New 2019 State Rankings: Mid-Atlantic Region
The release of the state rankings is the culmination of the Rivals Rankings Week coverage and there are plenty of players and storylines to track. Big moves in the Rivals250 and new three- and four-stars shook up the state rankings, some of which have a historic feel to them.
The Mid-Atlantic region leads off the release of the newest version of the state rankings today.
MORE: Top 10 players revealed |Five new five-stars | Farrell's Mind of Mike| Five schools that should be most pleased with new rankings | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Ask Farrell: Who will win team rankings?
1. Best West Virginia class ever
West Virginia isn’t known as a talent-producing state but this looks like the best group of prospects to come out of the state in any year. Not only is Darnell Wright the only West Virginia native to receive a five-star rating, he’s one of the highest-rated offensive linemen in Rivals history. Rivals250 offensive lineman Doug Nester, an Ohio State commit, helps make this the best class West Virginia has ever produced. The only other time West Virginia has produced at least two four-stars was 2017 with current West Virginia Mountaineer Derrek Pitts and current Tennessee offensive lineman Riley Locklear. That same 2017 class had a few more three-star prospects but there is likely a better chance of these 2019 prospects panning out.
2. Keystone State lacking star power
At the opposite end of history, this year’s class out of Pennsylvania could be historically thin at the top. There is only one player, Wisconsin tight end commit Hayden Rucci, in the Rivals250. To put that in prospective, that is the fewest players Pennsylvania has had in the Rivals250 ever. The next fewest was four in 2014. Back in 2006, there were 16 players from Pennsylvania. Defensive backs Marlin Devonshire and Tykee Smith along with offensive linemen Ja’Quay Hubbard and Patrick Garwo have a chance at making later versions of the Rivals250 but this group has a little ways to go to avoid ending up on the wrong side of history.
3. Depth returning to New Jersey?
It’s a little surprising with how many major prospects have come out of New Jersey in the past few years. But after looking back at the rankings, there haven’t been double-digit prospects in New Jersey rated at least four-stars since the 2015 recruiting class that featured Minkah Fitzpatrick, Brandon Wimbush and others. The 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2014 recruiting classes also fit that description and, with 11 four-star prospects, this 2019 class is trying to join that club. A few players are toward the back end of the four-stars at their respective positions so they will have to continue their development to keep that coveted fourth star.
4. Defense dominating North Carolina
The top of the North Carolina state rankings is dominated by defensive players. In fact, eight of the top 10 (nine if you believe Quavaris Crouch will eventually be listed as a linebacker or defensive end) will play on defense at the next level. North Carolina has a reputation for producing big-time defensive linemen and the 2019 class, with players such as Savion Jackson, Joshua Harris, Traveon Freshwater and C.J. Clark is no different. The only pure offensive prospect in the top ten of the North Carolina state rankings is Rivals250 Florida State quarterback commit Sam Howell. Keep an eye on wide receivers Nolan Groulx, Khafre Brown, and Donavon Greene as the process moves forward because they could end up moving into that top ten.
5. Connecticut on the verge of history?
Football in the Northeast is on the rise and Connecticut is becoming more of a hotbed for college prospects. Rivals250 Clemson quarterback commit Taisun Phommachanh and Rivals250 Penn State defensive back commit Tyler Rudolph top the state rankings and they are joined in the four-star ranks by Penn State defensive back commit Marquis Wilson. The last time Connecticut featured three four-star prospects was in 2010 with Rivals100 prospects Silas Redd and Khaiti Fortt and Rivals250 prospect Kevin Pierre-Louis. That 2010 class has an edge on the 2019 class for the “Best Ever” title, especially when you factor in former Florida State star defensive end Bjoern Werner was in that same class. This class could cement its standing as the second-best class Connecticut has ever produced but you have to think back to Christian Wilkins in the 2015 class. There weren’t any other real major prospects in that class but Wilkins is the only five-star Connecticut has ever produced and has certainly lived up to that billing.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK (2019 CLASS)
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