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January 24, 2013

Ups, downs of final 2013 positional rankings


MORE: Rivals100 | Rivals250

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

Since our last round of rankings back in December, Rivals.com analysts have crisscrossed the country to see many of the nation's top prospects compete at elite all-star events. With the 2013 ranking season in the books and the remainder of the all-star events wrapped up, we take a look at notable movements within each position ranking.

INSIDE LOOK: RIVALS.COM POSITION RANKINGS
Pro-style quarterbacks
Notable riser: Christian Hackenberg, Fork Union (Va.) Fork Union Military Academy (from No. 4 to No. 2, gained fifth star)
Notable dropper: Ryan Burns, Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge (from No. 3 to No. 6)
Comment: With only the best of the best hitting the all-star circuit, there wasn't very much movement at this position. Hackenberg earned five-star status after impressing at Under Armour. Vanderbilt commit Chad Kanoff also rose for the second straight round of rankings, up to a 5.7. Also making a slight move is Michigan State commit Damion Terry, who moved from No. 20 to No. 16.

Dual-threat quarterbacks
Notable riser: Zach Allen, Temple (Texas) (No. 20 to No. 18)
Notable dropper: Johnathon McCrary Ellenwood (Ga.), Cedar Grove (No. 8 to No. 10)
Comments: Outside of Allen, there weren't very many risers. However, Florida State commit John Franklin was one of the few who got a bump, entering the rankings at No. 20. McCrary slipped after an inconsistent showing at the Army Bowl and Tyrone Swoopes did the same, falling all the way to No. 13 from No. 2.

All-purpose backs
Notable riser: Alvin Kamara, Norcross (Ga.)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: There were only two major moves at the position and both came from players who had strong performances at Under Armour week in Florida. Kamara jumped from No. 4 to No. 2, while Oregon commit Dontre Wilson went from No. 6 to No. 5.

Running backs
Notable riser: Derrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.) (moved from athlete, entered the rankings at No. 5)
Notable dropper: Kaleb Blanchard, Denham Springs (La.) (No. 22 to No. 35)
Comments: After a lengthy debate and a strong showing at the Army Bowl, Henry finally made his debut at the running back position. Joining Henry among the movers is Vanderbilt commit Johnathan Ford, who climbed from No. 24 to No. 15 after performing well at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. Outside of Franklin, Washington State commit Olito Thompson was the only other major dropper, falling 11 spots to No. 48.

Fullback
Notable riser: None
Notable dropper: None
Comments: There was only one move at the fullback position, with Syracuse commit Augustus Edwards (pictured) overtaking Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson and LSU commit Kennard Swanson for the No. 1 spot.

Wide receivers
Notable Riser: Levonte Whitfield, Orlando (Fla.) Jones (No. 41 to No. 38, gained fourth star)
Notable dropper: Tyler Boyd, (No. 8 to No. 12)
Comments: In addition slight moves up by Alvin Bailey, Robbie Rhodes and James Quick, Oklahoma commit Jordan Smallwood made a huge leap from No. 79 to No. 46. Stacy Coley and Earnest Robinson both slipped near the top of the rankings (Coley two spots to No. 13, Robinson 10 spots to No. 14), but other than that there were very few players who dropped.

Tight ends
Notable Riser: Charlie Reid, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal (No. 25 to No. 17)
Notable dropper: Christian Morgan, Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian Academy
Comments: Nebraska commit Cethan Carter entered the rankings at No. 27 after previously being unranked. Other than Reid and Carter's moves, the most impressive was Ole Miss pledge Evan Engram, who came from out of the rankings into the No. 35 spot. The only other play to drop besides Morgan was Hunter Henry, who fell from No. 2 to No. 4.

Offensive tackles
Notable Riser: Dorian Johnson, Belle Vernon (Penn.) Belle Vernon Area (From No. 13 to No. 2)
Notable dropper: Denver Kirkland, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington (No. 9 to No. 13)
Comments: For his strong performance in the Under Armour Game against Robert Nkemdiche, Johnson shot up to the No. 2 overall position. Other risers included Virginia Tech commit Braxton Pfaff (No. 39 from No. 61) and Dan Skipper (No. 46 from No. 67). Outside of Kirkland, who dropped based on his Under Armour showing, no other players moved down significantly.

Offensive guards
Notable Riser: Rami Hammad, Irving (Texas) (No. 28 to No. 10)
Notable Dropper: Tyrone Crowder, Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County (No. 7 to No. 11)
Comments: Several players entered the rankings after moving over from offensive tackle. They include Alabama commit Grant Hill (No. 5), Michigan commit Patrick Kugler (No. 6) and UCLA commit Alex Redmond (No. 17). Weight concerns caused the uncommitted Crowder to slip, while a so-so performance at Under Armour led to slip by Michigan commit David Dawson (No. 6 to No. 9).

Centers
Notable Riser: Tate Hernly, Fort Myers (Fla.) (Unranked to No. 20)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The position stayed almost completely the same, with Texas commit Darius James holding onto the No. 1 spot after living up to expectations at Under Armour. The only notable change was the previously unranked Hernly entering the rankings at No. 20.

Weakside defensive ends
Notable Riser: Tanner Wood, Conway Springs (Kan.) (Unranked to No. 16)
Notable dropper: Marcus Farria, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial (No. 13 to No. 23)
Comments: Wood shot into the rankings after moving over from inside linebacker. Also entering the rankings after switching positions is USC commit Torrodney Prevot (pictured), who now sits as the No. 7 WDE. Washington commit Farria was the only player at the position to take a significant drop, falling 10 spots.

Strongside defensive ends
Notable Riser: Chris Jones, Houston (Miss.) (Unranked to No. 2)
Notable Dropper: Dee Liner, Muscle Shoals (Ala.) (No. 2 to No. 7)
Comments: Jones is one of the biggest stories of the final rankings cycle, going from unranked to five-star status after great showings at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and again at Under Armour. Also debuting in the rankings is SMU commit Zelt Minor, who comes in at No. 30. Two players who fell were Louisville commit De'Asian Richardson (from No. 14 to No. 19) and Vita Vea (No. 13 to No. 21).

Defensive tackles
Notable riser: Charles Walker, Garland (Texas) South Garland (Entered rankings at No. 26)
Notable dropper: Rod Crayton (pictured), Dadeville (Ala.) (No. 24 to No. 36)
Comments: There were several moves at the position, including Eddie Vanderdoes moving from No. 4 to No. 2 after picking up his fifth star. The biggest mover at the position was Nebraska commit Maliek Collins, who came from out of the rankings to land at No. 30. After a poor all-star game showing, uncommitted prospect Deadrin Senat fell from No. 25 to No. 44. Also falling 15 spots was uncommitted prospect Sam Smith, who landed at No. 47.

Inside linebackers
Notable riser: Jonathan Walton, Daphne (Ala.) Bayside Academy (Unranked to No. 21)
Notable dropper: Isaac Savaiinaea, Honolulu (Hi.) Punahou (No. 21 to No. 44)
Comments: Walton shot up the rankings after a nice performance at the Alabama-Mississippi game, moving into the top half of the position rankings. The biggest move was by Clemson commit Ben Boulware, who jumped from No. 41 to No. 8 after great weeks at the Shrine Bowl and Under Armour. Savaiinaea struggled during his time in Florida, leading to his tumble. The same goes for Johnny O'Neal, who fell from No. 6 to No. 16 after not impressed at the Army All-American Game.

Outside linebackers
Notable riser: Zach Cunningham, Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley (Debuted at No. 23)
Notable dropper: Stacy Thomas (pictured), Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep (No. 21 to No. 24)
Comments: Cunningham climbed for the second straight cycle, this time going from unranked to a four-star prospect. Thomas also lost his fourth star, leading to his three-spot slip. The only other major move was Oregon commit Danny Mattingly switching positions to OLB, where he's likely to play for the Ducks, and debuting at No. 33.

Cornerbacks
Notable riser: Jonathan Cook, Spanish Fort (Ala.) (No. 75 to No. 37)
Notable dropper: Brian Walker, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek (No. 25 to No. 39)
Comments: Cook solidified his status in the rankings after an impressive outing at Alabama-Mississippi, while Walker slipped based on his struggles at the Shrine Bowl. Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins climbed from No. 46 to No. 31 after going toe-to-toe with some of the best wide receivers in the country at Under Armour. Other movers including Notre Dame commit Devin Butler (falling from No. 36 to No. 62) and Robert Nkemdiche's friend and teammate David Kamara debuting at No. 70.

Safeties
Notable riser: Vonn Bell, Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland (From No. 11 to No. 4)
Notable dropper: None
Comments: Safety was all about the movers as Bell earned his fifth star and jumped seven spots, while Priest Willis was reclassified as a safety and debuted at No. 6. Also finishing on the upswing were Joshua Jones (No. 45 to No. 29) and Mackenro Alexander (No. 46 to No. 43). No players made significant drops down.

Athletes
Notable riser: Pharoh Cooper, Havelock (N.C.) Havelock (No. 75 to No. 20)
Notable dropper: Tre'vell Dixon, Baldwin (La.) West St Mary School (Moved from safety and fell to No. 26)
Comments: After being one of the best players on the field at the Shrine Bowl and showing his versatility, South Carolina commit Cooper shot up 55 spots. Also coming from outside of the rankings to No. 33 is uncommitted prospect Elijah McGuire. Among the droppers were Dixon, and Virginia Tech commit Carlis Parker, who moved from quarterback and fell to No. 73.

Kickers
Notable riser: None
Notable dropper: None
Comments: The kicking rankings stayed nearly identical, with the only mover being Minnesota commit Ryan Santoso (pictured), who debuted at No. 15 overall. Michigan State commit Michael Geiger finishes the cycle as the No. 1 prospect at the position.



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