Given the amount of quality prospects with great physical numbers, impressive feats on the football field and scholarship offers from a number of regional powers, the class of 2007 in the state of Florida is quite strong.
Led by defensive tackle Torrey Davis, the state's top prospect, the inaugural Rivals.com Florida Top 100 is a collection of players who will make an impact at the college level.
Ocala Trinity Catholic quarterback John Brantley, North Fort Myers running back Noel Devine, Belle Glade Glades Central wide receiver Deonte Thompson, Saint Augustine Nease offensive guard James Wilson, Hialeah Miami Lakes all-purpose back Armando Allen, Jacksonville Andrew Jackson jumbo athlete D'Angelo McCray, Lakeland defensive tackle John Brown, Jacksonville Sandlewood defensive end Jacoby Monroe and Homestead wide receiver/athlete Alphonso Bryant round out the top 10.
Lynn Haven Mosley running back Enrique Davis, who could eventually move into the top 10, Tampa Jefferson quarterback Stephen Garcia and Fort Lauderdale Saint Thomas Aquinas safety Major Wright round out the Rivals100 selections on the list.
Jacksonville Forrest linebacker Brandon Hicks edged Tallahassee Lincoln athlete Brandon Paul for the No. 14 spot. Both are close in terms of prospect value, but Hicks simply is a more rare find as a 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker than Paul, who is very similar to other 5-11ish blazing athletes that the Sunshine State has produced in the past. Both are future Rivals100 candidates, however.
There are some prospects on the list that aren't exactly household names yet.
The biggest name to watch is Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna cornerback Akeem Auguste. Expect Auguste to move among the state's top 20 prospects, and close to the Rivals100 nationally when the rankings are adjusted in August. Auguste, the No. 38 prospect on this list, plays the game at a high level.
Hollywood Hills defensive end Jabaal Sheard, the No. 39 overall prospect, is a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder with 4.6 second speed in the 40-yard dash. He also was the best defensive lineman at the Miami NIKE Camp. If you watch Sheard on film, you see what can happen when he puts it all together.
Naples Barron Collier wide receiver Matt Clements, the No. 43 overall prospect, has the size, speed and athletic ability that has made him a must have for several major colleges recruiting him, including Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, Ohio State and West Virginia. Clements recently broke the Barron Collier school record in the 400-meter dash and is expected to play multiple positions for his team this fall.
Bradenton Palmetto athlete Joseph Hills has been somewhat of a mystery man in terms of information, but there is enough to know that he's got good size, good ball skills and speed, which means he can play wide receiver or safety at the Division I-A level. He's simply got too much upside to keep out of the top 50 and checks in at No. 45.
Two of the fastest-rising prospects in the Southeast this spring/summer have been Alabama quarterback commit Robert Marve of Tampa Plant (No. 47) and Saint Augustine Nease offensive tackle Clyde Yandell.
Marve first caught the attention of Rivals.com at the Athens NIKE Camp when he was clearly the best passer at the event. He has a quick release and throws an excellent ball that's easy for receivers to catch, but difficult for defensive backs to intercept. He's also the son of an NFL player and deceptively athletic (4.82 second 40 in Athens). Nearly every school that worked him out during the summer offered him a scholarship.
Yandell has the frame of a pure tackle and during an in-person evaluation at his school in late May looked to have been working hard on conditioning and had become more lean and fit than he appeared at the Athens NIKE Camp just one month previous. Yandell has good feet and athleticism and schools have started to take notice. Auburn, Tennessee and Florida all have stepped up with scholarship offers.