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November 30, 2010

Category rankings: Athletes


The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and ranked them. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell breaks down the athletes.

ATH RANKINGS: Ball skills | Best jumbo athlete | Fastest | Most athletic

5) Raymon Taylor, Detroit (Mich.) Highland Park
Taylor Highlights
Committed to: Indiana
Particulars: 5-10/167
Buzz: Had seven interceptions as a junior before teams started to avoid him.

4) T.J. Thorpe, Durham (N.C.) Jordan
Thorpe Highlights
Committed to: North Carolina
Particulars: 6-0/180
Buzz: Thorpe could play receiver or cornerback in college and has sure hands.

3) Nickalos Brassell, Batesville (Miss.) South Panola
Brassell Highlights
Committed to: Mississippi State
Particulars: 6-0/175
Buzz: Brassell catches pretty much everything thrown his way.

2) Marqise Lee, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra
Lee Highlights
Considering: UCLA, Oregon, USC, Florida and others.
Particulars: 6-1/187
Buzz: Lee has emerged as one of the best two-way threats in the country because of his ball skills.

1) Ladarius Brown, Waxachachie, Texas
Brown Highlights
Considering: TCU and Texas A&M lead others.
Particulars: 6-2/190
Buzz: Brown is a smooth route runner who catches the ball in stride with his hands.

BEST JUMBO ATHLETE
5) Ladarius Brown, Waxachachie, Texas
Brown Highlights
Considering: TCU and Texas A&M lead others.
Particulars: 6-2/190
Buzz: The smallest on this list, Brown plays and looks bigger than his listed size.

4) Kris Frost, Matthews (N.C.) Butler
Frost Highlights
Considering: Michigan, Auburn, LSU, North Carolina and others.
Particulars: 6-3/210
Buzz: Frost has room to grow and could play safety, linebacker or receiver in college.

3) Christian French, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Kennedy
French Highlights
Considering: Iowa, Oregon and Notre Dame lead others.
Particulars: 6-6/229
Buzz: French is raw and still learning how to use his frame, but he's amazingly athletic for such a big kid.

2) James Wilder Jr., Tampa (Fla.) Plant
Wilder Jr. Highlights
Committed to: Florida State
Particulars: 6-2/219
Buzz: Wants to play running back in college, but you can see how he could dominate at linebacker.

1) Colt Lyerla, Hillsboro, Ore.
Lyerla Highlights
Considering: Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA and others.
Particulars: 6-5/225
Buzz: Has been compared to Brian Urlacher for his athleticism. Not too shabby.

FASTEST
5) Devon Blackmon, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Blackmon Highlights
Considering: Oregon, UCLA, USC and others.
Particulars: 6-0/175
Buzz: Blackmon has sneaky speed with an effortless stride and great burst.

4) Anthony Pierson, East St. Louis, Ill.
Pierson Highlights
Considering: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Missouri.
Particulars: 5-11/175
Buzz: Pierson is a flat-out blazer who is a threat to score from anywhere.

3) Damian Swann, Atlanta (Ga.) Grady
Swann Highlights
Considering: Alabama and Georgia lead Florida, Miami, Ohio State and others.
Particulars: 6-0/175
Buzz: Swann changes direction with ease and runs effortlessly.

2) De'Anthony Thomas, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Thomas Highlights
Committed to: USC
Particulars: 5-9/160
Buzz: The two-way star has the speed to outrun anyone on offense and cover anyone on defense.

1) Miles Shuler, Long Branch, N.J.
Shuler Highlights
Considering: Rutgers and Northwestern lead Stanford, Notre Dame and others.
Particulars: 5-11/173
Buzz: His sub-10.4 100 meter time this past summer showed he's one of the fastest players in the country.

MOST ATHLETIC
5) De'Anthony Thomas, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Thomas Highlights
Committed to: USC
Particulars: 5-9/160
Buzz: Thomas can be an elite running back, receiver or cornerback and will be a headache in the return game.

4) Quandre Diggs, Angleton, Texas
Diggs Highlights
Committed to: Texas
Particulars: 5-10/188
Buzz: Diggs plays quarterback, running back, receiver, safety, cornerback, punt returner and kick returner for Angleton.

3) Devon Blackmon, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Blackmon Highlights
Considering: Oregon, UCLA, USC and others.
Particulars: 6-0/175
Buzz: Plays quarterback in college but could play one of four different positions in college.

2) Louchiez Purifoy, Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest
Purifoy Highlights
Committed to: Florida
Particulars: 6-0/170
Buzz: Even the Gators likely don't know where to play Purifoy, but he'll impact at one of many possible positions.

1) Colt Lyerla, Hillsboro, Ore.
Lyerla Highlights
Considering: Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA and others.
Particulars: 6-5/225
Buzz: Big, fast and a freaky athlete, Lyerla is a rarity.



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