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January 23, 2014

Reviewing big moves in position rankings


MORE: Rivals100 | Rivals250

POS: PQB | DQB | RB | APB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC | DT | WDE | SDE | ILB | OLB | CB | S | ATH | K

With the major all-star games in the books, Rivals.com analysts have named their final rankings for the 2014 class. Here, take a look at notable movements within each position ranking since our postseason rankings in early December.

INSIDE LOOK: RIVALS.COM POSITION RANKINGS
Pro-style quarterbacks
Notable riser: Mason Rudolph, Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern (Up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: Caleb Henderson, Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock (Down 10 spots)
Comments: Kyle Allen and Keller Chryst retain the top two spots, but just about everything behind them shuffled. Henderson and Jacob Park go from inside the top five, to outside the top 10. Rudolph moves into the top 10 after moving from three stars to four stars. Auburn commit Sean White jumps into the top five after a strong Under Armour All-American Game showing.
Dual-threat quarterbacks
Notable riser: Jalen Greene, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra (Up 5 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The top seven remains unchanged, though No. 6 Clayton Thorson did move up from a 5.8 rating to a 5.9 after a strong Semper Fi Bowl performance. Arkansas commit Rafe Peavey moved up two spots in the top 10 after a strong showing at the Under Armour Game. Several players moved out of the rankings to other positions, but there were few downward moves among the top 25.
All-purpose backs
Notable riser: Christian McCaffrey, Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian (Up 2 spots)
Notable dropper: Tony James, Gainesville, Fla. (Down 2 spots)
Comments: McCaffrey and James switch spots after the Stanford commit looked very sharp at the Army Bowl, while James struggled in his all-star game. Clemson commit Jae'lon Oglesby moves into the rankings at the No. 7 spot after coming over from the running back group. Ole Miss commit D.K. Buford is another new addition to the list, and he starts out at No. 15.
Running backs
Notable riser: Madre London, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas (Up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Three new four-stars headline the changes at running back, with London making the highest move and landing at No. 17. California commit Tre Watson and Virginia Tech commit Marshawn Williams are the other new four-stars and both rank in the top 30. Further up the list, Minnesota commit Jeff Jones jumps from 9 to 7 after a big Under Armour Game.
Fullbacks
Notable riser: None
Notable dropper: None
Comments: There were no moves in the fullback rankings, meaning Auburn commit Kamryn Pettway finishes as the No. 1 ranked prospect at the position in the 2014 class.
Wide receivers
Notable riser: Isaiah McKenzie, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage (Up 19 spots)
Notable dropper: Shaq Davidson, Gaffney, S.C. (Down 44 spots)
Comments: Florida State commit Travis Rudolph takes over the top spot and finishes as the position's top prospect in 2014. New five-stars Speedy Noil and Ermon Lane also jump one spot from the previous ranking and finish inside the top five. Prospects moving in the other direction include Davidson and Oklahoma commit Mark Andrews.
Tight ends
Notable riser: Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian (New No. 1)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Georgia commit Blazevich rallied off a strong Under Armour All-American Game performance to take over the No. 1 spot in the final rankings. LSU commit Jacory Washington also used the Under Armour Game to raise his stock, moving up from No. 8 to No. 4. Xavier Burke, Ryan Izzo and Sammie Epps each improved their ratings and jumped into the top 30.
Offensive tackles
Notable riser: Nick Gates, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman (Up 14 spots)
Notable dropper: Alex Bars Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell (Down 6 spots)
Comments: The top 10 saw some shake up with a couple prospects moving down and two others moving over to the offensive guard position. Bars and KC McDermott dropped from a 6.0 rating to 5.9, and slid down the list. That allowed Jamarco Jones, Mason Cole and Brian Wallace to jump into the top 10 after each had strong all-star game performances.
Offensive guards
Notable riser: Tanner Farmer, Highland, Ill. (Up 7 spots)
Notable dropper: Garrett Brumfield, Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab (Down 6 spots)
Comments: Demetrius Knox and Damien Mama were neck-and-neck going into the all-star game season, and Mama emerges as the No. 1 guard by the slimmest of margins. Braden Smith moves over from tackle and takes the No. 3 spot, while Farmer used a big Under Armour Game to jump up to No. 4. Further down the list, Larry Allen Jr. and Malik Young made strong moves and finish inside the top 20.
Centers
Notable riser: Joshua Casher, Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's (New No. 1)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The top three did a shuffle after Alabama commit Casher and USC commit Toa Lobendahn move up to the Nos. 1 and 2 spots following strong all-star game performances and knock former No. 1 J.C. Hassenauer -- who did not play in a game -- down to No. 3. Illinois commit Nick Allegretti moves over from the offensive guard position and debuts at No. 8.
Weakside defensive ends
Notable riser: Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco (Up 17 spots)
Notable dropper: Lorenzo Featherston, Greensville (N.C.) Page (Down 6 spots)
Comments: Texas A&M commit Myles Garrett used a big Under Armour week to move up to the No. 2 overall player in the country and take over the top spot in the position rankings. Tuitoti-Mariner, a UCLA commit, made the biggest jump numbers-wise, and also earned his fourth star. Meanwhile, Featherston, Malik Dorton and Kalan Ritchie all dropped after losing their fourth star.
Strongside defensive ends
Notable riser: Malik McDowell, Southfield, Mich. (Up 2 spots)
Notable dropper: Kentavius Street, Greenville (N.C.) Rose (Down 2 spots)
Comments: Da'Shawn Hand remains No. 1 at the position and the No. 1 overall prospect. McDowell joins Hand as a five-star and moves up from No. 4 to No. 2. He replaces Street, who went from five stars to four stars and finishes in the No. 4 spot. South Carolina commit Dante Sawyer moves over from weakside and debuts at No. 7.
Defensive tackles
Notable riser: Travonte Valentine, Hialeah (Fla.) Champagnat Catholic (Up 11 spots)
Notable dropper: Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland (Down 12 spots)
Comments: Valentine and Alabama commit Josh Frazier made strong moves to take over the Nos. 3 and 5 spots on the list, respectively. Derrick Nnadi and Texas A&M commit DeShawn Washington slid during this update, but remain in the top 10. Former No. 8 Ainuu Taua was not as lucky, dropping 10 spots, while Mone finishes outside the top 20.
Inside linebackers
Notable riser: Chandler Leniu, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco (Up 3 spots)
Notable dropper: Kain Daub, Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood (Down 1 spot)
Comments: The same 10 prospects remain at the top of the list, though Florida State commits Daub and Delvin Purifoy switch spots, with Purifoy sliding just ahead of his future teammate. Leniu stays a 5.8 four-star, but moves up in the rankings based on a strong state championship performance. Tennessee commit Kevin Mouhon and Georgia commit Detric Dukes move over from outside linebacker and debut in the top 15.
Outside linebackers
Notable riser: Bryson Allen-Williams, Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove (Up 14 spots)
Notable dropper: Dwight Williams, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra (Down 17 spots)
Comments: Rashaan Evans earned a fifth star and takes over the No. 1 spot in the ranking after a strong Under Armour Game performance. South Carolina commit Allen-Williams turned heads at the Army Bowl and earned himself a place in the top 10. Michigan commit Chase Winovich earned his fourth start and jumps into the top 20. Williams and Richard Yeargin III lose their fourth stars and fall in the rankings.
Cornerbacks
Notable riser: Nicholas Ruffin, Atlanta St. Pius X (Up 14 spots)
Notable dropper: D.J. Smith, Marietta (Ga.) Walton (Down 19 spots)
Comments: A larger number of downward movers than upward movers, with Smith, Auburn commit Kalvaraz Bessent and Florida commit J.C. Jackson each losing their spots in the top 10. UCLA commit Jaleel Wadood is among those who took their place, moving up five spots to No. 7. Another Auburn commit, Ruffin just misses out on the top 10, finishing at No. 11 after a big move up.
Safeties
Notable riser: Erick Smith, Cleveland Glenville (Up 6 spots)
Notable dropper: Arrion Springs, San Antonio (Tex.) Roosevelt (Down 10 spots)
Comments: Smith is the only new name in the top 10, but there was a shuffling of the order for several prospects. Boise State commit Dylan Sumner-Gardner joins Smith in moving up, while Steven Parker, Nick Harvey and Budda Baker all slide a few spots. Springs is the only prospect making a serious tumble in the final rankings update.
Athletes
Notable riser: Jourdan Blake, Princeton, Tex. (Up 10 spots)
Notable dropper: Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland Glenville (Down 4 spots)
Comments: Lattimore's drop from 3 to 7 is the only change in the top 10. The bigger moves happened in the second half of the list, where Baylor commit Blake and Virginia commit Jeffery Farrar jump up the list from the previous ranking. Missouri commit Thomas Wilson and Dante Pettis also make positive gains to move into the rankings.




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