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October 17, 2007

New four-stars revealed in position rankings

Updated Position Rankings:
PQB | DQB | RB | APB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | WDE | SDE | DT | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH | K

Rivals.com put the final pieces of the rankings puzzle into place today with the unveiling of the updated defensive player rankings.

After Tuesday's updated offensive player rankings, 12 more players on the defensive side of the ball had their rankings increased to the four-star level.

One of the highest risers was Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes weakside defensive Everett Dawkins, who moved up to the No. 13 spot and a 5.8 on the Rivals Rating Scale. Safety Vaughn Telemaque of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly and Don'ta Hightower of Lewisburg, Tenn., also made very impressive moves up the charts to the four-star level.

The position that saw a majority of changes on the defensive side of the ball was at cornerback.

After originally earning a four-star ranking and then slipping down after a summer evaluation, California cornerback Anthony Dye is again a four-star player based upon his play on the field this season. Rivals.com recruiting analysts Rick Kimbrel and Greg Biggins both believe the 5-foot-10, 179-pounder has proven he's one of the best players in the Golden State this season.

"He's been great, and he's taken over games," Kimbrel said. "I truly believe UCLA has one of the best corner combinations in the country coming in with Anthony Dye and Aaron Hester."

Dye wasn't the only one who moved up at the cornerback spot.

Also earning a fourth star was Tucker, Ga., standout Neiko Lipscomb and Forestvilile, Md., star Cameron Chism. At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, Lipscomb has the body to match up with taller receivers. Chism also has similar size at 6-1 and 175 pounds, and the Maryland commitment could see the field early.

As with every ranking, some go up and some go down. Clinton, La., cornerback Prentiss Waggner fell from No. 14 to No. 36 in the position rankings and dropped to three stars. Charlottesville, Va., corner Mike Beckford also moved down from No. 24 to No. 53 and is now a 5.5 on the Rivals Rating Scale.

Some of the other big movers at cornerback included Lufkin, Texas, star Darrius Terry, who is now at No. 23. Scott Grady of Tigard, Ore., also moved up to three stars based on his senior season play. Marshall also got a major steal with Ahmed Shakoor of Stone Mountain, Ga. He is now ranked as the No. 49 corner and is a solid three-star prospect.

There were also plenty of moves at safety.

The only new four star was Telemaque, but others like Charles Burrell, Jermaine Robinson, Matt Daniels and Lorenzo Williams all made nice moves inside the rankings. There were also quite a few new three-star additions, including Cortez Smith, Patrick Mahnke, Keelan Johnson and Robert Lester.

Moving down at the position were Winston Guy, D'Anton Lynn and Eddie Whitley, who moved from 25 to 53 and down to a 5.5.

At weakside defensive end, Dawkins was the major headliner, but Jacquies Smith moved down from 17 to 28 and is now a 5.5. Dan Vaughan and Gary Mason made moves up to the three-star level.

The biggest news at strongside was the slide from four stars to three stars of Tyler Hoover of Novi, Mich. Hoover still ranks among the best players in the state of Michigan, but he didn't stand out as much as others in the state like Nick Perry, Charles Burrell, Fred Smith and Mark Ingram, who have all seen their stock rise dramatically this season because of their play on the field.

A few prospects that made moves up at strongside end were Texas A&M pledge Blake Chavis, Boston College pledge Kaleb Ramsey, Marquis Jackson and Texas Tech pledge Joey Fowler.

At defensive tackle, Colorado pledge Curtis Cunningham moved up to No. 37 and is now a 5.7. Randy Salmon is now a three-star player and ranked at No. 45, Michigan State pledge Jerel Worthy also moved up to three stars and is at No. 46, and Kansas commitment Zach Stadther is at No. 60. Stadther could climb even higher based on his monster senior season.

The biggest mover at outside linebacker was Chase Thomas, who is now at No. 20 and a four-star prospect.

The athlete position also saw new additions to the four-star level: Xavier Avery of Ellenwood, Ga.; LSU pledge Darron Thomas of Aldine, Texas; Mark Ingram of Flint, Mich.; Georgia pledge Marcus Dowtin of Fork Union, Va.; and Virginia Tech pledge Dyrell Roberts of Smithfield, Va.

Also keep an eye on BYU commitment Jake Murphy of American Fork, Utah. Few have had a senior season like he has, and his stock continues to climb. He is now ranked as the nation's No. 51 safety, but he could be even higher by the end of the season.

Updated Position Rankings:
PQB | DQB | RB | APB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | WDE | SDE | DT | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH | K



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