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October 14, 2008

Eleven prospects break into the Rivals250

MORE: The 2009 Rivals250 | Shakeup near the top of the Rivals100 | Chat about the Rivals250

The new Rivals250 is out, and there are 11 new members, led by Alabama commitment Rod Woodson from Olive Branch (Miss.) High, who is ranked 116th.

Rivals.com regional analyst Barton Simmons scouted Woodson (5 feet 11/200 pounds) in person and came away impressed.

BIG DEBUT
Rod Woodson makes his debut in the Rivals250 at No. 116.

"You'd be hard-pressed to find another player in the country who plays with the tenacity or effort level of Woodson," Simmons said. "It doesn't hurt that he's incredibly gifted as an athlete. He may actually end up as an undersized linebacker at the next level because of his nose for the ball."

Woodson wasn't the only prospect from the Southeast to jump into the Rivals250; he is joined by wide receiver Rantavious Wooten of Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central, offensive tackle Brandon Thomas of Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman, athlete Denard Robinson of Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High and wide receiver Kevin Norwood of D'Iberville (Miss.) High.

Wooten, who is No. 172, has committed to LSU; Thomas, who is 173rd, is a Clemson commitment.

Robinson has taken an official visit to Georgia and also is considering USF, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia and UCF; he is at No. 174. Norwood jumped from three stars to four and is at No. 246. He has offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Alabama.

WEST AND MIDWEST REPRESENTED

Two players from the West and two from the Midwest also make their debuts. Provo (Utah) Timpview safety Craig Bills, a BYU commitment, jumps all the way to No. 166, and Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral offensive lineman Taylor Lewan jumps to four stars and checks in at No. 188. Lewan has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Miami, Michigan and Nebraska, among others.

Avon (Ind.) High defensive end Montez Robinson debuts at No. 187, and Youngstown (Ohio) Liberty running back Fitzgerald Toussaint makes the list at No. 226. Robinson is committed to Auburn, and Toussaint to Michigan.

"Few have put up the type of numbers that Toussaint has this season. By the time the year is over, he could end up winning Mr. Football in Ohio," national recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree said.

MORE FROM MARYLAND

INS AND OUTS OF THE RIVALS250
IN (Rank)OUT (Prev. Rank)
S Rod Woodson (116) LB Lamin Barrow (162)
S Craig Bills (166) WR Kenny Bell (154)
WR Rantavious Wooten (172) DT Lendell Buckner (242)
OT Brandon Thomas (173) OG Alex Bullard (214)
ATH Denard Robinson (174) WR Terence Davis (220)
DE Montez Robinson (187) LB Eric Fields (138)
OT Taylor Lewan (188) S Tevin McCaskill (141)
DE Jason Ankrah (193) CB Brandon Sermons (250)
CB Derrick Thomas (228) DT John Simon (112)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (226) ATH Jurell Thompson (245)
WR Kevin Norwood (246) LB Jordan Whiting (64)
Rounding out the newcomers to the 250 are two players from Maryland. Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard defensive end Jason Ankrah moves from three stars to four and is at No. 193. He favors Penn State over offers from more than 30 schools. Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt cornerback Derrick Thomas also jumps from three stars to four stars, and is at No. 228. He has committed to Penn State.

"When it comes to Ankrah, his upside is immense," national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "He has tremendous size, great lower body strength and excellent quickness and agility. And Thomas has advanced ball skills, a long frame to grow into and natural instincts as a cornerback."

ETC.

In addition to the newest members of the Rivals250, numerous players made big moves. Dartmouth (Mass.) tight end Arthur Fontaine, a Georgia commitment, jumps from No. 140 to No. 115. New Braunfels (Texas) High linebacker Tom Wort, an Oklahoma commitment, makes a huge jump from No. 244 to No. 144.

Others making significant moves include Apopka (Fla.) High athlete Jeremy Gallon, a Michigan commitment, and Los Angeles Jordan athlete James Boyd, a USC commitment. Gallon jumps from No. 200 to No. 175 and Boyd from No. 231 to No. 177.

Dallas Skyline cornerback Steve Williams, an Oklahoma commitment, goes from the fringe of the 250 (No. 249) to No. 201.



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