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January 20, 2012

Alabama is biggest winner of final Rivals250

MORE: R100 analysis | R250 analysis | R250 | Positions

The final Rivals250 for the 2012 class was released this week and analyst Chris Nee presents the winners and losers of the new rankings.

Rivals250 Winners
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama rankings video
Current class rank: No. 1
Reason for the move: With the final revision of the 2012 rankings, Alabama saw some prospects receive significant bumps. Daphne (Ala.) running back T.J. Yeldon remained a five-star and moved up 12 spots in the final Rivals100. After multiple strong all-star game showings, Madison (Ala.) Bob Jones inside linebacker Reggie Ragland moved up 40 spots and took over the top spot among inside linebackers. Daphne (Ala.) linebacker Ryan Anderson made a move from outside of the Rivals250 to inside the Rivals100, checking in at No. 98 overall. Miami (Fla.) Northwestern wide receiver Amari Cooper and Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School athlete Cyrus Jones each saw bumps as well.
Between now and NSD: Alabama will look to retain the top spot overall. Some of the top targets down the stretch will be Hueytown (Ala.) five-star quarterback Jameis Winston, who is currently committed to Florida State, as well as five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
MORE ALABAMA: TideSports.com

2. Florida Gators
Florida rankings video
Current class rank: No. 4
Reason for the move: The biggest mover in Florida's class was Venice (Fla.) defensive tackle Dante Phillips, who moved up 116 spots to just outside the Rivals100 in the final rankings after a strong showing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Another prospect making a big move, making his way into the Rivals250 was Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood Catholic tight end Colin Thompson who moved to No. 187 overall. Five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard moved up 14 spots and into the top 10 overall prospects. Players such as Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee defensive back Brian Poole and Land O'Lakes (Fla.) tight end Kent Taylor also saw minor bumps up.
Between now and NSD: Florida will look to compete for the top spot in the final rankings, but it will depend on how well the Gators close with regards to prospects such as Miramar (Fla.) five-star cornerback Tracy Howard, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel wide receiver Stefon Diggs and others.
MORE FLORIDA: InsideTheGators.com

3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State rankings video
Current class rank: No. 3
Reason for the move: Ohio State had two commitments move up to four-star status in Steubenville (Ohio) defensive back Najee Murray and Pickerington (Ohio) Central wide receiver Roger Lewis. Another prospect that saw a star bump was Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft defensive end Adolphus Washington, who is now considered a five-star prospect. Running back Warren Ball of Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis DeSales also saw a 35-spot move placing him firmly into the top 200 prospects nationally.
Between now and NSD: Since the hiring of Urban Meyer, Ohio State has been on fire. With the class near full, the Buckeyes are working to find a way to fit in the likes of four-star teammates Camren Williams and Armani Reeves, a linebacker and defensive back, respectively, from West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial. Another name to keep an eye on is Rivals250 offensive tackle Kyle Dodson. Dodson, who is committed to Wisconsin, is from Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights.
MORE OHIO STATE: BuckeyeGrove.com

4. Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M rankings video
Current class rank: No. 7
Reason for the move: Missouri City (Texas) Hightower wide receiver Bralon Addison moved up 63 spots in the final Rivals250, finishing at No. 112 overall. Missouri City (Texas) Elkins offensive center Mike Matthews moved into the Rivals250, settling at No. 132, and claimed the top overall offensive center spot after a great week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Also, since the revision to the rankings Texas A&M landed the services of Mesquite (Texas) Horn defensive back Devante Harris. Harris saw a 52-spot jump into the Rivals100 after a great showing at the Under Armour All-America Game.
Between now and NSD: A&M doesn't have much left to do, but a big fish it is trying to land is Dallas Skyline wide receiver Thomas Johnson. The four-star, who is on the cusp of five-star status, is a former Texas commitment.
MORE TEXAS A&M: AggieYell.com

5. Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee rankings video
Current class rank: No. 15
Reason for the move: The Volunteers saw a pair of prospects move into the Rivals250 this time around. Covington (La.) inside linebacker Otha Peters made a major move finishing the season at No. 126 overall in the Rivals250. Norcross (Ga.) wide receiver Jason Croom also made a move up, finishing just inside the Rivals250 at No. 246. Another prospect made a significant move, but this one was within the Rivals250 as Dallas (Texas) Wilmer-Hutchins safety LaDarrell McNeil moved nearly 40 spots, finishing inside the Rivals100 at No. 86 overall.
Between now and NSD: The Volunteers, who likely have just three spots left, are focused on finishing the class off with Rivals250 prospects such as four-star defensive back Deion Bonner from Columbus (Ga.) Carver, four-star wide receiver Quinshad Davis from Gaffney (S.C.) and four-star defensive tackle Korren Kirven from Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville.
MORE TENNESSEE: VolQuest.com

Rivals250 Losers
1. Oklahoma Sooners
Current class rank: No. 9
Reason for the move: The Sooners took a beating. They had three prospects that were previously considered Rivals100 that fell drastically. Inglewood (Calif.) wide receiver Derrick Woods slipped 118 spots, San Diego (Ca.) Westview tight end Taylor McNamara slipped 92 spots and Texarkana (Texas) offensive guard John Michael McGee dropped 46 spots, placing all three within the Rivals250 but outside of their former top 100 spots. A couple other prospects suffered minor drops in St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet wide receiver Durron Neal, who fell 15 spots, and Apopka (Fla.) offensive center Ty Darlington, who saw a slight slip and lost the top spot at offensive center.
Between now and NSD: Oklahoma will look to make a rebound between now and National Signing Day. It remains in the hunt for top prospects such as Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep five-star wide receiver Nelson Agholor, Citra (Fla.) North Marion four-star tight end Sean Price and Compton (Calif.) Dominguez four-star cornerback Brandon Beaver, all members of the Rivals250.
MORE OKLAHOMA: SoonerScoop.com

2. Auburn Tigers
Current class rank: No. 14
Reason for the move: Pro-style quarterback Zeke Pike from Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights not only dropped from the Rivals250, where he was previously ranked No. 145 overall, but fell from four-star designation to three-star designation and dropped 11 spots among his position group. Pike was the main mover in the Tigers' class, but others such as Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek wide receiver JaQuay Williams, Parker (Colo.) Chaparral offensive lineman Shane Callahan and Hogansville (Ga.) Callaway tight end Ricky Parks all saw drops of only a few spots.
Between now and NSD: The good news for Auburn, it tends to always close strong. Good chance of that again this year. The Tigers remain in the hunt for Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel five-star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland four-star defensive end Leonard Williams and Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) four-star offensive tackle Avery Young, all of whom are Rivals100 prospects.
MORE AUBURN: AuburnSports.com

3. LSU Tigers
Current class rank: No. 20
Reason for the move: The Tigers had a prospect fall out of the Rivals100 and plummet to the tail end of the Rivals250 in Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely wide receiver Avery Johnson. Johnson dropped 172 spots and now checks in at No. 247 overall in the Rivals250. Another prospect sliding was New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr offensive tackle Derek Edinburgh. Edinburgh remained a four-star but fell outside the Rivals250 in the final update.
Between now and NSD: LSU will look to regain some momentum and make a move up in the rankings by closing strong. If it can sway a recruit or two, the Tigers definitely have a shot. Some worth keeping an eye on include Denton (Texas) Ryan five-star defensive tackle Mario Edwards, a Florida State commitment, and Geismar (La.) Dutchtown five-star safety Landon Collins, an Alabama commitment. Another non-committed prospect that Les Miles is trying to attract to Baton Rouge is five-star cornerback Tracy Howard from Miramar (Fla.).
MORE LSU: TigerBait.com

4. Iowa Hawkeyes
Current class rank: No. 41
Reason for the move: Iowa's class was heavily impacted by a pair of prospects being downgraded. New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic offensive tackle Ryan Ward fell out of the Rivals100, dropping 98 total spots, before settling in at No. 182. Lombard (Ill.) Montini defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson also saw a slight move down while remaining in the Rivals250.
Between now and NSD: Iowa is currently at 18 commitments, but likely has room to add four or five more to the class between now and National Signing Day. The top prospect that remains on the board for the Hawkeyes is four-star offensive guard Alex Kozan from Castle Rock (Colo.) Valor Christian.
MORE IOWA: HawkeyeReport.com

5. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Current class rank: No. 25
Reason for the move: All three of Texas Tech's commitments within the Rivals250 were downgraded in the most recent update. The prospect who took the biggest hit was Crockett (Texas) wide receiver Dominique Wheeler, who fell 94 spots, sliding outside the Rivals100 to No. 171 overall. Waco (Texas) La Vega defensive end Michael Starts and Tenaha (Texas) wide receiver Reginald Davis each dropped a few spots as well.
Between now and NSD: Tech's class is near completion. It may try to bring in another prospect before National Signing Day, but at this point nobody is on the radar that will likely move the needle for the class drastically in one direction or the other.
MORE TEXAS TECH: RedRaiderSports.com



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