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January 20, 2012

Breaking down the positional rankings moves

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FINAL 2012 POSITION RANKINGS:
PQB | DQB | APB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC | DT | WDE | SDE | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH | K

For the past few months, the class of 2012 has played out its senior season and many have gone on to compete in regional and national all-star games, and Rivals.com analysts have been watching and evaluating every step of the way. Prospects across the country have proven themselves worthy of higher consideration, while others did not meet expectations. Here is a look at the notable movements within each final position ranking.

Pro-style quarterbacks

Notable riser: Patrick Towles, Fort Thomas (Ky.) Highlands (up five spots)
Notable dropper: Zeke Pike, Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights (down 11 spots)
Comments: Five-star Gunner Kiel remains No. 1 but Zach Kline and Tanner Mangum are not far behind. Pike dropped to a three-star prospect after several subpar performances while Matt Morin and Preston Dewey saw slight drops as well.

Dual-threat quarterback

Notable riser: James Summers, Greensboro (N.C.) Page (up 16 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Other than Summers, who gained a fourth star, there was not much movement in the dual-threat rankings. Cyler Miles remained at No. 2 but did make a strong push for five-star status. Patton Robinette moved over from the pro-style rankings and saw a slight bump as well.

All-purpose back

Notable riser: B.J. Catalon, Houston (Texas) Westside (up two spots)
Notable dropper: Brian Kimbrow, Memphis (Tenn.) East (down one spot)
Comments: There was not a ton of movement at the all-purpose back position either but Catalon saw a bit of a bump after a huge senior year while Kimbrow struggled quite a bit at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl practices.

Running back

Notable riser: Todd Gurley, Tarboro, N.C. (new addition)
Notable dropper: Danny Dillard, Venice, Fla. (outside the top 50)
Comments: Gurley was the largest mover of any player in the country, jumping from a three-star athlete in the Rivals100 and becoming the No. 5 running back. Ti'on Green also moved from athlete and saw a bit of a bump as well. Dillard, along with Justin Taylor dropped a bit and fell out of the position rankings.

Wide receiver

Notable riser: Keon Hatcher, Owasso, Okla. (new addition)
Notable dropper: Avery Johnson, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely (down 30 spots)
Comments: There was quite a bit of movement among the receivers. Hatcher had a huge senior year with 100 receptions and now finds himself at No. 59 in the position rankings. Roger Lewis gained a star after a strong performance at the Offense-Defense Bowl and Trent Momon cracks the rankings after a run to the state finals. The position saw quite a few drops too. Johnson led the way, falling 30 spots, while Derrick Woods fell 15 and Dominique Wheeler 13. Eugene Lewis took a slight hit as well, going down four spots while both Devonte Mathis and Andre McDonald lost a star.

Tight end

Notable riser: Pharaoh Brown, Lyndhurst (Ohio) Brush (up six spots)
Notable dropper: Dillon Gordon, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis (fell 16 spots)
Comments: The tight end position may be the most disappointing of any in this class. Many members of the group failed to distinguish themselves and Brown took advantage to make a big jump after showing well in the Offense-Defense Bowl. Josiah Price and DeShawn Dowdy also received a bit of a bump in the position rankings. Gordon lost a star and Taylor McNamara tumbled a bit after his showing at the Army Bowl.

Offensive tackle

Notable riser: Win Homer, Christchurch, Va. (up 25 spots)
Notable dropper: Jake Meador, Whiteland, Ind. (down 10 spots)
Comments: Along with wide receiver, offensive tackle saw the most movement in the position rankings. Zach Banner was given a fifth star and Homer, Andrew Jelks, Brandon Greene and Javarius Leamon all added a fourth. Brandon Hill also jumped up a few spots. Meador and Mike Madaras both lost a star while Brock Stadnik was close to doing so as well. Jonah Pirsig and Oliver Jones both fell out of the rankings.

Offensive guard

Notable riser: Germain Ifedi, Houston (Texas) Westside (up 8 spots)
Notable dropper: John Michael McGee, Texarkana (Texas) High (down six spots)
Comments: Five-star Jordan Simmons and four-stars Joshua Garnett and Jessamen Dunker all moved over to guard from offensive tackle so it makes it seem the rest of the guards took bigger tumbles than they did. McGee, the previous No. 1 guard, did drop a bit after the Army Bowl but not as much as the six spots would suggest. Jacoby Boren and Cayman Bundage fell a bit as well. Ifedi played out of position at tackle of the Offense-Defense game but showed he has improved over the past year.

Offensive center

Notable riser: Mike Matthews, Missouri City (Texas) Elkins (up one spot)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Matthews jumped up to the No. 1 center after a very strong showing at the Army Bowl, dropping former No. 1 Ty Darlington down a spot. Toye Adewon makes a debut in the rankings all the way up at No. 7 while Devon Desper and Jay Guillermo both saw bumps as well.

Weakside defensive end

Notable riser: Shaq Lawson, Central (S.C.) D.W. Daniel (up seven spots)
Notable dropper: Sam Awrabi, Clovis (Calif.) East (outside the top 40)
Comments: Two weakside defensive ends in Adolphus Washington and Dante Fowler Jr. earned five-star status while Lawson gained a fourth-star. Michael Onuoha makes a strong debut in the rankings at No. 34 while Deatrich Wise and Junior Gnonkonde both saw significant jumps. Awrabi fell out of the rankings from his previous spot of No. 39 but there were not a lot of other big drops at the position.

Strongside defensive end

Notable riser: Francis Kallon, Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett (up three spots)
Notable dropper: Martin Aiken, Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhart (down 11 spots)
Comments: The strongside position gained a new five-star when Aziz Shittu was moved there from defensive tackle. Channing Ward, Leonard Williams[/db] and Javonte Magee all saw big jumps in the Rivals100 while Kallon added a fourth star. Aiken lost a star after coming in much smaller than expected at the Offense-Defense Bowl and James Deloach fell out of the rankings.

Defensive tackle

Notable riser: Ondre Pipkins, Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill (up four spots)
Notable dropper: Thomas Chapman, Louisville (Ky.) DuPont Manual (down 10 spots)
Comments: Pipkins earned a fifth star and would have jumped even higher in the position ranks if Mario Edwards had not been moved over from strongside end. Malcom Brown also earned a fifth star. Tyler Nero earned a fourth star while John Atkins saw a bump and Jacoby Briscoe made his debut in the rankings. Chapman and Dalvon Stuckey both lost a star in the final rankings while JaFar Mann dropped a bit as well.

Inside linebacker

Notable riser: Juwaan Rogers, Amite, La. (up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: Keith Brown, Miami (Fla.) Norland (down three spots)
Comments: Otha Peters moved from outside linebacker and made a huge jump after being perhaps the top player at the Offense-Defense Bowl. Rogers and Salamo Fiso saw large bumps as well. Brown fell a few spots after the Army Bowl week and he was the only major dropper.

Outside linebacker

Notable riser: Ryan Anderson, Daphne, Ala. (up 22 spots)
Notable dropper: Ronnie Feist, Edgard (La.) West St. John (new addition)
Comments: Anderson was incredibly impressive at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and jumped all the way into the Rivals250. A.J. Turner and Darius White also saw bumps as both made their first appearance in the position rankings. Feist actually moved over from weakside defensive and dropped a star after lackluster showings in both the state championship game and Under Armour game.

Cornerback

Notable riser: Randall Goforth, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly (up 16 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The cornerback spot, led by Goforth, actually saw quite a few players who saw their rankings rise. DeVante Harris jumped to No. 3 at the position while Deion Bonner and Bryson Echols added fourth stars. T.J. Gurley and Cedric Jiles both saw bumps while V'Angelo Bentley, Torren McGaster and Niles Clark all made their debuts in the rankings.

Safety

Notable riser: Sebastian Smith, Pickerington (Ohio) Central (up 27 spots)
Notable dropper: Trae Elston, Oxford, Ala. (down 19 spots)
Comments: Smith received a big bump after the state championship game while LaDarrell McNeil and Najee Murray both moved up as well. Nate Smith, Zack Blaylock and Jeremy Clark made large jumps in the three-star range too. Elston was the only big dropper as he fell to three stars and took a bit of a tumble in the rankings.

Athlete

Notable riser: Alonzo Moore, Winnfield, La. (new addition)
Notable dropper: Jay Jay McCullough, Fort Mill (S.C.) Nation Ford
Comments: Moore moved from outside the previous top 65 to his current rank of No. 22. Zack Sanchez moved from cornerback and debuted at No. 38 in the rankings while LeRoy Alexander is a new addition at No. 60. McCullough, Troy Green and Damien Washington all fell out of the athlete rankings.



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