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September 29, 2010

Look Ahead: McDevitt is stacked again

FROM THE ROAD: 2011 Offense | 2011 Defense | Underclassmen

Rivals.com analysts are canvassing the country again this week to check out the top talent in person. Here's where they'll be and where their attention - prospects listed alphabetically - will be focused.

Analyst: Barton Simmons

Game:Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth at Brentwood (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy, Thursday

Top Prospects:
Antonio Richardson Ensworth, 6-6/310, OT/DT
Richardson highlights
Richardson is the top-rated prospect in the state of Tennessee and that ranking is derived from a rare mix of size, athleticism and motor. He had a monster year in 2009 as a junior but this fall he has not been quite as dominant as people have come to expect. In a huge regional game against nationally ranked Brentwood Academy, Richardson will have an opportunity to make a statement and back up his ranking.
Weldon Garlington Brentwood Academy, 5-10/160, WR
Garlington holds a few lower-level offers but his size has kept him from picking up major interest. It has not kept him from dominating on Friday nights though. Garlington has been one of the top offensive threats for the Brentwood Academy offense and showed off his chops with a big night against LSU commit Jalen Collins. Can he outplay his height issues on Thursday?
Derek King Brentwood Academy, 5-10/185, ATH
King highlights
King has one of the better offer lists in the state of Tennessee as a probable corner on the next level with great speed. The knock on King is that he may just be a track guy on the football field. He'll need to show the ability to tackle and make football plays, not just outrun people on Thursday.
William Beaird Brentwood Academy, 6-0/187, S
Beaird highlights
One of several strong defensive back prospects for Brentwood Academy, Beaird has a handful of mid-major offers while also considering Ivy League programs.

Quick Kicks:
Both Brentwood Academy and Ensworth have plenty of talent beyond the senior class so there will be plenty of other players to sort through as potential stars of the future. One player that won't be on the field is Ensworth's Rodney Anderson who was poised to take over a feature role in the Tiger offense before a knee injury ended his season. Before the injury, Anderson was one of the most highly respected players in Tennessee's Division II.

Analyst: Mike Farrell

Game: Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt at Hummelstown (Pa.) Lower Dauphin, Friday

Top Prospects:
Darnell Holland Bishop McDevitt, 5-11/175, DB, 2013 prospect
Holland has been compared to a young Sean Dawkins, heady stuff for a high school sophomore, for his ability to cover like a corner but come up and hit like a linebacker. McDevitt has been known for many highly rated defensive backs over the years such as Aaron Berry, Mike Jones and Vince Beamer, but does Holland have the potential to be the best?
Brian Lemelle Bishop McDevitt, 5-11/170, WR, 2013 prospect
Lemelle is considered a future star for McDevitt despite his sophomore status and some are comparing him to former McDevitt star Fred Lee, who dominated opponents nearly a decade ago. Is Lemelle as quick as Lee was and does he have that game-breaking speed? How does he project on the defensive side of the ball and is his future on offense or defense?
Jameel Poteat Bishop McDevitt, 5-11/195, RB
Poteat highlights
Poteat has battled injuries early this season and has only been 100 percent in one game. However, he has still managed to average more than 100 yards per game. Will this be his breakout game and is he the next top running back for the Pitt Panthers?
Noah Spence Bishop McDevitt, 6-3/235, DE, 2012 prospect
Spence highlights
Spence is one of the top 2012 prospects in the country and has been dominating opponents all season. How will he handle the double teams expected to be thrown his way and has he added to his frame since we last saw him at a camp in February? Is he one of the elite rush ends in the country for 2012?

Quick Kicks:
For a small school, McDevitt has cranked out its share of impressive college prospects. Most notably, running back LeSean McCoy was a star at McDevitt and at Pittsburgh, and is now one of the NFL's best young backs with the Philadelphia Eagles. McCoy is joined on NFL rosters by former Pitt cornerback Aaron Berry (Detroit Lions) and Jaimie Thomas (Indianapolis Colts) from McDevitt. Jameel Poteat is the cousin of former NFL veteran Hank Poteat of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Bucs, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Hank also played at Pitt, one of the main reasons many expected Jameel to end up as a Panther as well. Poteat is the third four-star prospect to choose Pitt over many other offers since 2006, joining McCoy and Berry. Other four-stars from McDevitt include quarterback Jeremy Ricker, who signed with Maryland in 2006, defensive tackle Jason Kates (Michigan 2006) and Thomas (Maryland 2004). Spence has a chance to be the highest-ranked prospect out of the school. In 2006, McCoy ranked No. 43 overall in the country.

Analyst: Barton Simmons

Game: Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood at Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn, Friday

Top Prospects:
Nick Hill Pearl-Cohn, 6-2/191, WR
Hill highlights
A big, physical wide receiver that looks the part, Hill was a sleeper pickup by the Duke staff out of Nashville. Since committing he has landed an offer from Vanderbilt and has the tools to be a impact player on the next level. Can he put those skills together to be as productive as he needs to be?
Senquay Eichelberger Pearl-Cohn, 6-2/205, CB
Eichelberger highlights
Despite some mounting interest, Eichelberger accepted a scholarship offer from local Tennessee State. His size separates him at corner but he will need to show more big play ability and explosiveness.
Dewayne Smith Maplewood, 6-2/190, OLB
Smith highlights
One of the top playmakers in the state of Tennessee, Smith has flown under the radar because of qualifying issues. If he can get closer to qualifying he could be a late bloomer on the recruiting trail. He has been a tackling machine thus far this fall.
Stanley Hagan Maplewood, 6-1/175, RB
Hagan highlights
A running back with good size and power, Hagan is one of the top backs in Nashville and is still waiting for his recruitment to pick up.
Ladarius Vanlier Maplewood, 5-6/150, APB, 2012 prospect
Vanlier highlights
It's hard to even find Vanlier on the field but it's even harder to tackle him. He is the lightning to Hagan's thunder and has great big-play ability. As a high academic kid, Vanlier is a very recruitable athlete but will need to show that he can overcome his size issues with speed and elusiveness.

Quick Kicks:
Over the past few years, Maplewood and Pearl-Cohn have been among the most talented programs in the mid-state. Both programs have a number of players that are borderline FBS players that could emerge. For Maplewood, qualifying is an obstacle but its prospect list could change drastically with some new test scores this fall.

Analyst: Adam Gorney

Game: Game: Encino (Calif.) Crespi at Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta, Friday

Top Prospects:
Devin Lucien Encino Crespi, 6-1/189, WR
Lucien highlights
Through four games, Lucien already has 20 receptions for 331 yards and five touchdowns. Oregon State, Illinois, Iowa State, Colorado and others have offered but if Lucien continues to play as well as he did this summer and early this season, then he could pick up more Pac-10 offers.
Reggie Coates Encino Crespi, 6-0/229, LB
Coates dealt with a knee injury but has returned and could be one of the surprise outside linebackers in Southern California. He hasn't put up fabulous stats yet this season but with offers from Iowa State, Nevada and Tulsa he's a proven player.
Charles Washington Encino Crespi, 5-10/178, DB
The three-star prospect sometimes gets lost in the shuffle because of higher-profile players at Crespi but Washington gets the job done. He is second on the team with 21 tackles. Fresno State has offered and others are sure to be involved.
Jordan Simmons Encino Crespi, 6-5/295, OT, 2012 prospect
Simmons highlights
Simmons is an absolute monster at offensive tackle and performed well at numerous camps this summer. He is pretty much regarded as the top offensive lineman in the state for the 2012 class. He'll get tested against Vista Murietta but at his size he manhandles players on the high school level.
Derrick Brown Vista Murietta, 6-3/230, QB
Brown highlights
A lot of people believe Brown gets overlooked when the top quarterbacks in California are discussed. After throwing for 1,886 yards and 18 touchdowns, and running for 913 yards and 15 scores in his junior season, they might have a point. Utah picked up a good player in Brown, who also had offers from Colorado State and San Diego State.
Jon Sanchez Vista Murietta, 6-3/235, DE
Sanchez highlights
If Sanchez lines up opposite of Simmons then this could be one of the most interesting head-to-head matchups all night. Sanchez is committed to San Diego State and that is a steal for the Aztecs because he is aggressive, tough and quick off the line.
Su'a Cravens Vista Murietta, 6-2/191, S, 2013 prospect
UCLA and Hawaii have reportedly verbally offered Cravens already. He has nice size and this will be the first time Rivals.com will see him in person. Talking to people around Los Angeles, many believe Cravens will be one of the top defensive backs in the state down the road. He's still just a sophomore.

Quick Kicks:
Simmons transferred to Crespi from Los Angeles Dorsey this summer giving the Celts arguably one of the top offensive linemen in California regardless of class. He was fantastic at multiple camps this summer and the early sense is that Simmons wants to stay closer to home so USC and UCLA have a good shot landing him. Cravens and Orange Lutheran offensive tackle John Lopez, a 6-5, 328-pound offensive tackle, are widely regarded as the top two sophomores in Southern California.

Analyst: Mike Farrell

Game: Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy at Southborough (Mass.) St. Mark's, Saturday

Top Prospects:
Dan Giovacchini Lawrence Academy, 6-3/200, LB
Giovacchini is a tackling machine and many feel he is a better linebacker prospect than Orloff, but does he have the size and lateral speed to play the position at the D-I level? Why hasn't he received any D-I offers yet despite some good summer camp showings?
Marcus Grant Lawrence Academy, 6-2/190, WR
Grant highlights
One of the better debates in the state of Massachusetts is whether Grant, an Iowa commitment, is better than Connecticut commitment Tariq Allen. Grant is currently ranked fourth in state and Allen is fifth. Can Grant separate himself from Allen and even push for four-star status? Is he a deep threat or simply a possession receiver?
Anthony Knight Lawrence Academy, 6-1/210, RB
Knight highlights
Is Knight a big running back or is he a fullback at the next level? Ranked as a top five fullback in the country, can Knight show the speed to be a feature back, especially at N.C. State where Tom O'Brien likes bigger backs?
Mike Orloff Lawrence Academy, 6-2/215, LB
Orloff highlights
Orloff plays quarterback and linebacker but projects as the latter in college. However, he hasn't played much at the position so does he have the instincts for it and can he add to his long, skinny frame to be a Big Ten 'backer?
Max Ricci Lawrence Academy, 6-4/345, DT
Ricci is expected to be a defensive tackle at Boston College, but he has shown much better on the offensive line at the numerous camps. Can he play low enough to be a defensive force and is he quick enough? Is his weight an issue at the next level?

Quick Kicks:
Lawrence Academy has four of the top 10 players in the state of Massachusetts for the class of 2011 led by Grant. Lawrence Academy has become the most prolific producer of D-I prospects in Massachusetts in recent years with Grant and Orloff (Iowa), Knight (N.C. State) and Ricci (Boston College) this year and Darryl Cato-Bishop (N.C. State) and Charley Loeb (Syracuse) in 2009. Grant's father, Michael Grant, played at Boston College one year before Doug Flutie arrived while Knight is the cousin of BC's all-time leader rusher, Derrick Knight. St. Mark's last D-I prospect was Russell Braithwaite back in 2009. He decided to play basketball instead of football and is at Babson College.

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