Rivals.com has always been an innovator when it comes to recruiting coverage, analysis and rankings.
With the 2006 recruiting class, Rivals.com was the first to rank the top 250 players in the nation – the Rivals250. After ranking the top 100 players numerically, the players in the Rivals250 were listed in alphabetical order.
Now, Rivals.com is taking the Rivals250 to a whole different level by ranking the players from No. 1 to No. 250.
It's a daunting task that took days of lengthy meetings with the Rivals.com recruiting staff to complete. The rankings were compiled after countless hours of personal observations through last football season, this spring and summer at games, practices, camps, combines, 7-on-7 tournaments and individual workouts. Some film evaluation was also used, and input from professional, college and high school coaches was also gathered.
Several players were rewarded with new four-star rankings, and they were promoted into the top 250. More four-star prospects will be added and removed as the official position and updated three-star rankings will be revealed on Monday, Aug. 13.
Obviously, the players that were ranked in the Rivals100 headline the first 100 spots on the Rivals250. After you delve into the rankings further, it shows you how deep the talent pool is in the class of 2008. That's especially true at the receiver and athlete positions.
Forty-one receivers made the top 250, and there are many household names that weren't in the top 100. Players like Tavarres King of Mt. Airy (Ga.) Habersham Central, Cordale Scott of Cleveland Glenville, Melvin Ray of Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian, Dan Buckner of Allen, Texas, Joshua Jarboe of Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Gove and Kevin Dorsey of Forestville, Md., all rank from No. 101 to 140.
King, Scott and Buckner were all part of the first Rivals100 that was released earlier at the start of the summer. While they didn't make it this time, all are still considered to be elite prospects nationally. Even newcomers to the Rivals250, like Christopher Owusu of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian at No. 237, also deserve to be mentioned among the nation's best.
The athlete position has become one of the most difficult to rank over the past few years. There are so many skill players that could easily project on both sides of the ball. That's why it's no surprise to see 21 athletes make the Rivals250.
A perfect example is Kye Staley of Guthrie, Okla. The 6-foot, 200-pound four-star prospect is the nation's No. 101 player, and he plays quarterback for his high school team. However, he will most likely play either running back or receiver on the next level.
Not too far behind Staley at No. 109 is Derrick Hall of Beaumont (Texas) Central. The 5-10, 201-pounder was a nightmare for opposing defenses as a junior. He racked up 513 yards rushing and had 334 yards receiving. There's no question he's one of the fastest players in the nation with the ball in his hands.
Another athlete to watch is Brandon Taylor from Franklinton (La.) Franklin, who is 5-11 and 172 pounds. The No. 126 player might be one of the fastest rising players in the nation. He is pure magic with the ball in his hands, plus he does big things on defense. If Franklin - an early LSU commitment - does what a lot of people think he can do as a senior, he could easily catapult into the upper echelon of the Rivals100 by the end of the season.
They call offensive tackle the money position on the offense line because more players get drafted at the position, so it's no surprise to see 29 offensive tackles on the list.
While every recruitnik in the nation knows about guys like Matt Kalil, Michael Brewster and Tyron Smith, college coaches are also pumped about guys like Mike Goodman of Miami Columbus, Aaron Douglas of Maryville, Tenn., Zebrie Sanders of Clayton (Ohio) Northmont and Cordy Glenn of Riverdale, Ga.
All four rank in the national top 150, and each brings great strengths to the table.
Goodman, who is at No. 112, is easily one of the nation's best pass blockers. Douglas, who comes in at No. 135, made an early commitment to Tennessee and is one of the most athletic big men in the nation. Sanders (No. 142) is not only a smart blocker, but he's able to get up the field to the next level. Glenn (No. 150) is a big-bodied tackle that moves really well for a 300-pounder.
Running back was another pretty stacked position.
A newcomer to the Rivals250 to keep an eye on this fall is Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby running back and Florida State pledge British Footman. The 6-foot-1, 182-pounder ranks as the No. 233 player overall, and he's been an explosive fixture in the Godby offense for quite some time. He should be a nice fit for what Florida State is going to do on offense in the future.