football Edit

Best in class for 2006

It's never too early to glimpse into the recruiting crystal ball at the class of 2006. While much more film still has to be evaluated, a group of elite prospects has already started to separate itself from the rest of the pack. Led by Rivals.com Junior of the Year Percy Harvin, here's your first glimpse at 50 impact recruits, including 10 players who truly stand out above the crowd.
Harvin, a 6-foot-1, 188-pound receiver from Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown, is ranked as the early pick for the nation's top player. Harvin rolled up 475 total yards in Landstown's 47-20 victory over Robinson in the Class AAA, Division 6 title game and was unstoppable all year long.
"He's the best player I have ever coached," Landstown coach Chris Beatty said. "He can beat press coverage without a problem and is simply electric with the ball in his hands."
People have been talking about Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson linebacker Marcus Ball since before he even stepped on the field as a sophomore. He had a stellar junior campaign and drew rave reviews from his performance at the Atlanta NIKE camp, which brings him in at No. 2 on the early Rivals.com list.
Ball might have been the top running back in Georgia as a junior and may have ranked right at or above five-star linebacker Tray Blackmon. Just wait until he really hits his stride as a senior.
"I know I have room to improve," Ball, who is 6-foot and 200 pounds, said. "I know people are telling me that I'm one of the nation's best players, but I don't let that get to my head. I know I'm going to have to work hard and stay focused on getting better every day."
Birmingham (Ala.) Huffman is home to the nation's top junior offensive lineman. Andre Smith is a 6-foot-5, 302-pound pancake machine. He was recently named most valuable player of the U.S. Army Junior National combine after a dominating performance against the nation's best.
Smith says he has already picked up offers from every SEC school, and more are surely on the way. He has attended camps at Troy and Auburn, where he was easily the best offensive lineman. He has expressed interest in both Auburn and Alabama, but is reluctant to name any early favorites.
Sergio Kindle has been a name that fans in the Lone Star State have been raving about ever since he popped up an all-district list as a freshman. Not only did the 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker from Dallas Woodrow Wilson make all-district, he was named the most valuable player.
"I've never coached a player like him," Wilson coach Bobby Estes said. "He's been amazing for us since he was a freshman. He has the ability to take over a game and simply dominate. He's the best player in Texas, even though he's an underclassman."
His 1,800 yards rushing and 100-plus tackles last fall show that Estes is right.
At No. 5 on the early Rivals.com list is New Jersey do-it-all defensive back Myron Rolle of Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School.
Rolle, who is 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, already has more offers than he knows what to do with, and he's received the attention for plenty of good reasons. In the past three years he's racked up 276 tackles as a safety and more than 2,500 yards rushing as a tailback. Rolle burst onto the national scene when he showed up as sophomore at the Oklahoma summer camp and left with a scholarship offer from Bob Stoops.
To earn a starting spot as a true freshman at an extremely talented high school program like Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, you have to be special. And 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle prospect Sam Young is just that.
"He's the best offensive tackle in the country," one SEC recruiting coordinator said. "He has some of the best feet that we've seen from a kid in Florida in a long, long time. He reminds a lot of coaches in Florida of Max Jean-Gilles when he was coming out."
With comments like that, it's easy to see why Young is ranked as the No. 6 junior in the land.
He's big, he's strong and he's the prototype running back. Meet the No. 7 junior in America, Chris Wells of Akron (Ohio) Garfield.
At 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, Wells can take a pounding and can give it out. With explosive moves and a 4.5-second time in the 40-yard dash it's easy to see why he's already picked up offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.
His 23 touchdowns and almost 2,000 yards rushing don't hurt his cause either.
Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt running back LeSean McCoy might not be the biggest back in the class of 2006, but he can sure make a case for the most explosive rusher in the land.
McCoy, a 5-foot-10, 193-pound ball of excitement, is the No. 8 player on Rivals.com's junior list. McCoy was named the state class 4A player of the year after rushing for 2,828 yards and 33 touchdowns. He was also the star of the State College NIKE Training Camp last season, and he's already picked up scholarship offers from Miami, Penn State, Maryland, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Virginia and West Virginia.
In the class of 2005, Jonathan Stewart was the nation's top running back, but Washington will also be represented with another likely five-star player in safety Taylor Mays of Seattle O'Dea, who comes in at No. 9 on the list. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Mays is the son of ex-Husky and St. Louis Cardinal veteran Stafford Mays, and he's the defending 100- and 200-meter state champion. He also had five interceptions and returned three punts back for touchdowns.
Sylmar, Calif., athlete C.J. Gable is the pick at the No. 10 spot.
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Gable could project as a running back or as an impact corner. Either way, it's already becoming apparent he will draw plenty of attention.
"Pete Carroll went and visited his school in December and told the coaches there that he's his biggest priority to sign next year," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Rick Kimbrel said.
Gable was selected all-league, all-area and all-city in 2004 after rushing for 2,023 yards and 23 touchdowns while averaging 11.2 yards per carry. He is also a threat catching the ball, as he had 14 receptions for 230 yards and two more touchdowns while averaging 16.4 yards per catch.
[ Rivals.com Top 50 Juniors to Watch | AMP: Breaking Down the Top 10 for 2006 ]