Rivals.com - Rivals100: New No. 1, new five-stars
football Edit

Rivals100: New No. 1, new five-stars

"Dexter Lawrence is a special football prospect and when we went back and reviewed film on all of the top candidates at No. 1, he kept jumping out to us," said Farrell of the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder. "We considered both of the quarterbacks, Jacob Eason and Shea Patterson, and of course Marlon Davidson was in the discussion as well. But when you combine how Lawrence continues to improve each time we see him with his amazing size, athletic ability, balance and his body of work on film, it was just the move to make. And his move up 12 spots to No. 1 is the biggest I can recall. Keep in mind that there have been so many bell-to-bell No. 1 guys from Adrian Peterson to Jadeveon Clowney that moves up to No. 1 are rare to start with and this one seems to be historic."
Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst Adam Friedman added his thoughts on Lawrence.
"Say what you want about shifting rankings based on camp performances; Lawrence looks like the complete package," said Friedman, who has seen Lawrence live in camp and game action. "His athleticism is exceptional for a player his size and he has the power to compete with any interior offensive linemen in the country. Combine that with his advanced hand technique and nose for the ball and you've got a future game changer."
Farrell likes Lawrence's balance most of all.
"When you see a big 6-foot-5 defensive tackle prospect, the first thing you look for is how they play with leverage because most of them rear up like a bear out of their stance and give the offensive linemen a huge target," he explained. "But even when Lawrence gets too high, when hands are put on him he adjusts so well. He has such great body lean and balance that he's always moving toward the target while reading the play. It's uncanny and reminds me of some of the better defensive ends I've covered. I'm not saying he's the best defensive tackle I've ever seen, but I will say he's right up there with some of them and he's only getting better and better. And without a dominant No. 1 this year, it was his spot for the taking based on how much he's improved even in the last few months."
Eason, the Georgia quarterback commitment, drops from the No. 1 spot he took from Nate Craig-Myers a couple of releases back and slides behind Patterson, an Ole Miss commitment, at the top of the overall quarterback rankings.
"Quarterbacks are the toughest call of all, as you can imagine," Farrell said. "Jameis Winston was a five-star drafted who won a Heisman and went on to be the No. 1 pick in the draft while Marcus Mariota came out of nowhere in high school and also won a Heisman and was picked No. 2. It's so hard to tell with so much of it being mental and so much development left. Then you throw in injuries, coaches, offensive styles and surrounding talent, and you can see why quarterbacks have so many variables. The bottom line for this switch was that the last many times we saw Eason and Patterson, sometimes head-to-head and sometimes at different events, Patterson came out the much more polished passer. He has better mechanics, better footwork and seems to find his rhythm much more quickly. Then you go back to film and remind yourself they are different types of quarterbacks. But the bottom line here, and I know fans don't want to hear this when it comes to one of their own, but I'll say it anyhow - is that while Lawrence, Patterson and Davidson jumped over Eason, it doesn't change the thought we have that Eason has five-star ability and college and NFL star potential."
Aside from the big shuffle among the top four prospects, the new five stars are the next big story in this release. Here's a breakdown of all four.
Meet the new five-stars
After a busy spring on the camp and 7-on-7 circuit, four players
broke through to earn a coveted fifth star, giving us a total of 25 five-stars
in the class of 2016. We've added three players on offense and one player on
defense. Here's what you need to know about our newest five-star prospects.
Mique Juarez
Torrance (Calif.) North
"Anytime a kid jumps off the film at you so much like Juarez does as an athlete, you see the things he can do on offense and defense, and then he backs it up during in-person evaluations, you just get that feeling that you're seeing something special. You see kids that remind you of others all the time, and the way he can cover like a safety but hits and pursues like a linebacker has to remind you of guys like Shaq Thompson, who are physically imposing but also athletic. Juarez might not be quite as long, but he has that kind of coverage ability and instinctual linebacker type." -- Mike Farrell,
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
"Juarez is not someone who plays a lot of 7-on-7 and he rarely attends camps, but when I saw him work out a few times this spring it became clear he was a phenomenal talent who deserved to be the No. 1 player in the state. He reminds me a lot of Su'a Cravens at the same stage, and he's probably a little more physically developed without all those freakish instincts that made Cravens so special. Juarez can play outside linebacker or safety, and he's also the quarterback for his high school team. The soft USC commit is a tremendous leader and teammate, his coach loves who he is as a player and person, and there's no question he has the physical and mental makeup to be a superstar in college." -- Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Recruiting Analyst
Darnell Salomon
Miami (Fla.) Miami Central
"Salomon has it all - size, speed, acceleration, hands and the ability to do work in the middle of the field as well as in the corners as a red zone threat. He's a long strider who simply outpaces defensive backs with ease and he presents a big, attractive target to quarterbacks who don't have to be perfect with the ball because he adjusts to everything in the air so well. He's bigger and faster than he was during his junior season and that showed during this evaluation period." -- Mike Farrell,
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
"To say Salomon has been good at every stop on this offseason circuit is understating the point. The Miami-area receiver has been nothing short of dominant at every camp and 7-on-7 event he's decided to attend. Salomon is a rare blend of size and speed and his acceleration is devastating. He's capable of making even the most elite defensive backs in the class appear overwhelmed."
-- Rob Cassidy, Rivals.com Southeast Analyst
N'Keal Harry
Chandler, Ariz.
"Harry is an even bigger receiver than Salomon, and although he's less fluid, he is equally dangerous. A big downfield threat, he has a great build and excellent power, which allows him to win battles for the ball. He also has the ability to get off the line of scrimmage unchecked. He has reliable hands, high points the ball well and will be a red zone nightmare in college. He has sneaky speed - he runs much faster than you'd expect from such a thick receiver." -- Mike Farrell,
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
"No one impressed more at the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour stop in Las Vegas than Harry, who was dominant in one-on-one battles against some very good defensive backs. Harry got off the line well and used his size to overpower defenders for the ball. He's also a standout basketball player and that athleticism translates well to the gridiron where Harry looks fluid and more than comfortable as a route runner. He has a repertoire of double moves that make him a matchup nightmare, and he has remarkably strong hands that make him the top receiver prospect in a region that's loaded at the position this recruiting cycle."
-- Blair Angulo, Rivals.com West Coast Analyst
Jonah Williams
Folsom, Calif.
"Williams is one of those film evals you do after the camp season after you've seen hundreds of offensive tackles, including some of the best and higher-rated guys out there, and you compare apples to apples. And popping in the film again, so to speak, he jumps off the screen. He's a nasty, no-nonsense, physical tackle who can get to the next level in addition to dominating the man in front of him. You can see his athleticism on defense, you can see how technically sound he is in pass protection, and he just wants to knock heads off in the run game. After seeing nearly every top offensive tackle this spring, it's clear that Williams should be ranked near the top." -- Mike Farrell,
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
"The first time we saw Williams in person was in Folsom's state championship game, where the Alabama commit simply dominated and asserted his will against every defensive lineman he faced. He's not just an offensive tackle who blocks well, moves his feet and then goes to the next play. Williams likes to punish linemen who dare come to his side. He's physical, aggressive, and most importantly, relentless. He does not stop attacking play after play. Folsom runs one of the fastest offenses I've ever seen but Williams still plays a physical brand of football. He can also move really well so sprinting down the field for the next play is never an issue."
-- Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Coast Analyst
Click Here to view this Link.
Rivals100: Risers and sliders
Mike Farrell
National Recruiting Director
Blair Angulo
West Recruiting Analyst
Rob Cassidy
Midlands/Southwest Recruiting Analyst
Adam Friedman
Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
Adam Gorney
West Recruiting Analyst
Josh Helmholdt
Midwest Recruiting Analyst
Jason Howell
Mid-South Recruiting Analyst
Woody Wommack
Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Click Here to view this Link.