One of this year's great debates got a dose of clarity last week.
Who is the best quarterback in Michigan? If the EA Sports Elite 11 is any indicator, Devin Gardner will get the nod over fellow four-star prospects Robert Bolden and Joe Boisture.
All three quarterbacks have had their moments at various camps. Boisture came out on top after the Midwest Elite camp, and Bolden made his statement at the Champaign Nike camp. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every named Gardner the top quarterback at the Elite 11.
"His combination of size, athleticism [and] arm strength stood out," Every said. "More importantly, he really took to the coaching. You can tell he is striving to be the best. He is getting the type of coaching at that event that he will get at the college level, and he responded really well.
"The comparisons to Vince Young and Terrelle Pyror are legit. He throws the ball better than them at the same stage. Camp instructor Matt James told me the three dual-threat quarterbacks at the event, Garnder, Bolden and Barry Brunetti, are the best three they have ever had at the Elite 11."
Bolden finished third in Every's Elite 11 rankings, while Boisture came in 12th (there were 12 participants at the camp). But Gardner is truly is the driver's seat now. If there is one thing in this debate that analysts and fans agree on, it is Gardner's superiority in games. The Michigan commit could separate himself from the other two even more this fall.
All eyes on Florida
The Sunshine State was home to a pair of huge recruiting events last week - Florida's Friday Night Lights and the ESPN Champion Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 Tournament.
Passing tournaments allow offensive players to showcase their skills, often at the expense of defensive players. But a duo from Cleveland proved that the Glenville Tarblooders will have one of the nation's best defensive backfield this year.
"They looked like they have been playing together for years," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "Anderson just transferred into Glenville. They communicated really well. They were just dissecting the offense of other teams. They talked a lot on the sideline about tendencies of opposing quarterbacks and receivers. They are very athletic, but they are smart too. They will be ridiculous at Glenville."
Friday Night Lights is the Florida Gators' annual summer prospect camp. As usual, it was loaded with many of the nation's best players. In-state prospects dominated the Rivals.com Hot 11 from the event. But out-of-state stars Ronald Powell, J.R. Ferguson, and Dominique Easley prevented a clean sweep by Sunshine State prospects. Each prospect projects as a defensive end at the next level.
"Sharrif Floyd would have been in there, but he didn't show up with pads and a helmet, so he could not go for one-on-ones," Farrell said. "He has been visiting a bunch of schools down there and didn't have his gear. So, it should have been four defensive linemen in the Hot 11 from out of state.
"Defensive line was the deepest position there by far. There were a lot of good skill guys, but the defensive line was ridiculous. Neiron Ball and Louis Nix were great as well. Leon Orr was really good, too. Powell played tight end. He could have just dominated on the defensive line. It was interesting to watch him go against top cornerbacks that were trying to jam him off the line. He was so quick and strong, they had no chance."
RECRUITER OF THE WEEK: Kirby Smart, Alabama
This one is a tough call. Florida's Kenny Carter went up to Georgia to grab Rivals100 running back Mack Brown and also added Neiron Ball. Oklahoma's Bobby Jack Wright landed Rivals250 prospect James Haynes, Aaron Colvin and should be given as assist for Haynes' teammate Trey Franks, who also committed to Oklahoma recently. UCLA's Tim Hundley beat out the rest of the country for Rivals100 prospect Tony Jefferson.
Alabama's Kirby Smart, however, landed two Rivals250 prospects in the past seven days. The first commitment came from Columbus (Ga.) Brookstone tight end Brian Vogler, who had offers from Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State, Auburn and many more. The second Rivals250 prospect lives in Auburn's backyard - Opelika (Ala.) running back Corey Grant. The 5-10 prospect sported offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and many more.
Class of 2010 Team Recruiting Rankings released
The Texas Longhorns stand on top of the Rivals.com team recruiting rankings.
LSU, Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama round out the top five. Stanford and BYU are the front-runners for the surprise classes of the year, coming in at Nos. 11 and 15, respectively.
• Wisconsin is on a roll with four commitments since July 21. Milwaukee Marquette's Michael Trotter leads the way. The 6-0 safety is one of the best tackling defensive backs in the Midwest. The Badgers also added Warren Herring, Cody Byers and Jeff Lewis, a running back from Marquette's archrival, Brookfield Central High School. Bryce Gilbert, Lewis' teammate, committed to Wisconsin in May. Marquette and Brookfield Central play each other on Oct. 9. That will be a great look into the future for Badgers fans.
• T.J. Stripling is the highest-rated prospect to commit during the past week. The nation's No. 28 prospect gave his word to Georgia. The Bulldogs also added Rivals250 prospect Nickell Robey.
• Though Alabama landed a Rivals250 prospect from Auburn's backyard, the Tigers made their own mark this week. Four-star wide receiver Antonio Goodwin is heading to The Plains. The Tigers also added Kenneth Carter and Chad Slade.
• Akron is mixing it up with the big boys as the Zips landed a pair of commitments this week in three-star linebacker Chase Hoobler - who had offers from Boston College, Indiana and Louisville - and defensive back Seth Cunningham, who chose the Zips over Cincinnati, Iowa and North Carolina.