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December 4, 2012
R250 has its share of uppers and downers
The end of the high school season is the perfect time to adjust the Rivals.com rankings.
Two players fell out of the top 100 with big drops. Texas athlete commit Jake Raulerson fell 26 spots to 104, and four-star cornerback Priest Willis from Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza slipped 21 spots to No. 105.
The biggest upward movers included Louisville (Ky.) Trinity wide receiver James Quick, up 68 spots to No. 114, and Plantation (Fla.) South Plantation running back Alex Collins, who jumped 24 positions to No. 115.
"Quick continues to prove he is one of the most electric playmakers at his position, as well as being one of the more polished receivers in the country," Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt said. "His stock has risen steadily over the last year and he could be in line to keep that positive momentum with a big performance at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next month."
Rivals.com Southeast analyst Kynon Codrington said: "Collins is a workhorse back with power and above-average speed. He's tough between the tackles and can get yards by himself. He rushed for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns this season despite missing some time with a couple of minor injuries. I think he has the best upside among the running backs in the state."
But no player within the Rivals250 made a bigger jump than Oklahoma quarterback commit Cody Thomas, who struggled this summer at the Elite 11, but threw for more than 4,200 yards with 46 touchdowns in his senior season. That performance pushed Thomas up 96 spots to No. 118.
"After his performance at the Elite 11, there were several questions that needed to be answered," Rivals.com Southwest analyst Jason Howell said. "Thomas went right to work as a senior showing improved footwork and mechanics."
Two Texas and two West prospects made big moves as Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles defensive back Maurice Smith, an Alabama commit, moved ahead 48 positions to No. 130 and Southlake (Texas) Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill, a Texas A&M pledge, was slotted at No. 136, a move of 65 spots.
"Smith has been one of the top playmakers on offense and defense in the Houston area in 2012," Howell said. "He showed what made him one of the hottest prospects of the spring and was an invaluable weapon on offense in addition to his spot in the defensive backfield.
"Hill once again has Southlake in prime championship position in 2012 as the Dragons look to grab their second title in a row. He exhibits great field presence and football intelligence in addition to his physical gifts."
Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman quarterback Anu Solomon went from being unranked to No. 131 and San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln linebacker Tyrell Robinson, who's committed to Oregon with his brother, Tyree, moved one spot behind Solomon, a bump of 34 positions.
"Playing for powerhouse Bishop Gorman, Solomon had no shortage of opportunity to earn a significant bump in the rankings," Rivals.com West analyst Rob Cassidy said. "He took advantage. He threw for more than 2,600 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior -- and those numbers don't include anything he did in the state title game. If that weren't enough to solidify his standing as a top-level quarterback, he ran for eight scores as well. Solomon proved it against top level competition time and time again this season. More importantly, though, he fits the mold of what (Arizona coach) Rich Rodriguez expects his quarterbacks to be."
Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney said: "I got a call about the Robinsons in the spring and I was told (Tyrell) was one of the best linebackers in California and maybe in the entire country. Then I saw Tyrell at the B2G Elite Camp last summer and he moved so well, he was so smooth and because he plays basketball he has great balance and athleticism. He put up big-time statistics in his senior season, he'll fit in so well at Oregon and there was no doubt he needed to be moved up."
"The physical talent and tools have always been there for Reschke, but this year we saw him translate that onto the field and become the impact player he should be, leading his team to a state title and racking up a ton of tackles in the process," Helmholdt said.
Other significant upward movers include Ole Miss running back commit Mark Dodson Jr. (25 spots), Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth athlete Cornelius Elder (62 spots), Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County offensive guard Tyrone Crowder (22 spots), Tennessee defensive end commit Jason Carr (51 spots) and quarterbacks Cord Sandberg and Bucky Hodges, who went from unranked to No. 159 and No. 166, respectively.
"Sandberg is one of top quarterbacks in the Southeast," Codrington said. "The southpaw is very accurate in the intermediate game and on bubble screens and quick passes. He committed to Mississippi State in June and should thrive in Dan Mullen's spread/zone read offense."
Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said: "Hodges is a huge quarterback with a strong arm who can move around. The comparisons to Logan Thomas are not accurate, he isn't nearly as athletic as Thomas, but he is a better natural passer. However, he can still move around and he is a load to tackle. Hodges has great upside and has come a long way with his game as a senior when it comes to maturity and leadership."
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