is another Penn State commitment.
Two California offensive linemen, Giovanni Di Poalo and Alex Crosthwaite, made big moves in the 250. Di Poalo, from Ventura St. Bonaventure, moved from No. 242 to No. 192. Crosthwaite, a California commitment from San Diego Cathedral Catholic, moved from No. 249 to No. 200.
Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton earned his fourth star and debuts at No. 152 because of newly reviewed junior film. Defensive end Kony Ealy from New Madrid (Mo.) New Madrid County Central now is No. 175 in the country, and Junction City (Ark.) High defensive tackle Byran Jones moved from outside the 250 to No. 235.
Two Louisiana prospects, Marrero Archbishop Shaw defensive tackle Elliott Porter and Longville South Beauregard offensive tackle Ivan Robinson, moved to No. 178 and No. 181, respectively. Porter is a LSU commitment, and Robinson has committed to Texas A&M.
• Some of the bigger names to drop out of the Rivals250 include Louisiana quarterback Munchie Legaux, Mississippi defensive linemen Carlton Martin and Bryon Bennett, California wide receiver Kaelin Clay, Tennessee linebacker Justin Maclin and North Carolina linebacker Kendall Moore.
• For those conspiracy theorists out there, only one program had more than one prospect fall out of the Rivals250 this time. Ohio State, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, Clemson, USC, Mississippi State, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford, South Carolina, Colorado, BYU, Texas A&M and Cincinnati had one commitment drop out of the 250; Miami, with Javarie Johnson and Tavadis Glenn, had two. Johnson had been No. 208 and Glenn was No. 239. Johnson fell after an evaluation at the Penn State Nike Camp, and Glenn simply was a victim of numbers as he was pushed out by new additions.
• After Florida (44) and Texas and California (34 each), Georgia is the next state in the Rivals250 with 16 prospects, followed by Ohio (10) and Alabama (nine). Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina have eight prospects each. After putting seven players in the 2009 NFL draft's first round, New Jersey has only two prospects in the 250 and one of them, five-star defensive end Chris Martin, is a transfer from California.