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August 2, 2005

There's a new No. 1

The August Rivals100

There's a new sheriff in town.

After almost two full months of summer camps, 7-on-7 tournaments, more film evaluations and events like the E.A. Sports Elite 11, Rivals.com has updated the Rivals100 for the month of August. The most noticeable change on the list of the nation's top 100 prospects regardless of position is the change at the No. 1 spot at quarterback.

Both Mitch Mustain of Springdale, Ark., and Matthew Stafford of Dallas Highland Park had exceptional summers and are deserving to be ranked as the nation's top two quarterbacks. However, it was Stafford that dominated at the Elite 11 in almost every facet and he did the same thing a few weeks prior at the regional qualifier in Las Vegas.

But dominating is nothing new for Stafford, who committed back on May 13 to Georgia over offers from Florida State, LSU, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and many others. Stafford's been doing it for years and years at Highland Park and is now ranked as the nation's No. 10 overall player.

"Stafford is one of the best young quarterbacks I've ever seen in Texas," longtime Kilgore, Texas, assistant Chris Valley said. "He's got good size, he can make all the throws, and he has great poise."

So does Mustain, which was why making the final call between the two signal-callers was extremely tough. Despite moving down to the No. 2 quarterback spot, he did not drop at all nationally and remains as the No. 13 player overall.

Mustain also showed his stuff at the Elite 11 and a series of strong performances at 7-on-7 tournaments in California and in Alabama proved he's worthy of the heated recruiting battle that he's going through now.

"In analyzing Mustain, physically he has a lot of pluses," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Greg Biggins said after watching Mustain at one of the passing tournaments and at the Elite 11.

"He's above average in arm strength, accuracy and making his reads. In the chalk talks, we liked Mustain a lot and feel he's one of the few quarterbacks in the group that could play early in his college career. He is smart and has a high-level understanding of the game."

Also making a move up in the top 10 nationally was the top player in California, linebacker Allen Bradford of Colton. Bradford bumps up one spot and is now ranked at No. 6 in the rankings. He's just ahead of Ohio State commitment Chris Wells, Texas commitment Sergio Kindle and Florida offensive lineman Sam Young, who all also move up one slot.

Showing how log-jammed it is in the top 10, the fabulous Taylor Mays moved to No. 11 in the nation, but he could easily have also been anywhere in that same group with Bradford and the others.

Probably the biggest move outside of Stafford to the No. 1 quarterback spot was the addition of Daron Rose of Florida to the national top 30.

The talented offensive line prospect did not make the first edition of the Rivals100 and that was an oversight that was corrected after further film evaluation and another personal observation of the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive guard.

Because of Rose's ascent he is now also ranked as the No. 4 player in Florida. Rose recently cut his list of favorites to nine teams with Duke, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Florida and USC still on the list.

Also making a nice move up into the national top 50 was Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain offensive lineman Connor Smith. The recent Ohio State commitment moves into the No. 49 spot after coming in at No. 84 in the first Rivals100 release. Smith, who is 6-6 and 300 pounds, is a bruising guard who should be a welcome blocker for Wells, the nation's No. 2 running back.

Auburn fans rejoiced when they found out that they landed Ben Tate, and the running back from Maryland is a new addition to the list at the No. 74 spot. The move up the rankings also pushes him to the No. 5 spot in the state of Maryland.

The coaching staff at Auburn has mentioned comparisons of Tate to the NFL's No. 2 overall pick this past April, Ronnie Brown.

"Yes, they compare me to Ronnie a lot," he said. "They said we're the same size when he came in, but I might be a little faster than him. He's a great running back and being compared to the No. 1 running back taken in the NFL draft is really nice. It's a great compliment."

Texas quarterback Jevan Snead also moves onto the list after a great showing at the Texas 7-on-7 State Tournament and at the Elite 11. Snead is heading to Florida to play his college football.

Other interesting moves include the addition of Hawaii offensive lineman Micah Kia, California defensive tackle Derrick Hill, Illinois quarterback Isiah Williams, Georgia offensive lineman Justin Anderson and Minnesota tight end Jordon McMichael.

One college coach said Kia is at the same level as any five-star offensive lineman. Hill is one of the most heavily recruited linemen in California. Williams looked great at the Elite 11 and is now the No. 2 player in Illinois. Anderson is a massive offensive lineman who looked great in the summer, and McMichael might be the most underrated tight end in the nation.

Also, Tallahassee (Fla.) Goodby defensive back DeAndre McDaniel made his debut in the Rivals100. McDaniel was a Rivals.com Junior All-American.

The August Rivals100


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