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Preseason State Rankings:
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It's another big year for talent in the state of Ohio with an outstanding class of defensive ends leading the way. Not surprisingly, Ohio State and Michigan have had the most success in the state by far.
The top overall prospect in the Ohio preseason state ranking, however, is offensive tackle Kyle Kalis from Lakewood, the nation's highest-ranked four-star prospect. Kalis has been in the spotlight a lot recently, de-committing from the Buckeyes and flipping to the Wolverines.
Defensive ends Ifeadi Odenigbo (No. 2), Se'von Pittman (No. 3), Adolphus Washington (No. 5) and Greg McMullen (No. 6) showcase the strength of the position in the state, with Pittman on board with Michigan State and McMullen with Nebraska. The defensive end talent isn't limited to the top 10. Other four-star ends are Tom Strobel and Pharaoh Brown, at Nos. 14 and 17 respectively.
It's also a strong year for running backs with William Mahone (No. 4) out of Austintown and Ohio State commitments Bri'onte Dunn (No. 8) and Warren Ball (No. 13).
The top receiver in the class is the uncommitted Dwayne Stanford and he checks in at No. 7. Other receivers of note are the state's No. 12 prospect, Corey Smith, and Monty Madaris, the highest-ranked three-star prospect in Ohio. However, Smith will likely be re-classified as a 2011 prospect in our next rankings go-around and looks like he will attend junior college in the fall.
The top two linebackers are Josh Perry and Joe Bolden and those two will be rivals in college. Perry, No. 9 in the state, is heading to Ohio State, while Bolden, at No. 11, is bound for Michigan. The Buckeyes and Wolverines also split the state's top two defensive backs, with cornerback De'van Bogard (No. 15) headed to Ohio State and safety Jarrod Wilson (No. 16) recently pledging to Michigan.
It's an average year for quarterbacks in the state with three passers cracking the list. Tyler O'Connor is the best of the bunch at No. 27 and he's committed to Michigan State.
The rankings for the talent-rich state of Georgia are also out. The Peach State is headlined by defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor from Millen, who will be staying at home to play for the Bulldogs. Valdosta linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons checks in just behind him at No. 39 nationally, though Florida State commit Ukeme Eligwe (No. 42) could actually make a case for being the top linebacker in the state. Alabama and Auburn lead for four-star cornerback Geno Smith, the state's No. 4 player, and defensive end Jordan Jenkins of Hamilton rounds out the top five.
North Carolina's rankings are also out. As expected, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (No. 3 overall nationally) leads the way. Humphries recently named a top five of Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina and Clemson. The state is also home to five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard, who is also thought to be a Florida lean.
The Rocky Mountain States Preseason Top 5 ranking is also released on Thursday. Look for the state rankings from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and Nevada on Friday.