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February 12, 2013
Remainder of Rivals250 loaded with talent
National Signing Day is in the books and the first Rivals100 for the 2014 class was released Monday, which means it's time to look at the remaining Rivals250.
First outside the top 100 is Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker Dwight Williams, who shined at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge last summer in Atlanta and played great during his junior season, helping his team to a state championship.
"Williams might be a little undersized, but he packs a powerful punch when he tackles people, he has great athleticism and he has a nose for the football," Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney said. "Offers are coming in fast for Williams, and it's easy to see why because once you look at his film you cannot help but be impressed by how fast he is to the ball and how fearlessly he hits people. He really brings it every play."
"Trey Quinn's production speaks for itself," Rivals.com Southwest analyst Jason Howell said. "He recorded over 2,100 yards and 26 touchdowns on the year. He has flypaper hands and is a technical route runner, but he is also extremely athletic and has great body control."
Rivals.com Southeast analyst Kynon Codrington said: "Gillins is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in this class despite missing most of his junior season because of an ACL injury. The Texas Tech commit threw for 2,600 yards and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore. After solid showings at the Elite 11, he picked up national interest and committed to the Red Raiders this fall over several BCS offers. Last spring, the mobile pocket passer posted a 4.87 (electronic-timed) 40-yard dash to go with a 35-inch vertical. We look forward to seeing him regain his sophomore form during the camp and combine circuit."
Noil, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound recruit, lists offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oregon, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M. Smith also has an impressive offer list that includes Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
"Noil spent his time in 2012 leading New Orleans Edna Karr to a state championship at quarterback, but he projects more at receiver on the college level," Howell said. "He is as explosive as they come, with great burst and acceleration. Noil is a guy who can also be looked to for immediate help on special teams."
Rivals.com Southeast analyst Woody Wommack said: "Smith is a guy who loves to compete against the opposition's best wide receiver, a must-have trait for a lockdown corner. At an even 6-feet tall, Smith has good size, allowing him to be physical with bigger wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also has good ball skills, allowing him to play both ways in high school and to make plays when the ball is thrown his way as a defensive back."
The next five on the list to round out the top 110 are Virginia Beach (Va.) Catholic wide receiver Jamil Kamara, East Lake (Fla.) Tarpon Springs offensive lineman Mason Cole, Greensboro (N.C.) Page weakside defensive end Lorenzo Featherston, Manalapan, N.J., wide receiver Saeed Blacknall and Westlake, La., tight end Jacory Washington.
"Kamara's speed and natural abilities as a pass catcher make him one of the best receivers in the 2014 class," Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman said. "He is a very smooth runner with sneaky speed and is surprisingly shifty because he has quick feet and can change directions almost on a dime. Kamara rarely gets jammed at the line and, once he gets into the open field, he runs very crisp routes that help him gain separation from the defender. He catches the ball pretty well and is very tough to bring down, especially in the open field."
"Lorenzo Featherston may be undersized and skinny, but he is great off the edge and he uses his length to make plays," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "And the way he can extend his arms, even being outweighed oftentimes by 70, 80 pounds, he can negate that advantage. He will be a terror once he fills out."
Codrington said: "At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Cole has great size and reach to anchor the left tackle spot. Cole gets good extension on his punch and displays quick feet to hold off speed rushers. He can pull and is athletic enough to be a lead blocker when getting to the second level against smaller linebackers. The four-star prospect does a nice job finishing his blocks. His pass protection is solid, but he should improve as he continues to refine his technique."
John Smith, a wide receiver/defensive back from Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, has emerged as one of the top players in Southern California for the 2014 class and moves from unrated to No. 111 in the country.
Prichard, Ala., weakside defensive end Justin Thornton follows Smith, and Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian athlete Marquis Ware is No. 113. Jenks, Okla., safety Steven Parker is next, and Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King cornerback Wesley Green rounds out the top 115.
"Smith is really impressive on both sides of the ball and most of his offers are for safety, but I like him even more at wide receiver," Gorney said. "His leadership and playmaking abilities were two of the big reasons why Long Beach Poly turned around its season and made it to the state championship game.
"Ware is a dream because he's equally good on both sides of the ball. He has outstanding junior film, and SEC schools have already offered, which is surprising this early. He doesn't have a specific position, but that's actually good since he can contribute all over the field.
"With terrific size and speed, Baker is the next generation in a long line of powerful defensive ends from the Atlanta area," Wommack said. "He's already a very good pass rusher, and as he continues to develop he could reach elite-level status. The question is whether he's too big for the outside, and if he eventually ends up playing at defensive tackle; if so, his strength could give interior linemen fits."