April 12, 2006

Five on the rise

During the camp season and May evaluation period, there always are multiple prospects that go from unknown to wanted man in a short period of time.

In this week's edition of Five on the Rise, we take a look at several prospects who already are starting to emerge in the class of 2007. Included are a prospect from the West coast, one from the East coast and even one from the Gulf Coast that has seen his stock increase recently.

Akeem Ayers, Los Angeles Verbum Dei
Position: Defensive end
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 214 pounds
The numbers alone are enough to speak highly of fast-rising defensive end Akeem Ayers. Ayers had 88 tackles, 28 assists, 23 sacks, five fumble recoveries and one interception during his junior season. He currently has scholarship offers from Arizona, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oregon, San Diego State and heavy interest from both Southern California and UCLA.

With all of the attention, the 6-foot-2, 214-pound pass-rush specialist is quickly becoming one of the West's top targets. Jeremy Crabtree
Click here for video of Ayers in action

Joe Chaisson, Beaumont (Texas) Westbrook
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 172 pounds
There may not be a faster riser at quarterback than Joe Chaisson. In a deep year for dual-threat quarterbacks in the Lone Star State, Chaisson is right at the top. Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 172 pounds at the Rivals.com Junior Day in Dallas, he brings more to the table than just throwing a solid ball he can get out in the open and do dangerous things with his feet.

At the same time, for being a true dual-threat guy, Chaisson has a nice release and strong arm. Offers are coming in quickly. Baylor, Indiana, Iowa State and Tennessee all have stepped forward with scholarship offers in recent weeks.John Talman
Click here for video of Chaisson in action

Marcus Gilchrist, High Point (N.C.) Andrews
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 175 pounds
Marcus Gilchrist entered the month of March with just three offers, but once his highlight tape started making the rounds, the offers have begun to pile up. North Carolina, NC State and Clemson were the first three schools to offer and Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Duke followed with offers in early March. Then the offers began rolling in. South Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida, Michigan offered and programs like Georgia, Penn State and others are apparently close to offering as well.

Why all the attention? As a junior, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Gilchrist had 11 interceptions on defense and scored 12 touchdowns. Watch for Gilchrist to blow up even further once May rolls around. Mike Farrell
Click here for video of Gilchrist in action

Phelon Jones, Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen
Position: Cornerback
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 185 pounds
Good size and speed, along with impressive film has helped Phelon Jones increase his stock significantly in the previous weeks. The 6-foot, 185-pound Jones recently picked up a scholarship offer from defending national champion Texas to go along with previous ones from Oklahoma, Ohio State, Georgia, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.) and in-state SEC powers Auburn and Alabama.

Jones, whose high school teammate Sidell Corley is a pre-evaluation Rivals100 member and also highly-recruited, was under the radar early in the process, but emerged quickly once his film circulated and word got out about his skills. JC Shurburtt

Bo Williams, Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast
Position: Running back
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 203 pounds
Bo Williams has seen his stock go up almost by the day in recent weeks. Nebraska, Boston College, Pittsburgh and other schools have stepped forward with scholarship offers for the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder.

Williams also posted impressive physical numbers at the Miami NIKE Camp last Sunday, including a sub-4.2-second pro shuttle, which answered questions about his lateral movement abilities. Williams, who also is a track standout, should see his scholarship offer count increase even more in the coming weeks. JC Shurburtt
Click here for video of Williams in action

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