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Final 2017 Rivals100: Big movers

The last Rivals100 release for the 2017 recruiting class is out, and the five-stars grab much of the attention. However, there were numerous players who made significant moves upwards either into the Rivals100 or within the list itself.

There weren’t many discussions regarding players that just missed a fifth star, although Georgia running back commitment D’Andre Swift from Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s and Florida State wide receiver pledge D.J. Matthews from Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast both impressed greatly at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Prospects like Notre Dame tight end commitment Brock Wright from Houston (Texas) Cy-Fair, Auburn offensive tackle commitment Calvin Ashley from Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College High, Pitt safety commitment Paris Ford from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Seton La Salle and wide receiver Jeff Thomas from East St. Louis, Ill. all made nice moves upwards within the Rivals100, but the biggest movers are below and broken down by the the recruiting analysts.

Note: Players moving up more than 30 spots overall are considered the biggest movers.

MORE: Harris tops final Rivals100 for 2017 class | Full Rivals100 rankings


Old rank: 101

New rank: 37

Difference: +64 spots

Analyst's take: “I was surprised that Tufele was not a little bit bigger physically, but that did not stop him from absolutely dominating during Army week. He was unstoppable in one-on-ones, a physical kid who also has tremendous speed to shoot gaps and get in the backfield. Once he adds even more size to his frame, Tufele could prove to be even more unstoppable. Ohio State, Utah, BYU and others remain involved.” – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Analyst

Old rank: 77

New rank: 41

Difference: +36 spots

Analyst's take: “The rare polished high school center, Ruiz is a natural fit for the position. He shined at this year's Under Armour All-America Game, where he displayed impressive extension and solid power. The fact that he's spent his high school career snapping the ball from the center spot is a bonus for Michigan, which could use him at both guard and center early in his time in Ann Arbor.” – Rob Cassidy, Southeast Recruiting Analyst

Old rank: 97

New rank: 49

Difference: +48 spots

Analyst's take: “Smith had a great week at the Under Armour Game in Orlando, showing an impressive mean streak and violent hands. The Tennessee early enrollee will need to add some more muscle to his lean frame before he's ready to see the field in Knoxville, but with nine months to prepare he should be an early contributor for the Vols.” – Woody Wommack, Southeast Recruiting Analyst

Old rank: 85

New rank: 54

Difference: +31 spots

Analyst's take: “Lenoir had a fantastic week at the Army Bowl and was consistently good in everything he did, from stopping receivers in one-on-ones to having a big return in the game. He wants to be really good, has the desire to prove he's the best player on the field and he can be used on offense, defense and special teams. Lenoir proved at the Army Bowl that he can stop any receiver in the country. USC, Oregon, Nebraska and others remain in the mix.” - Gorney

Old rank: 95

New rank: 63

Difference: +32 spots

Analyst's take: “Nasirildeen has always had sky-high potential, but he is clearly closer to realizing that than we originally thought. He was making plays all over the field at the Army All-American Bowl and in the practices leading up to the game. The South Carolina commit's length, speed and anticipation helped him break up a lot of passes.” – Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

Old rank: 120

New rank: 72

Difference: +48 spots

Analyst's take: “Lamb, an Oklahoma commitment, was a snub for the national All-America games at the end of this season, but he finishes his career as the top wide receiver in Texas and is a big-play threat every time the ball is thrown to him. In his final three playoff games since the last rankings update at the end of fall, he finished with 372 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. Lamb has a lot of Randy Moss-like elements to his game and personality and is worthy of a spot in the top 100.” - Nick Krueger, Texas Recruiting Analyst

Old rank: Outside of the Rivals250

New rank: 73

Difference: N/A

Analyst's take: “Gay was one of the most impressive players at this year's Mississippi All-Star Classic. He's added significant muscle this year and has retained the same athleticism that has always made him a special prospect. Once committed to Ole Miss, Gay will likely land at either Michigan or Mississippi State.” – Cassidy

Old rank: 181

New rank: 74

Difference: +107 spots

Analyst's take: “Vilain will be a great pass rusher at Michigan, but at the Under Armour All-America Game he showed that he's not a one-trick pony. He played with more power than ever before and had lots of success in practices. Vilain's presence in the backfield during the game showed he will have success against elite competition.” - Friedman

Old rank: Previously outside of the Rivals250

New rank: 78

Difference: N/A

Analyst's take: “Thorpe has come a long way over the past year, and he caught a lot of the players at the Under Armour All-America Game off guard. The Penn State commit was in great shape, and his strong punch knocked a lot of defenders off balance. Thorpe was also very quick and did a good job sliding to stay in front of defenders while still being able to drive them off the ball when necessary.” - Friedman

Old rank: Previously outside of the Rivals250

New rank: 79

Difference: N/A

Analyst's take: “Levi Jones is taking visits to Florida, FSU and USC this month. Jones has always been best used as a rangy, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can bottle up runners with his long wingspan. He’s a slippery pass rusher as well, and his stock took a major uptick after showcasing those skills throughout the week against top competition at the Under Armour All-America Game. He led a Sam Ehlinger-less Westlake High team to the state quarterfinals and averaged over 9.5 total tackles per game in the postseason.” - Krueger

Old rank: 116

New rank: 80

Difference: +36 spots

Analyst's take: “Chandler was relegated to more of an all-purpose role at the Army Bowl, but his combination of speed and playmaking ability, along with his willingness to run between the tackles, helped him move into the final Rivals100. The Tennessee commit has a clear path to early playing time and will likely be a factor for the Vols in 2017.” - Wommack

Old rank: 186

New rank: 85

Difference: +101 spots

Analyst's take: “Thompson doesn't get the hype of some SEC quarterback signees but has the talent to be a future star. He's a tall, lean prospect who can make plays with both his arm and his legs and has the "it" factor you look for in quarterback.” - Wommack

Old rank: 160

New rank: 88

Difference: +72 spots

Analyst's take: “Thomas was another player who impressed the analysts covering the Army Bowl, consistently winning reps during one-on-ones and showing the toughness he has lacked at times during other events. The Georgia commit has a ton of raw potential and seems to be tapping into it at the right time.” - Wommack

Old rank: 176

New rank: 100

Difference: +76 spots

Analyst's take: “Hines, a Texas A&M commitment, showed up in Orlando for the Under Armour All-America Game in the best shape that he’s been in since his recruitment has been covered by Rivals. Hines has been working diligently on his pass-coverage abilities but has always been quick to work back to the ball in run defense. After seeing his ranking slide up and down the Rivals250, he finally settles in as a top-100 player nationally.” – Krueger