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Rivals100: Risers and sliders

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As the high school football season winds down and we release our second-to-last Rivals100 Presented By Under Armour for the class of 2015, there are many big risers and a few prospects that dropped since our last ranking. A former five-star leads the way for the risers as Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake wide receiver George Campbell had a dominant senior season and is once again within striking distance of the coveted honor.
First off, let's take a look at some of the shuffling amongst the five stars. While he only moved up one spot, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen, a UCLA commitment, made arguably the biggest move of all, jumping into the No. 1 slot. Haines City, Fla. safety Derwin James (Florida State commitment) moved up two spots to No. 2 and became the No. 1 player in the state of Florida while Seffner (Fla.) Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart fell only two slots, but out of his No. 1 overall spot.
Offensive tackle Martez Ivey from Apopka, Fla., has clearly emerged as the No. 1 player at his position and jumped six spots into the top five overall. Corona (Calif.) Santiago dual-threat quarterback Blake Barnett (Alabama commitment) is one of three new five-stars. He jumped 27 spots into the national top 10. Barnett is joined by Plano (Texas) West running back SoSo Jamabo, who jumped 30 spots to No. 17, and Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic running back Derrius Guice (LSU commitment), who jumped 20 spots to No. 20 overall, as new five-star prospects.
The three biggest moves in a downward direction include two defensive backs who didn't quite live up to expectations this season and will need a strong all-star showing to keep their fifth star. Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian cornerback Kevin Toliver II, an LSU commitment, wasn't tested that much on defense, but didn't have a stellar season on both sides of the ball as expected and dropped 16 spots to No. 30 overall. Evans (Ga.) Lakeside safety Rashad Roundtree, a Georgia commitment, didn't play like the guided missile he was on junior film and fell nine spots to No. 33 overall. And Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith defensive end Josh Sweat, a candidate for No. 1 overall heading into the season, fell 26 spots to No. 31 overall due to a gruesome knee injury and the uncertainty on how that will affect his future.
Our national team of experts weighs in with their observations on the season performances of the following prospects that made big moves this time around.
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RISERS
WR
George Campbell
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
35
78
+43
Campbell has been very impressive during his senior year and has showed off that speed and athleticism that made him one of the original five-stars in this class. The FSU commitment still has to answer questions about his consistency catching the football, which is why he's just shy of five-star status, but with a big week at the Under Armour All American Game, he could easily end up back where he started, amongst the top 20 or so players in the country. The long-strider is a big play waiting to happen. -- Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director
QB
Brandon Wimbush
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
38
65
+27
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The improvement we saw from Wimbush in the offseason showed on the field this season. He was one of the nation's most efficient passers and made defenses look silly chasing after him. Wimbush showed off athleticism that many had not seen from him before. -- Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
WR
Trent Irwin
Newhall (Calif.) Hart
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
42
70
+28
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I've never seen a cornerback shut down Irwin. He basically can get open against anybody and has phenomenal hands. He's more athletic than he's given credit for and he's the best route runner I've seen in a while. Irwin is outstanding catching short passes to pick up first downs, grinding that out for a while and then when the cornerback bites up, Irwin goes deep for big gains and touchdowns. He causes headaches for defenses. -- Adam Gorney, Rivals.com West Recruiting Analyst
WR
Ryan Davis
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
52
215
+163
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Davis is one of the best pure playmakers in the country. While he's playing out of position, just watch his film and project him to the slot where he can take bubble screens, jet sweeps and slants to the house. He's so shifty in the open field and sneaky strong and fast. Davis is a nightmare for corners and safeties who can't press him effectively at the next level. -- Farrell
QB
Brady White
Newhall (Calif.) Hart
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
54
76
+22
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White put up huge numbers this season even though his offensive line could not protect him and he was running for his life almost immediately after the snap. He has a strong arm, a great connection with Irwin and the other Hart receivers and he's simply a playmaker. White likes to throw first, but he can also run and this season he did a great job finding receivers while throwing on the run. Plus, he's nowhere near where he will be physically in a few years, so his ceiling is high. -- Gorney
RB
Mark Walton
Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
61
NR
NA
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Walton re-classified as a 2015 and makes his debut in the 2015 class in the Rivals100. He had a chance to be a five-star talent in the 2016 class with his vision, cutting ability and speed, but Miami fans will gladly trade that star to get him on campus a year early. He's ready for the next step; he has shown that by his play against top competition. -- Farrell
CB
Shaun Crawford
Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
63
114
+51
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The game I covered Crawford this season, he had two touchdown receptions, an interception and a 99-yard kickoff return. The only knock on him is his size, because every other part of Crawford's game is there in abundance. He has explosive speed, hits like a linebacker, has an exceptionally high football IQ and just makes plays. -- Josh Helmholdt, Rivals.com Midwest Recruiting Analyst
ATH
Ykili Ross
Riverside (Calif.) Riverside Poly
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
66
NR
NA
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Ross has really emerged this season as one of California's top two-way players. There have been some comparisons made to John Smith (JuJu), but he's probably a little more athletic and a little less physical. The four-star could be a phenomenal wide receiver in college because of his great hands and athleticism or he could play defensive back. In high school, Ross plays cornerback, which could definitely work, but he could be a great safety as well because he plays physically. Ross' versatility is one of his biggest assets. -- Gorney
RB
Mike Weber
Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
71
104
+33
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The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Weber is a complete running back who can run with power between the tackles, has speed to the edge and is a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. This fall, we saw him rise up and make big plays in big games, including posting a 404-yard, five-touchdown rushing performance in a playoff win. -- Helmholdt
DT
Neville Gallimore
St. Catharines (Ont.) Canada Prep
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
72
219
+147
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Canada has been steadily gaining traction as a Division I talent producer. Gallimore is the best prospect to come out of that country in the last decade, at least. Physically, he is ready right now to play at the college level and he plays with strength that belies his age. They list his 40 time at 4.7 and watching him play, I cannot raise issue with that. He is an explosive interior defensive lineman. -- Helmholdt
QB
Sam Darnold
San Clemente, Calif.
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
73
193
+120
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San Clemente has had a strong tradition of quarterbacks and Darnold could be the best one yet. He has excellent size and a very strong arm, but what's best about him is he's a running threat as well. There will definitely be designed runs for him in college, which makes him a true dual-threat, plus he throws a great ball even if he doesn't have elite receivers around him. Darnold's coach, Jaime Ortiz, has said his guy is one of the top quarterbacks in the country for at least a year. That talk has been backed up this season. -- Gorney
CB
Jordan Whitehead
Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
90
248
+158
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Whitehead is a very gifted athlete and is the most explosive player on the field every time he plays. His physicality, ball skills and instincts are exceptional and he is much stronger than most of the players he faces. Whitehead is also very versatile, able to play as a free safety or as an in-the-box safety. -- Friedman
ATH
Dechaun Holiday
San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
94
122
+28
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Holiday has proven to be one of the best defensive backs in this class, whether at safety or cornerback, but he has also emerged as a really talented wide receiver and there's a chance he could move to offense in college. The best thing about Holiday is that he's super athletic and versatile, so he could make an immediate impact on either side of the ball. -- Gorney
QB
Zach Gentry
Albuquerque (N.M.) Eldorado
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
98
NR
NA
Gentry doesn't get a chance to play much stiff competition. Still, at some point, consistency must be rewarded. Gentry had the type of season you would expect from an elite quarterback playing against sub-par defenses. So while he certainly still has a little left to prove on a big stage, it's hard to knock his talent. He has always had the build of a star passer and moves decently for his massive size. His presence in the pocket and his arm strength are what set him apart, though. While we would love to see Gentry play against better competition, it's hard to argue with the film. Finding a weak spot in his game is difficult. -- Rob Cassidy, Rivals.com Midlands/Southwest Recruiting Analyst
APB
Nyheim Hines
Garner, N.C.
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
99
NR
NA
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Hines is one of the most electric players in the country and put up massive numbers this season. He can score from anywhere on the field, whether he takes a handoff, catches the ball on a screen pass or is a downfield receiver. With the ball in his hands, Hines is very good at making players miss with jukes to his left, right, spins and stiff arms. -- Friedman
APB
Cameron Scarlett
Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
100
216
+116
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Scarlett is a big, powerful running back who is also athletic enough to make tacklers miss to gain extra yards. He is also an asset as a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield or even lining up outside and making plays. Scarlett also plays defense for Portland Central Catholic and is a big hitter coming up from his safety spot. His best position is as a running back mainly who can also be a pass-catching threat. -- Gorney
SLIDERS
DE
Josh Sweat
Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
31
5
-26
While nearly every fan of college football recruiting was saddened by Sweat's season-ending knee injury, the uncertainty surrounding its severity is concerning. There is no doubt that when healthy, Sweat is one of the top players in the country. His athleticism, aggressiveness and versatility made him a truly dominant player, but the possibility that he will be hindered down the line by his injury is something to consider. -- Friedman
LB
Chad Smith
Sterling (Va.) Dominion
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
56
33
-23
Smith had a fantastic offseason and he will be a very good player at Clemson, but teams schemed against Smith this season and he wasn't as productive. His speed and ability to quickly read and react will be an asset at the next level and should help him see the field relatively early. -- Friedman
CB
Garrett Taylor
Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher'
NEW RANK
PREV. RANK
DIFFERENCE
86
48
-38
Taylor is a coveted cornerback because of his length, overall speed and football IQ, but at the beginning of the season Taylor tore his ACL. A serious knee injury to a cornerback is very concerning, but he may be able to get back to his original form after a period of time. A move to safety could be in Taylor's future depending on how he recovers. -- Friedman
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Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
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