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August 20, 2012

VT Risers, Fallers In Rivals100

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With high school football underway at many locations around the country this weekend, Rivals.com released its newest Rivals100 today.

As always there's plenty of jostling for position. Some will be happy with their new ranking while others will be disappointed.

No surprise as Grayson (Ga.) defensive end and Clemson commitment Robert Nkemdiche retains the No. 1 overall ranking. Others, such as Autauga Academy (Ala.) and Alabama commitment tight end O.J. Howard also made big jumps, as he checks in at No. 5 overall now.

Virginia Tech is also well-represented, with three commitments who were previously in the Rivals100, all staying in that category.

But none of the three retained the same ranking. Good Counsel (Md.) cornerback Kendall Fuller is now No. 6 overall, Manchester (Va.) safety Holland Fisher is now No. 68, while the newest commitment, Liberty (Va.) defensive end Wyatt Teller is now No. 89 overall.

Fuller drops down from No. 3 overall but is still the top-rated cornerback in the country. There was some debate on whether or not he should be ranked ahead of Wharton (Fla.) cornerback and Florida commit Vernon Hargreaves III and it was close. But Fuller had impressive camps this summer, including at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, The Opening and the Nike Elite camp in Baltimore.

Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell has seen Fuller on numerous occasions and admitted the choice was difficult, but that Fuller didn't do anything to lose the top cornerback distinction.

"Kendall Fuller remained as the No. 1 cornerback in the country and I believe we are the only site that still sees him that way and I'm fine with that," Farrell said. "He's a rare prospect when it comes to football smarts and instincts and he has good size and more than adequate speed. He slid three slots because Jaylon Smith, Carl Lawson and OJ Howard are all very special and rare prospects at their positions, but Fuller is similar. There's just a lot of competition at cornerback this year so Fuller will continue to be pushed."

Fisher had an impressive summer as well and made a sizeable jump from his previous No. 82 ranking. Fisher performed well at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, The Opening and the VTO camp in Richmond among others.

"Fisher moved up 14 slots and more importantly made the jump from a 5.9 prospect to a 6.0," Farrell said. "Our scale goes to 6.1 for five stars so this is a substantial move for him even if the slotting doesn't reflect it that much. He could end up as a rover, true safety or linebacker in college and he will excel no matter what because he's very athletic and very physical.'

HokieHaven.com saw Fuller and Fisher both at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in July in Atlanta as well as Fisher's performance at Virginia Tech's July prospect camp. Fisher has excellent size, a great build, is extremely muscular and an intimidating safety.

Fisher is now the No. 6 safety in the country.

"He's athletic and physical but is a bit out of control still," Farrell said during today's Rivals 100 chat. "Very good player but not as instinctual as some of the other safeties ranked ahead of him."

The Hokies' latest commitment, Teller, who committed Friday, took a slight drop, to No. 89 in the country. Teller was previously ranked No. 75, but has still shown that he might contribute immediately at Virginia Tech.

Teller impressed Farrell at the VTO Richmond camp in April and further impressed HokieHaven.com at the College Prep World camp last month.

"Teller dropped 14 slots in the Rivals100 but he actually moved up in his position ranking from No. 7 to No. 5 because a few guys switched positions," Farrell said. "He is still a 5.9 four star and top 100 player and he essentially remained the same in his ranking while some others at different positions slid ahead. He's a huge kid, very physical and reminds me of Chris Long physically. He's a guy we like quite a bit and are looking forward to evaluating during the season and at the U.S. Army All American Bowl."

Fuller will also be playing in the prestigious U.S. Army All American Bowl in January in San Antonio, while Fisher has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game.

Click HERE to see the entire Rivals100 list

Click HERE to catch the replay of the Rivals.com national analysts talking about the Rivals100 today


Note: Not including Rivals' premium sites, do not copy/paste and or repost this column outside of Rivals.com, particularly on message boards, chat rooms and e-mails, as it is a direct violation of copyright laws. Thank you.

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