The first release of Rivals.com's five-star prospects for the Class of 2006 features many difference-makers on both sides of the ball.
From dynamic playmaker Percy Harvin of Virginia Beach to aggressive and quick defensive end Eddie Jones of Kilgore, Texas, these 27 athletes likely will make a major impact at the college of their choice in 2006.
Four of the nation's top five prospects hail from the Atlantic East region while the Southeast region had the most five-star prospects with eight. Aided by exceptional years in the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Atlantic East had seven. Six five-star prospects hailed from the West, four from the Midlands (Big 12) and two from the Midwest (Big 10).
Rivals.com's 2005 Junior of the Year is an electric athlete who will give whichever school he chooses instant offense. While Harvin is a human highlight film with the ball in his hands, he is a versatile enough athlete to play a number of positions at the next level. Florida State, Miami, Southern Cal, Virginia, Virginia Tech and LSU are the favorites to land Harvin. Mike Farrell says:"The most dynamic playmaker in the country, Harvin's blazing speed is what separates him from the rest." [Harvin Video]
Smith is a devastating blocker with great strength, size and footwork who is the nation's top lineman. A lean 328 pounds, Smith shows good leg drive and runs well on film. Expect Smith, to make an early impact this school of choice. Southern Cal, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Alabama and Auburn are on Smith's list. Jeremy Patterson says:"Interior linemen are rarely ranked this high, but Smith isn't your typical guard. He is so aggressive and fundamentally developed." [Smith Video]
Rolle has great size and speed and is very aggressive. He also has good speed, is excellent in coverage and is an amazing athlete. Rolle makes wide receivers pay when they catch the ball and loves to hit and also has great hips and closing speed for a player his size. Rolle lists Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State, Florida, Miami (Fla.) and Southern Cal among his favorites. Mike Farrell says:"Physically and mentally ready for the next level, it will be hard to keep Rolle off the field as a true freshman as a safety or cornerback."[Rolle Video]
The nation's top running back prospect, McCoy has amazing cutback ability to go along with his good vision and very quick feet. Though he doesn't possess blazing speed, he rarely gets caught from behind and also is very durable as he carries the ball 30-plus times per game. McCoy likes Southern Cal, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Virginia. Miami (Fla.) and Oklahoma. Mike Farrell says:"Great vision, change of direction and speed. McCoy will also be a threat in the passing game with his soft hands." [McCoy Video]
A big, powerful tackle prospect who is athletic, Johnson had an outstanding performance at the Athens NIKE camp. Physically, Johnson is ready to play in college right now and is a potential early contributor at the next level. The top overall prospect in North Carolina has Tennessee, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia on his early list of potential destinations. Mike Farrell says:"Massive tackle who dominates in the run game and has surprisingly quick feet and agility for a 325-pounder." [Johnson Video]
Mays has the size and versatility to play a number of positions including linebacker, safety, wide receiver or running back. He has great speed, moves well laterally and was the top defensive back at the Palo Alto NIKE camp. Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, UCLA and Washington are on Mays' list. Jeremy Crabtree says:"Some guys are just blessed on the day they're born, and Mays was blessed with everything you want -- size, speed and play-making ability." [Mays Video]
The top overall prospect in California, Bradford is a punishing tackler and is very aggressive and quick to the point of attack. He also moves very well laterally and has good instincts. Bradford also shows off his tremendous athletic ability at running back. Southern Cal, Arizona, Georgia, UCLA, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Washington and Oklahoma are on Bradford's early list. Jeremy Crabtree says:"Could he be the nation's top running back? Some really think so, but he also projects as the nation's No. 1 linebacker prospect." [Bradford Video]
Young, the top player in Florida, has a great frame to add weight and dominates one-on-ones once he locks up and literally manhandles the defender. Young also gets out of his stance well and has long arms, which help in pass protection. Duke, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Georgia, Michigan, Penn State and Southern Cal are on his early list. Jeremy Patterson says:"Has awesome size, has a ton of room left to grow on his frame, is very quick and is a future NFL first-rounder if he continues to develop." [Young Video]
6-foot-8280 lbs.OTFt. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Wells has good footwork and speed with a great initial burst. A strong and powerful back, his excellent field vision and the fact that he is hard to bring down likely will lead to a ton of yardage at Ohio State, where he has verbally committed. Some observers say that he could be a better prospect that Maurice Clarett was coming out of high school. Jeremy Crabtree says:"Maurice Clarett had all the hype coming out of high school, but Wells is better and doesn't let an ego slow him down off the field." [Wells Video]
The consensus top player in Texas, Kindle has the frame and speed to develop into a great player at his position. A strong player who can run with the best of them, Kindle has been dominating against top competition since his freshman year of high school. Will look to make an impact for Mack Brown and Texas, where he has verbally committed, next year. Jeremy Crabtree says:"The top player coming out of Dallas in 10 years and one of the most dominating two-way players to come out of the Lone Star State in a while." [Kindle Video]
While not as big as a prototypical outside linebacker, Ball more than makes up for it with his athleticism. The top overall prospect in Georgia is an excellent outside pass rusher from his position and is strong enough to reach out and make tough, one-handed tackles. Has Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Oklahoma, Ohio State and LSU on his early list. Jeremy Patterson says:"A physical freak who is aggressive and a punishing hitter. Could be an amazing safety but is too good at linebacker to move him." [Ball Video]
A mammoth defensive tackle with great speed for his size, Woods is the nation's top defensive tackle and the top overall prospect in Louisiana. He has the ability to run to the ball and uses his size to get good penetration. Some feel like he has better upside on the offensive line. The Southwest Louisiana prospect committed early to LSU. Jeremy Crabtree says:"Does exactly what you want from a blue-chip player playing against inferior competition: thoroughly dominates in all phases." [Woods Video]
The nation's top quarterback prospect, Mustain has a very solid release with no hitch. He has a cannon for an arm and is accurate with nearly every pass. Mustain makes great decisions and does a great job of getting his team into the right play. He has Arkansas, Texas, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Iowa and Oklahoma on his early list. Jeremy Patterson says:"Has a cannon, a great frame and is accurate on every pass you want from an elite quarterback prospect. Also makes the right decisions and can run when needed." [Mustain Video]
A dominant defensive tackle who fights through blocks extremely well, McCoy has great athletic ability for a player his size. He runs well for a big guy and at times does a great job of anticipating the snap count to get easy penetration. His early list includes Oklahoma, Kansas State, LSU, Nebraska, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame and LSU. Jeremy Crabtree says:"The highest ranked player to come out of the Sooner State since Robert Meachem is physically ready to make an instant impact in college." [McCoy Video]
The second-best prospect in California behind Bradford, Johnson delivers a punishing blow and breaks on the ball very well. He has tremendous instincts, good size, great speed and is a raw athlete with a ton of upside. The top athlete in California, Johnson has Southern Cal, LSU, Miami (Fla.), UCLA, Cal, Ohio State, Michigan and Washington on his early list. Jeremy Crabtree says:"A lethal hitter on defense and one of the best running backs in the nation. Either way, he's special." [Johnson Video]
The top overall prospect in one of the best classes in Maryland history, Logan-El was destroying everyone he went up against at the Blacksburg NIKE camp. He has great size and feet and does a good job of getting his arms extended and inside on defenders and rarely will get called for holding because of excellent technique. Logan-El already has committed to Maryland. Mike Farrell says:"The big, athletic tackle brings a defensive mentality to the offensive line and wants to demoralize his opponents."
Stafford reminds some analysts of Brett Favre, has a very good arm and throws with touch and velocity even when he is being rushed and forced to sling it off his back foot. The top quarterback in Texas, he also has pretty good mobility and a tendency to never give up on a play. When he is able to plant and throw, he often delivers a frozen rope. Stafford already has committed to Georgia. Jeremy Crabtree says:"A strong argument could be made for him to be the No. 1 quarterback. He's got rifle for an arm and a pocket presence that can't be taught." [Stafford Video]
The top player in Nevada has outstanding quick feet, great vision and outstanding balance. When he is caught in traffic, Murray can take a hit and keep his feet. He has good size and will be a good pass receiver at the next level. Murray recently narrowed his list to 10 finalists, which are Florida State, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, LSU, Miami (Fla.) and Penn State. Greg Biggins says:"Great speed and quickness, and dynamic in the open field. He is the closest thing to Reggie Bush since, well, Reggie Bush." [Murray Video]
Graham runs very well for a player his size and had an outstanding performance at the Ann Arbor NIKE camp. A ferocious hitter who is good at taking the correct pursuit angles, he could be the top incoming linebacker in the Big Ten in the Class of 2006. Graham also plays very strong. The top player in the state of Michigan gave an early commitment to the Wolverines. Mike Farrell says:"Graham has the size and agility to be a terror at inside linebacker or play with his hand on the ground." [Graham Video]
Hazelton is a very fast athlete who can get away from defenders quickly if he finds a seam. Some analysts feel that he is the most college-ready wide receiver in the country, given his frame and ability to get off the ball and run precise patterns. Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Florida, Auburn, Virginia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina are on Hazelton's early list. Mike Farrell says:"Hazelton could be the most polished and refined receiver in the country and is physically ready to contribute." [Hazelton Video]
6-foot-2192 lbs.WRStaten Island (N.Y.) Moore Catholic
The top safety in Georgia, Jones possesses great vision and a solid ability to follow the ball from the quarterback's hands. Jones also is very aggressive and will come up and punish ball carriers he tracks down using his outstanding speed. Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Miami (Fla.), Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Georgia are on his early list. Jeremy Patterson says:"Arguably the best D-back at any NIKE Camp, Jones has a chance to be special because of his strength, ability to read the play and a nasty streak." [Jones Video]
Ausberry, the top wide receiver in California, has the size to be a great one. He is a very fluid athlete who uses his body to escape in traffic. Ausberry does not have the best speed but makes up for it with his size and athleticism. Ranks near the top of the wide receiver boards for several prominent programs. Southern Cal, Ohio State, Nebraska, Georgia and Michigan highlight Ausberry's list. Mike Farrell says:"The sky's the limit when it comes to Ausberry's potential. Still raw, he has the physical gifts to be special down the line." [Ausberry Video]
The top quarterback in Florida has a rocket for an arm and is also very athletic. Tebow is perhaps the strongest signal caller in this year's class as he topped the testing charts at the Tallahassee NIKE camp with the best bench press mark. Florida has long been considered the team to beat for Tebow's services, but Michigan, Southern Cal and Alabama also are in the picture. Jeremy Patterson says:"Pound for pound could be the nation's best athlete. Has an extremely strong arm, is very tough to get on the ground and is a true dual-threat quarterback." [Tebow Video]
The nation's top cornerback and best defensive back in Pennsylvania has great hips and a big-time ability to break on the football. He has very good speed and a nose for making plays. Walls also plays for a great high school program (Woodland Hills) in the Pittsburgh area. Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia all have made Walls' early list. Mike Farrell says:"The best cover corner in the country, Walls has the size to cover bigger receivers and the closing speed to cover the smaller ones." [Walls Video]
Schilling has great speed for a big guy and a nasty streak. His outstanding technique gives him an advantage as soon as the ball is snapped and his aggressiveness allows him to influence a play long after most high school offensive lineman are not a factor. Schilling has Nebraska, Arizona State, Southern Cal, Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Washington State on his early list. Rick Kimbrel says:"Team lined up and ran behind him a lot last season, especially when Bellevue stopped Concord (Calif.) De La Salle's winning streak at 151 games." [Schilling Video]
The No. 3 prospect in the state of Florida has the versatility to play either safety or wide receiver. Hornsby's size and speed combination makes him a player that multiple colleges covet, and he has the ability to see the field early in the right situation on the next level. Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan and Southern Cal are Hornsby's five finalists. Jeremy Patterson says:"Hornsby has a great frame to work with, is excellent in coverage and he plays with a mean streak that doesn't come through unless you see him in person." [Hornsby Video]
Jones is a blend of speed and power. He is very aggressive off the ball and uses his good vision and quick first step to his advantage. Jones has an excellent swim move and also utilizes his quickness and outstanding pursuit angles to rush from the outside. Jones already has verbally committed to Texas. Jeremy Crabtree says:"Jones has one speed and one speed only: fast forward. He is one of the most dominating players the past two years in East Texas, where arguably the nation's top high school football is played." [Jones Video]