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June 11, 2012
Florida again brimming with talent
Rivals.com's Florida Preseason Top 100 for 2013 reveals, not surprisingly, that the state is as usual burgeoning with talent.
At the top of the list is Lake City (Fla.) Columbia five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil, who is the top offensive tackle in the nation and ranked No. 7 overall in the Rivals100, is an offensive lineman who has a great mix of size -- 6-foot-6, 295-pounds -- and athleticism. He has the ability to be a franchise left tackle and is drawing major recruiting interest from colleges around the nation. He remains pretty wide open with the process.
Right on Tunsil's heels is Tampa (Fla.) Wharton five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. The nation's No. 2 overall cornerback and No. 9 overall prospect is capable of playing cornerback or safety, but will settle in at cornerback at the next level. He has good size at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, but what sets him apart from his peers is his instincts and ability to make a play on the ball in the air. Hargreaves, who remains wide open in his recruitment, exhibits great technique at the cornerback spot and a desire to win each and every rep. At the high school level, he shines on both sides of the ball.
The third and final five-star in the Rivals.com Florida Preseason Top 100 for 2013 is Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington five-star outside linebacker Matthew Thomas. Thomas, who recently shared a top five of Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville and Miami, is an ultra-athletic linebacker with good size at 6-foot-1, 200-plus pounds. Whether it is coming down to fill a gap and make the tackle or making a play in the flats or even dropping back to play the pass, Thomas always seems to be around the ball. He covers a ton of ground quickly, regardless of the direction he is traveling. He racked up 117 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior.
Rounding out the top 10 in Florida is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas four-star strongside defensive end Joey Bosa, Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage four-star running back Greg Bryant, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood four-star safety Leon McQuay III, Yulee (Fla.) four-star athlete Derrick Henry, Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast four-star wide receiver Stacy Coley, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic four-star running back Ryan Green, and Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips four-star safety Marcell Harris.
With regards to the Rivals.com positional rankings, the Sunshine State is home to the nation's top offensive tackle, Tunsil, top athlete, Henry, and top fullback, Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson three-star fullback Kennard Swanson. Swanson, who is committed to LSU, is ranked 91st overall in the Sunshine State.
Just like Florida, the Rivals.com Georgia Preseason Top 80 for 2013 is led by a trio of five-star prospects.
The nation's No. 1 overall prospect, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson five-star strongside defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, resides in Georgia. Joining him at the elite status in the Peach State is Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams, the state's No. 2 prospect, and Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton five-star weakside defensive end Carl Lawson, who checks in at No. 3 in Georgia.
All three of those players are the top players in the nation at their respective positions. Lawson is the only one committed at this point, having pledged to Auburn. The nation's top all-purpose back is a Georgia prospect, Marietta (Ga.) Walton's Tyren Jones. The four-star prospect, who has pledged to Alabama, is the 12th best prospect overall in-state.
Rivals.com's Alabama Preseason Top 30 for 2013 has a pair of five-star prospects at the top in Auburn (Ala.) five-star inside linebacker Reuben Foster and Muscle Shoals (Ala.) five-star strongside defensive end Dee Liner. Foster, an Alabama commitment, is the nation's top inside linebacker. Liner has pledged his services to Auburn.
Rivals.com's Mississippi Preseason Top 20 for 2013 is without a five-star prospect at the top. The top prospect in Mississippi for the 2013 class is Batesville (Miss.) South Panola four-star safety Antonio Conner. The Rivals100 product is considered the fifth-best safety in America. He has yet to make a verbal commitment.
Sitting at the top of the Rivals.com Tennessee Preseason Top 25 for 2013 is four-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey of Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy. Ramsey is the only Rivals100 prospect in Tennessee for the 2013 class. Ramsey continues to evaluate his options with regards to his recruitment.