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August 16, 2013
Ranking the all-time five-stars: Pennsylvania
Terrelle Pryor ran for 4,238 yards and passed for 4,340 at Jeannette
(Pa.) High. He led the program to a pair of state titles and was named the No. 1
overall player in the class of 2008 before going to Ohio State.
None of the players identified as midseason five-stars for the class of 2014 is considered for this ranking. Each is subject to change through the regular season and all-star game evaluations.
Pennsylvania barely qualified for this exercise because it has had just 13 players rated with five stars by the team of analysts at Rivals.com. Most have been marginal players instead of the standouts many fans wanted.
The state clearly is regressing, and it is not producing as many elite players as it once did.
Aside from Pryor, only Sharrif Floyd, Noah Spence and Alex Anzalone made the cut after the class of 2008.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell believes Pryor was the right player to be atop the national rankings and this state re-rank.
"Pryor is still one of the best jumbo athletes I've ever seen, and I still believe he could have led Ohio State to a national title had he not had his off-field issues," he said. "Floyd is an easy choice at No. 2 and proved us correct by being a star at Florida and a first-rounder."
Jonathan Baldwin was a member of the same class as Pryor. Baldwin became a first-round pick in the NFL.
The rest of the state rankings came from the classes of 2004 and 2005 -- which has proved to be disappointing, Farrell said.
Anthony Morelli, Chad Henne and Dan Connor hailed from the class of 2004, and all had some level of success in college. Henne and Connor are in the NFL.
Callahan Bright was one of the top defensive linemen in the class of 2005 but never got his grades in order to become a force on the field. Justin King went to Penn State and made it to the NFL from the same class.
Farrell said the group is not bad for a bottom half.
"The class of 2004 holds down slots 5, 6 and 7, with Morelli being a bust and Henne and Connor panning out," he said. "Callahan Bright is one of the biggest and meanest defensive tackles you'll ever see who didn't make it. Overall, this is a solid group."
Following through the next class was Jared Odrick, who should have been a five-star but didn't quite get the star treatment he deserved, Farrell said.
"Odrick was a huge, athletic kid with a ton of talent and potential, but he played horrible competition and was a bit too upright for us out of high school," Farrell said. "We had him ranked No. 31 overall in 2006, so we were close to pulling the trigger but held off.
"Obviously, based on his college career, we should have made him a five-star."
The only players not to make this top 10 who were five-stars were Corey Brown, Dorian Bell and Dorian Johnson. Brown and Bell went to Ohio State from Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway, and neither made the expected impact. Bell transferred to Duquesne. Johnson is just getting onto campus at Pittsburgh from the class of 2013, and the jury is out on his development.