Rivals Rankings Week: Four new five-stars join final 2019 Rivals100
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Monday: Top 10 revealed
Wednesday: Rivals250 released
Thursday: Position rankings released
The final Rivals100 for the 2019 recruiting class has been released with four prospects earning that coveted fifth star. There were also some shakeups in the top 10. Here’s a breakdown of the big changes from our Rivals.com analysts.
LSU signee Derek Stingley Jr. remains the No. 1 prospect in the country and there wasn’t a ton of debate about it. Stingley has the size, instincts, ball skills and physicality to be a special player at the next level and beyond and was already making an impact at his new school through the winter practices. Despite missing all-star season, there was little doubt he was special enough to remain No. 1. He’s one of the most complete cornerback prospects I’ve ever seen and becomes the first corner to finish a rankings cycle at No. 1 overall.
Moving up three spots to No. 2 was Georgia defensive line signee Nolan Smith. Smith has been compared to Denver Broncos star Von Miller and that’s a solid comparison. He may not be quite as long as Miller, but he comes off the edge so fast, flattens around the edge very well and is constant disruptive. He’s going to be a great one at the next level and beyond.
Alabama running back signee Trey Sanders impressed and remained in the top five at No. 3 overall as did Oklahoma wide receiver signee Jadon Haselwood who remained at No. 4. Sanders has good size, is durable and physical and has breakaway speed while Haselwood has great size, speed and fights for the ball. Alabama defensive tackle signee Antonio Alfano, with an amazing week at the All-American Bowl, moved up 17 spots to No. 5 overall. Alfano has a non-stop motor, great size and power and is very quick for an interior lineman.
Rounding out the top 10 are Oregon defensive end signee Kayvon Thibodeaux, Auburn wide receiver commitment George Pickens, Alabama offensive tackle signee Evan Neal, South Carolina defensive end signee Zacch Pickens and new five-star DeMarvin Neal, a Texas A&M defensive end commitment. Thibodeaux was awesome at the Under Armour All-America Game and dominated some excellent linemen while Pickens, Neal and Leal also impressed during all-star season.
Leal is one of four new five star prospects in the final Rivals100 for 2019 and we break down all four below.
“DeMarvin Leal kept a low profile throughout the recruiting process and was never really in the discussion for five-star status. Everything changed during the fall of his senior year, when it only took one look at his senior film to realize that he was a special prospect. Nevertheless, we still wanted to lay eyes on the Texas A&M signee in person and we had the perfect chance at the All-American Game in San Antonio. Leal showed everything we wanted to see -- size, speed, athleticism and playmaking ability -- and a rare combination of all those skill at the defensive end position. His showing was the icing on the cake and enough to put him over the top.” – Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst.
“Hinton has had a great career, starting four years on the varsity level at a top high school in the metro Atlanta area and we knew he was an elite prospect early on. There have always been questions though, not only about him as a defensive lineman, but even if he had more upside on the offensive side of the ball. In San Antonio, he answered a lot of those questions as a defensive lineman. He was focused only on one side of the ball and he showed better quickness off the ball, he showed the power and he performed at the five-star level daily. Hinton played himself back into that five-star discussion real quick with his performance at the All-American Bowl.” – Chad Simmons, Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst.
“Cross is an offensive tackle that screams NFL first-round draft pick. You look at him, envision him with another 30-35 pounds on him, and it is a little scary. He has such great feet, the agility, length and bend you love to see in a tackle and you see so much room for development there. Cross did not get out to camps, so he was one that shot up the Rivals rankings late in the fall. He is a little lean, and that may be his biggest weakness right now. That will improve quickly at Mississippi State. The power he showed at the point of attack in San Antonio against elite defensive linemen answered the only real question we had.” – Simmons
“Marcel Brooks actually started the 2019 cycle on the fringe of five-star status, but fell out of favor and nearly dropped all the way out of the Rivals250. He has slowly risen back up over the past nine months, getting back into the Rivals100 and within striking distance of five-star status heading into the All-American Game. Once there, he put all concerns to rest for good, racking up tackles and flying around the field to make plays both in practice and in the game. Brooks sideline-to-sideline speed is special and he's the perfect type of linebacker to combat modern offenses." – Wommack