The Rivals.com recruiting staff spent 17 days on the road in the past month, taking in the nation's marquee all-star events and getting one last chance to evaluate prospects in the class of 2005. Through coverage of the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl, the CaliFlorida Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, many players improved their stock and made big moves up the national rankings.
After those personal observations, Rivals.com has now evaluated all 100 players in person in the final Rivals100 for the class of 2005.
The most significant move in the national 100 came at the nation's No. 2 spot. Behind Derrick Williams now is Nashville (Tenn.) Goodpasture receiver Patrick Turner. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder dominated every day of practice at the all-star game in San Antonio, Texas. Turner made headlines last week when he committed to USC, turning down in-state Tennessee in what is still rumored to be an open recruiting battle.
So why is Turner so good?
"There are players you can look at and see them being great, but when you look at Patrick Turner you can't see him not being great," Rivals.com Southeast recruiting analyst Jeremy Patterson said.
"He is the total package. As a wide receiver, he may be the better than anyone in the country in every category there is except for speed. He does have good speed, though. You just don't find many guys as big as Patrick that have that kind of speed. The best thing about Turner is not his athletic ability but his attitude and willingness and desire to learn more. It is that attitude that makes him a can't-miss prospect."
At the No. 3 spot is Plainfield, N.J., offensive tackle and Virginia commitment Eugene Monroe. Making a move up to the No. 4 spot is Melvin Alaeze, a 6-foot-2, 277-pound strongside defensive end. He is heading to Maryland and the Terps are getting a monster of a prospect who should be able to make a big contribution early for the Terps. At No. 5 is the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker, Rey Maualuga of Eureka, Calif. He is heading to USC.
Receiver Fred Rouse of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln comes in at No. 6, followed by quarterback Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo, Calif., tight end Martellus Bennett of Alief (Texas) Taylor, offensive tackle Reginald Youngblood of Houston Booker T. Washington, and running back Jonathan Stewart of Lacey (Wash.) Timberline.
Other big moves in this month's ranking were several players that moved up to the five-star status.
This included running back Jason Gwaltney of Long Island (N.Y.) North Babylon, who is now ranked as the nation's No. 15 player overall.
"I don't even know who to compare him to," North Babylon Coach Terry Manning said.
"He's powerful, explosive and dominant. He could be the best player ever on Long Island."
Also moving up in status and way up the Rivals100 was Miami Killian cornerback Demetrice Morley.
The 6-foot, 176-pounder was all over the field at the practices for the CaliFlorida Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, proving that he's worthy of the nation's No. 21 spot overall and the No. 2 cornerback spot.
Pahokee, Fla., running back Antone Smith also bumped up from the high 30s to the No. 25 spot and a five-star ranking.
The 5-foot-8, 181-pounder is one of the toughest runners in the nation, plus he has clocked in the sub-4.4 second range in the 40-yard dash.
"He's solid as a rock and has amazing muscle mass," Pahokee coach Leroy Foster said.
"People just hit him and then he bounces off of them. He also has great work ethic."
Just outside of the five-star rankings several players moved up into the national top 30. Charlotte Independence receiver and Georgia commitment Mohamed Massaquoi is at No. 29 spot. Winston Salem (N.C.) Mt. Tabor linebacker Derek Nicholson is now at No. 30.
If Morley made the biggest move up the rankings, he was followed closely by Killeen (Texas) Shoemaker defensive tackle Roy Miller.
Miller dominated at the practices for the all-star game in San Antonio and was one of the most impressive players throughout the week. He moves up 40 spots to No. 34. The Texas commitment also moved up to the No. 5 spot in the defensive tackle rankings.
Tennessee commitment Rico McCoy leaps up to the No. 38 spot after sitting at the No. 96 spot in the previous month's ranking. His strong week of practice at the all-star game in San Antonio helped boost his stock.
The Shrine Bowl performance of Jamie Robinson, a cornerback from Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern, caused him to move up to the No. 66 spot and the top overall ranking in the state of South Carolina.
Jenks, Okla, linebacker Phillip Dillard is one of four Nebraska commitments in the national top 100. The 6-foot-2, 247-pounder had a monster senior season and then back that up with a great week in San Antonio.
Also making a debut in the top 100 list is running back Roy Upchurch at No. 73, linebacker Anthony Felder at No. 85 and athlete Montario Hardesty at No. 100. Upchurch is still picking, while Felder is heading to Cal and Hardesty has picked North Carolina.