Five new five-stars join the 2019 Rivals100
The latest Rivals100 for the 2019 class has been released with big changes up and down the list as well as five new five-star prospects. Here’s a breakdown of some of the big moves at the top as well as why the new five-stars were minted.
The biggest news of the release is the emergence of Louisiana cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the new No. 1 prospect in the 2019 class. Stingley becomes the first cornerback in Rivals.com history to be named No. 1 at any point in the rankings process. That’s impressive stuff when you consider names like Patrick Peterson, Eric Berry and Vernon Hagreaves among others have all pushed for the spot.
Stingley, the grandson of former Patriots star Darryl Stingley, who was paralyzed as a result of a hit he recrived in a preseason game in 1978, is No. 1 for many reasons.
“Stingley is just special," said Rivals.com Southeast analyst Chad Simmons. "People may have questions about who he lines up against on Friday nights, and that is fair, but that is no concern for me because of what he has shown against the best of the best the last year and a half on the camp circuit.
"Stingley truly checks every box for an elite cornerback. He tests off the charts, then plays with the same speed, agility and aggression between the lines. When evaluating him as a corner, it is very hard to find one area of concern. When you start comparing him to others in the 2019 class, he starts to slide up the board and he has really made a strong case for the top prospect in the country. There is no real questions or concerns about Stingley as a prospect and it really was not a difficult call to make him the top guy despite his position not having value as high as others. That tells you how talented Stingley is.”
Having seen elite corners such as Peterson, Berry, Hargreaves, Ted Ginn Jr., Jalen Ramsey and others over the years, I can concur that Stingley is in that special category. His competitive nature is what really stands out to me. He has all the tools to be great and wants to prove it and get better with each challenge.
West Virginia offensive tackle Darnell Wright, Texas wide receiver Theo Wease and California defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux remained at their positions, 2-4 respectively, while North Carolina athlete Quavaris Crouch fell from No. 1 to No. 5 overall. Florida running back Trey Sanders leaped past Virginia back Devyn Ford at his position and landed in the top 10. Alabama center Clay Webb rounds out the top 10.
There are five new five-star prospects in the new rankings, led by weakside defensive end Nolan Smith. Our team of analysts breaks down why each of them moved into the coveted five-star category.
“Smith had an impressive offseason, testing well at camps and shining during IMG spring football. He moves like a much smaller prospect and has the size-speed combination to overwhelm small and large tackles alike. Smith is committed to Georgia and seems unlikely to waiver on his commitment at this juncture.” – Rob Cassidy, Rivals.com Florida analyst
“What has been so impressive about Thomas in 2018 is his consistency. Everywhere he goes - he dominates. He is in much better shape, he is moving as well as he ever has in high school and he punishes the person in front of him more times than not. He has a great punch and he loves to finish his blocks. The LSU commitment is still being pursued by schools like Alabama, USC and others, and although he likely will take some visits, he appears to be strong with his commitment.” – Chad Simmons, Rivals.com Southeast analyst
“Morris has shown everywhere he has competed this year that he is clearly one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country. He has shown great feet, the ability to mirror edge rushers and to dominate top competition consistently. What is scary about Morris is, there is still so much room for improvement. He has improved greatly over the last year and he is likely to see playing time next fall at Tennessee.” – Simmons
“A Florida State commit, Dent is an elite athlete and showed it on the camp circuit this year. Obviously, his natural position is defensive back and that's where he is dominant but he spent some time reminding everyone what level of athlete he is by working at wide receiver at some stops this offseason. Dent's length and raw athletic ability make him special.” – Cassidy
“Hill made his big jump into the Rivals100 coming out of junior season, and he edges up into five-star territory following a couple short, but very impressive, spring performances. From a size, speed and athleticism standpoint Hill is very similar to new No. 1 Derek Stingley Jr., but where Stingley plays cornerback, Hill plays the slightly less glamorous safety position. He utilizes those plus-athleticism skills in tandem with a physical style of football that translates into an elite safety prospect for the college level.
In-state programs Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are trying to hold off big, national programs Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State for Hill's services, as those six make up his list of finalists.” – Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com Midwest analyst
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK SCHEDULE
Monday: Top 10 players revealed | Who was the hardest to rank? | Making the case for the top 10 | A closer look at who is No. 1 | Adam Gorney's Take Two | Stingley's rise to No. 1 | Godfather & Gorney Podcast
Wednesday: New Rivals250 released | Who did each analyst go to bat for the most? | Five schools that should be most pleased with new rankings | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Rivals250 by the numbers | Should Gunnell have dropped that far? | Take Two
Saturday: Team rankings breakdown