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July 23, 2007

Summer risers: Offense

Rivals.com's recruiting staff has been all over the country this summer at events like USC's Rising Senior Camp in Los Angeles, the EA SPORTS Elite 11 Regional Camp in Las Vegas, Florida's Fright Night Lights Camp, the Texas 7-on-7 State Championship in College Station, Texas, the Saugus Under the Lights Passing Tournament in Santa Clarita, Calif., the adidas 7-on-7 National Championship Tournament and many, many more events.

Access to these elite events has given us a great look at more prospects than we've ever seen before, and it's apparent that quite a few players have improved their stock quite a bit this summer. Today we'll take a look at eight prospects on the offensive side of the ball that have helped improve their stock with impressive efforts this summer. Next up will be a look at 12 defensive prospects to round out the top 20.

Summer Risers: Offense
Travis Benjamin, WR, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central
Schools: Auburn, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Florida International, Florida, Ohio State

Benjamin, a low three-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 84 player in Florida, had a strong spring when he tore it up in his team's game against Miami Northwestern. He also was excellent at the Friday Night Lights Camp and his stock definitely is on the rise with the college recruiters.

Glades Central at Miami Northwestern highlights

O'Neil Chambers, WR, Saint Cloud (Fla.) Harmony
Schools: BYU, Houston, Maryland, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Florida, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Chambers has proved every time he's been somewhere this summer that his two-star ranking will be something that's adjusted next rankings period. He did it again at Florida's Fight Night Lights Camp. While he already does have quite an impressive offer list, don't be shocked if more and more SEC and ACC programs start to pop up on his offer sheet.

Nick Crissman, QB, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison
Schools: Committed to UCLA

Made a name for himself on the gridiron last season, leading his team deep in the CIF playoffs. However, when he was at the NIKE Training Camp, he really seemed to struggle and never found his groove. But at the EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp in Las Vegas, it was like he was a totally different guy. Crissman was extremely accurate, had a very strong arm and was just on all day long. He walked away with an invitation to the elite quarterback camp by the time he was done.

Nick Crissman highlights

Jonas Gray, RB, Detroit Country Day
Schools: Michigan State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Louisville, Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan

It's hard to imagine that Gray's stock would get any higher as he's already considered one of the top running back prospects in the nation. But when he showed up at Michigan's summer camp and clocked a 4.37-second time in the 40-yard dash it erased any doubts that he's one of the nation's best, fastest and most excellent backs. He also was great at Ohio State's camp.

Jonas Gray highlights

Matt Patchan, OT, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
Schools: Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Notre Dame

Patchan wants to play both ways in college defensive line and offensive line and he has the ability to do it. That's how good of an athlete he is. Not only is he an elite offensive tackle prospect that rank with the best of the best, but he has the drive and talent to attempt playing defense line in college. Either way after his strong summer, it's clear that he has a bright future ahead of himself.

Matt Patchan highlights

Tyron Smith, OT, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
Schools: Committed to USC

Don't know how he could have improved more from when he dominated at the NIKE Training Camp in Los Angeles, but he did. At the Rising Senior Camp at USC, Smith blew away everybody that he faced. He even went over to the defensive side of the ball and battled future lineman Matt Kalil in some one-on-ones. Smith is just a man child that's put together like so few others in the nation. He's also easily one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the nation.

Tyron Smith highlights

John Wienke, QB, Tuscola, Ill.
Schools: Committed to Michigan

Wienke was named MVP for quarterbacks at the Boulder NIKE Camp, and that was impressive alone. But it was at Michigan's summer camp where he was simply amazing. He was deadly accurate, spun the ball really well and was almost flawless in his mechanics. It was the same thing he did at several other camps he attended this summer. And like those other camps, he walked away with a Michigan offer. It was an offer he quickly accepted.

John Wienke highlights

D.J. Woods, WR, Strongville, Ohio
Schools: Auburn, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Penn State, West Virginia and Alabama

Woods was already a well known name in Ohio and throughout the Midwest as a solid three-star prospect. He had established himself as one of the region's top receiving prospects at places like the Elite Skills Camp and the NIKE Training Camp. But it wasn't until the summer months when he went on a nation-wide tour to places like Penn State, Auburn, Nebraska and Alabama that he really saw his stock heat up. What's also impressive about Woods is that he could also end up as a talented defensive back prospect.

D.J. Woods highlights

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