Notebook: Rivals ranking updates

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After a full summer of evaluations, Rivals.com updated its player rankings this week. Two Gator commits made significant jumps among several others who fell a few spots. Here’s a quick breakdown …

• No. 62 Marcus Maye — The four-star safety from Melbourne, Fla., moved up 66 spots and into the Rivals 100. I watched Maye dominate an Under Armour combine in Tampa this past spring, while Rivals’ state of Florida analyst stood by.

No. 212 Latroy Pittman — Florida’s first verbal in the Class of 2o12 jumped 28 spots. The four-star possession receiver from Citra, Fla., was consistently impressive in summer camps.

• No. 94 Jessamen Dunker — The four-star offensive lineman tumbled 45 spots but stayed in the Rivals 100. He reportedly had something of a rough time at Nike’s elite camp, The Opening, in Beaverton, Ore., and needs to add upper-body strength and improve his technique.

• The rest — Aside from Charlotte, N.C., five-star offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, whose No. 3 overall ranking did not change, the rest of the ranked Gator verbals dropped several spots. Bradenton, Fla., four-star cornerback Brian Poole fell 10 spots to No. 85. Stone Mountain, Ga., four-star running back Mike Davis dropped 17 spots to No. 139. Patterson, La., four-star linebacker Lorenzo Phillips is down 16 spots to No. 160. Seffner, Fla., four-star running back Matt Jones fell 18 spots to No. 175. Warminster, Pa., four-star tight end Colin Thompson fell 18 spots to No. 215. Largo, Fla., four-star linebacker Jeremi Powell dropped 19 spots to No. 237. And Venice, Fla., four-star defensive tackle Dante Phillips fell 18 spots to No. 243.

Some Gator fans might be alarmed by those rankings, but Rivals’ Chris Nee attributed it more to the rise of other prospects than to anything else.

Of all the Gator targets in the rankings, the one who caught the most attention was Miramar, Fla., cornerback Tracy Howard, who moved up just eight spots to No. 17 overall but in doing so was given five-star status. He is regarded by many as the top prospect in the nation at his position.

More injuries

Last week it was Winter Haven 2013 running back Adam Lane. This week’s latest prospects on the injured list are 2012 Land O’ Lakes, Fla., tight end Kent Taylor and 2014 Plantation, Fla., American Heritage running back Sony Michel.

It’s not surprising to see injuries at this time of year, as it can be difficult getting back to full-time contact.

Taylor, who is rated the No. 1 tight end prospect in the nation by Rivals.com, said on Facebook that he broke his hand while blocking in a preseason game on Aug. 19. He reportedly had three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in that win against Anclote. It’s unclear how long he could be out.

Michel, who just began his sophomore season, is out for the year with a torn ACL suffered last Friday night in a kickoff classic against Pembroke Pines, Fla., Charter. It’s a setback to be sure, but he’s still very young and has plenty of time to get back on track. Michel, who is 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, made a name for himself as a freshman last year, running for 1,730 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Taking your questions

Don’t forget to send me your recruiting questions every week. There’s still time to get into tomorrow’s edition of The Outbox. Here’s how …

• Post a comment on this or any blog. I read them all.
• Follow me — Twitter.com/JeffBarlis
• Email me — barlisj@gvillesun.com

14 COMMENTS

  1. Rivals is always biased against the Gators. I bet if you looked at the FSU commits they all increased in their rankings. That is one of the main reasons why FSU recruits traditionally under perform, they are always over rated by rivals.

  2. Hey Jeff, I noticed that most of your articles refer to rivals rankings. There are several recruitment rankings sites out there like 247, espn, scout and rivals. Is Rivals your go-to recruitment site and what do you value about it and the others?

  3. Remember, Rivals is an FSU Alum site. This is why when a player commits to FSU they climb and when they commit to Florida they fall. Look at the historical record and you will see this is accurate. They will still have the occasional undeniable Gator commit climb like Maye, but how much more would he have climbed? The real question is why do you Jeff, give Rivals the credit, promotion or credibility. We would all be fine with ESPN (SEC Network) and 247 Sports rankings that have yet to prove biased.

    Which Jeff brings up a good point, why not look at all the data, get the empirical evidence and make an article on the bias of Rivals and get a national article out of it?

  4. I’ve never been a big fan of Rivals, more for the way they rank team classes. They only look at the top 18 kids(I think that is the right number) in each class. In my opinion size matters when evaluating classes. Everything else equal, a class of 25 is stronger than a class of 18.Plus they do seem to be biased against UF. Like Jeff said, it wasn’t the players that dropped, they just had to make room for FSU commitments on the rise, which pushed the UF commits down. I usually check out Scout or 247. ESPN does seem to favor SEC teams, which would make sense with their big TV contract, but who knows, the SEC has been successful. So maybe they’re right. All I know is Rivals is the last place I go for my recruiting news. I would take the advice of your readers Jeff.

  5. WWhy not take all the recruiting sites and average them all out? Come up with your own rating, by doing so! That would be a much more fair ranking – even though it may have a biased ranking service’s numbers! It was strange that most of the Gator commits fell 18 – 19 spots! That could support the argument that they dropped because of kids jumping ahead of them, though! How many FSU commits jumped up the board?