Camps were closed to the media, 7-on-7 passing tournaments were in their infancy and - unlike AAU basketball - there weren't many occasions to see prospects in action.
In the last five years that has started to change. This summer, there were more opportunities to see the top players in the country.
Because of those opportunities – plus more in-person observations and further film review – Rivals.com has updated the Rivals100 for the class of 2008 a second time.
There were 14 new additions to the list, with the highest ranking debut going to Thibodaux (La.) E. D. White strongside defensive end Chase Clement. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder moves from the Rivals250 to the No. 43 spot in the Rivals100. The rise also pushes Clement - who lists his top teams as Alabama, Florida, LSU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tulane and Louisiana Tech - to a 6.0 on the Rivals Rating Scale.
Another fast-riser was Memphis Evangelical Christian School offensive tackle Barrett Jones. Jones is now ranked as the No. 55 player in the nation.
The 6-foot-5, 271-pound Jones looked great at the Columbia NIKE Training Camp, where he dominated everybody he faced. He went 5-0 in the one-on-one battles, but that's not the only reason he climbed in the ranking. Jones - who recently reduced his list to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida - has too much athletic ability and upside to keep him out of the top 100.
Two California stars also moved into the Rivals100 after a strong summer.
Compton (Calif.) Dominguez cornerback Aaron Hester, a UCLA commit, is now ranked as the nation's No. 63 player. Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive tackle Armond Armstead moved into the rankings at the No. 68 spot. Armstead, who recently committed to USC, was extraordinary at the NIKE Camp at Palo Alto. He also dominated at the USC and Arizona summer camps.
Another newcomer from out West is Etiwanda, Calif., receiver Marvin Jones. The 6-foot-2, 177-pounder moved up to the No. 100 spot. He doesn't get as much attention nationally because he's from the Inland Empire, but he's a special prospect that deserves to be ranked among the nation's elite players.
From the Midwest, Illinois now has two players ranked in the Rivals100. Along with Steven Filer at the No. 52 spot, Lombard (Ill.) Montini defensive end Garrett Goebel is now at No. 74. Upon further review, Goebel was just too good to leave out of the national list. Ohio State is getting a good one.
In the East, Mike Glennon of Centreville (Va.) Westfield moves into the ranking at the No. 94 spot. He was very impressive at the EA Sports Elite 11 Camp. The 6-foot-6, 194-pounder is heading to N.C. State, where he'll be a perfect fit for the Wolfpack's offense.
From the Midlands, there are two much anticipated debuts.
Denver Mullen offensive tackle Bryce Givens looked great at the Boulder NIKE Camp and moves into the top 100 at the No. 69 spot. With his long and lean frame, Givens - a Nebraska commitment - could be a monster on the next level. He could easily get to 300 pounds and still be athletic enough to stop the speed rush.
Michigan fans rejoice
Sam McGuffie is now officially in the Rivals100. The nation's No. 1 all-purpose back moves into the top 100 at the No. 90 spot. The 6-foot, 188-pounder has been a human highlight machine in high school and should be an excellent change-of-pace player for the Wolverines. You also must credit McGuffie for going out and competing this summer at the NIKE Camp, where he further cemented his already strong case for the national list.
In the Southeast, five players made significant moves up the list.
Melbourne (Fla.) Palm Bay safety Ramon Buchanon moves onto the list at No. 73. The Miami commitment was first evaluated at outside linebacker, but at safety he seems like a more natural fit. He also showed off his tremendous speed and athleticism at Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp when he worked out some at wide receiver.
Notre Dame commitment Omar Hunter is now in the Riavls100. The 6-foot-2, 295-pounder from Buford, Ga., is now healthy and moves into the ranking at the No. 78 spot. Pahokee, Fla., cornerback Janoris Jenkins is also a newcomer to the list. The 5-foot-10, 167-pounder dominated at several summer camps, but really came into his own at the Rutgers 7-on-7 passing camp. He was clearly the top cornerback there. Jenkins is a physical cornerback with excellent instincts and ball skills. He moves into the ranking at the No. 81 spot.
At the National Select 7-on-7 in Hoover, Ala., receiver Devonta Bolton of Norcorss, Ga., proved he belonged among the nation's best players. Bolton showed outstanding athleticism and hands during the tournament, and the Alabama commitment rose into the No. 92 spot in the Rivals100. Camden (Ark.) Fairview running back De'Anthony Curtis moves into the No. 98 spot and is now ranked as the top player in Arkansas. The 5-foot-10, 209-pounder was great at Tennessee's summer camp and definitely proved he belong in the top 100.
No change at No. 1
After much debate, the nation's No. 1 player remains Terrelle Pryor – the 6-foot-6, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback from Jeannette, Pa. Moving up to the No. 2 spot after his amazing performance at the 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover was Julio Jones of Foley, Ala. He's followed by cornerback Patrick Johnson of Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely at No. 3, running back Darrell Scott of Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure at No. 4 and A.J. Green of Summerville, S.C., at No. 5.
Pryor looked good earlier this summer at a 7-on-7 passing tournament attended by Rivals.com recruiting analysts, but there was definitely some debate about who should be No. 1. The final answer might not come until after senior evaluations are made. There were cases made for each of the players in the top five, but the senior season will have to play out before anybody else takes over as a new No. 1.
The new five stars are…
The five-star list now extends to 29 players after several prospects were promoted to the elite level.
The name that a lot of people have been wondering about was Blaine Gabbert. He did get the fifth star and moved up to the No. 14 spot after his dominating performance at the Elite 11. Right behind Gabbert at No. 15 is Marcus Forston, who is also a new five-star selection. The dominating defensive tackle from Miami Northwestern destroyed people everywhere he went this summer.
Other new five-star selections include Seffner (Fla.) Armwood offensive tackle Matt Patchan and Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle receiver DeVier Posey.
If Patchan stays healthy in college, he's the type of dominating offensive tackle that will play for more than 10 years in the NFL.
After reviewing Posey's efforts this spring and summer in track, it cements his status as one of the nation's premiere receivers. Out of all of the NIKE Training Camps, his domination at the Piscataway Camp stands out as one of the best. When you consider his 10.7-second time in the 100-meters at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, that's about as good as you're going to get at the receiver spot.