When Rivals.com first set out to rank the state of Nevada for the class of 2008, the initial estimate was that the list would stop at 10 players. But after further analysis revealed the Silver State has dug up a solid group for the class of 2008, the Rivals.com Nevada top 15 was formed.
With the population boom going on in Las Vegas, maybe it should be expected each year that more and more top talent is coming from the state of Nevada. After years of only having at most two or three high profile recruits, this year's class includes seven players ranked as three-star players or higher.
This includes the top two players in the state – four-star defensive end Lawrence Guy of Las Vegas Western and four-star receiver Raevon Samuel of Las Vegas Canyon Springs. Both are already ranked in the Rivals250 nationally and heavily recruited not only by teams from the Western half of the country but other national programs.
Guy had 89 tackles and 15 sacks as a junior. While he's still developing into his frame at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, his upside is potentially bigger than many other linemen in the nation. Samuel had 937 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns in 2006. He's the tall, strong, physical and fast receiver that is en vogue in college football today. At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, he's really tough to match up with. Plus, he's an outstanding hoops player and if he totally dedicated himself to football like he will in college – look out.
At No. 3 and No. 4 on the list are two very impressive running backs.
Las Vegas Desert Pines running back Michael Ball comes in at No. 3. The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder might be one of the most under publicized backs in the nation. After racking up 1,126 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2006, Ball made an early commitment to Nevada. However, as more and more schools have become aware of his tough running style with breakaway speed, he's picked up offers from Colorado, Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV.
At No. 4 is Keola Antolin of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, and he couldn't be more of an opposite than Ball. Antolin is a true all-purpose back with almost 1,000 yards rushing and more than 500 yards receiving as a junior. He committed to Arizona recently over scholarship offers from Iowa, Oregon State, UNLV and Hawaii, and he'll be a perfect for the new Wildcat offense. He should be deadly with the way the Wildcats will throw to the backs a lot. Also look for him to make an impact on special teams.
Linebacker Colin Shumate, receiver Juron Criner and cornerback Josh Jordan are ranked fifth, sixth and seventh in the rankings and all three have had impressive springs.
The three-star prospects all three impressed at NIKE Training Camps. Shumate from Las Vegas High has offers from Colorado State and Wyoming, Criner from Canyon Springs has offers from Arizona, UNLV and Utah, and Jordan has blown up with offers from Arizona State, Oregon, San Diego State, Stanford and UNLV. Jordan won the defensive back MVP at the Palo Alto NIKE Camp.