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Recruiting Rankings Update: Risers and Fallers


-by Braden Gall (follow at @AthlonBraden)

The Athlon Consensus 100 is a recruiting ranking used to portray the truest and most accurate list of the top 100 senior football prospects in the nation. Athlon Sports uses six expert compilations to create what is the most complete Top 100 list anywhere in the scouting arena.

Since the debut of the 2012 AC100, each of the four major recruiting services has revamped the rankings. With the 2011 prep football season in the rearview mirror, talent evaluators and scouts around the nation have reconvened and re-ranked every prospect in the country.

And Athlon Sports has adjusted the AC100 accordingly:

Dorial Green-Beckham is still No. 1

The Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest wide receiver was the No. 1 player when the AC100 debuted months ago, and he has maintained his stronghold atop the rankings throughout the process thus far.

In fact, not only did the top slot remain stable with Green-Beckham, but the top five is also exactly the same. Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook running back Keith Marshall moved from No. 9 to No. 6 and became the nation’s No. 1 running back in the process. He is now one slot ahead of Aledo’s Jonathan Gray. Hueytown (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston moved from No. 12 to No. 10, knocking Olney (Md.) Good Counsel athlete Stefon Diggs outside of the nation’s top ten. Winston, who is committed to Florida State, is still the nation’s No. 1 quarterback prospect.

The Nation’s Biggest Risers

The biggest mover in the AC100 ranks came from Miami (Fla.) Norland running back Randy “Duke” Johnson. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound dynamo went from outside of the top 100 to No. 49 in the AC100. Despite his diminutive frame, Johnson is the complete package. He plays an elite level of competition, he has led his team on a deep playoff run and he has the big-play ability to score anytime he touches the ball. His speed and explosiveness are among the nation’s best, and now as the nation’s No. 7-rated running back, he is ranked as such. The Duke is committed to Miami.

Auburn commitment TJ Yeldon jumped 29 spots from No. 90 to No. 61 after all four major recruiting services bumped him up in the rankings. The Daphne (Ala.) running back made the biggest move in the 247Sports rankings from outside the top 100 to No. 26. Rivals has always thought more highly of Yeldon than anyone else as he is now a five-star at No. 24.

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Future Ohio State Buckeye Adolphus Washington leapt 24 spots in the rankings from No. 47 to No. 23. The Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft defensive end is now ranked as the No. 4 end in the country. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound D-lineman was the Class IV state defensive player of the year as a junior and has very few weaknesses. Scout appears to have nailed this evaluation from the get-go as he has been the No. 18 prospect in their ranks from the start. Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports have each moved the pass rusher into the Top 75.

This is a deep class for running backs as Marshall, Johnson and Yeldon have all risen through the ranks, but Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast runner Mario Pender also made a big jump from No. 55 to No. 35. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Florida State verbal made large jumps in the Scout 300 (from No. 85 to 44) and the 247Sports Top 247 (from No. 110 to 32). The compact runner has one of the best power-to-speed ratios in the entire class and is now the country’s No. 4 running back.

Two-way star Cyrus Jones jumped from No. 82 to No. 63 after Rivals and Scout pushed the Baltimore (Md.) Gilman athlete from outside the top 150 to No. 106 and No. 105, respectively. ESPN thinks the most of Jones as they have the 5-foot-10, 180-pound prospect ranked at No. 33. Alabama, Auburn and Virginia Tech appear to be the wide receiver/defensive back’s finalists.

Arlington (Texas) Martin defensive end Devonte Fields (No. 95) and Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) SM Catholic offensive tackle Max Tuerk (No. 98) are two new faces in the AC100. Fields is committed to TCU, while Tuerk is headed to USC.

The Nation’s Biggest Fallers

The biggest faller within the AC100 is Centerville (Ohio) defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, who dropped 28 spots to No. 68 from No. 40. Interestingly enough, Scout and ESPN did not move the undersized 6-foot-3, 215-pound edge rusher at all. Yet, 247Sports and Rivals saw something they didn’t like and dropped him precipitously to No. 109 (from No. 61) and No. 148 (from No. 49), respectively. Cal, USC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and Northwestern are Odenigbo’s finalists.

Future Texas A&M quarterback Matt Davis was dropped in the rankings by all four major services, and it resulted in a 23-spot drop from No. 65 to No. 88 in the AC100. Rivals and Scout have always been higher on the 6-foot-2, 210-pound dual-threat gunslinger, but both moved the Houston (Texas) Klein passer down. He is now ranked outside of the Top 100 by three of the four major services.

A player who has seen his stock slowly fall all year long has been Fort Mitchell (Ky.) Dixie Heights quarterback Zeke Pike. The Auburn Tigers pledge was dropped from No. 104 to No. 145 by Rivals and from No. 98 to outside the Top 247 by 247Sports. ESPN has never had Pike ranked in its ESPNU 150, and it appears they did the best job of evaluating the 6-foot-5, 220-pound pocket passer. As a result, Pike fell 19 spots from No. 63 to No. 82 in the AC100.

Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely star wide receiver Avery Johnson fell 17 spots from No. 50 to No. 67. The LSU Tigers’ verbal commitment has been dropped out of the top 150 by both Scout and 247Sports while Rivals downgraded him slightly. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound pass catcher is the younger brother of Patrick Peterson – who had his own interesting recruitment process.

Additionally, Boynton Beach (Fla.) lineman Jessamen Dunker fell 15 spots, Hogansville (Ga.) Callaway tight end Ricky Parks dropped 14 slots and Morton (Miss.) nose tackle Quay Evans was downgraded 13 slots. De La Salle quarterback Bart Houston (No. 95), Jim Kelly’s nephew Chad Kelly (No. 98) and Greensboro (N.C.) blocker Brock Stadnik (No. 99) all fell out of the AC100.