No. 1 CB DeAnthony Thomas
One of the biggest questions coming out of the All-American games, such Army and Under Armour, concerns the players who will move up. The players at the top of the rankings still have a say in who moves up and who stays on top. Here's a look at five players who proved they were who we thought they were all along.
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The postseason All-Star games including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and
Under Armour All-American Bowl do an outstanding job of bringing together the
nation's best high school football players for a chance to compete against one
another. While on the larger scale, the games are merely an exhibition, the
players see them as a chance to prove they are the best at their respective
We discussed five players (5
on the Rise) who will make big jumps in the Scout rankings when they are
released next week, but what about the players who were already on top and held
Here's a look at five players who showed they were what we thought they were all
DE - Jadeveon Clowney (6-5/245)
(South Pointe) Rock Hill, S.C.
Current Ranking - 5-Star, No. 1 Overall, No. 1 Defensive End
Considering: Alabama and South Carolina among others
Many of us at Scout have wondered what Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and Auburn's
Cam Newton might look like playing defensive end. We'll get a chance to find out
as Clowney is a physical clone of the two über-talented athletes. From a size
and athleticism standpoint, Clowney is without peer in the Class of 2011. He has
some refinement that needs to be done to his game including using his hands to
get off blocks faster, but that's what good coaching is for. From a potential
standpoint, Clowney showed why he's the No. 1 prospect in the country. The Class
of 2011 is my ninth year of Scouting players in the field. I keep a mental list
of the best players I've scouted, and Clowney has locked down the end spot
opposite 2006 No. 1 overall draft pick Mario Williams of N.C. State.
OT - Cyrus Kouandjio (6-7/295)
Clowney vs Kouandjio
(Dematha Catholic) Hyattsville, Md.
Current Ranking - 5-Star, No. 5 Overall, No. 1 Offensive Tackle
Considering: Alabama, Iowa, Miami, and USC among others
Blessed with the physical gifts of a first round draft pick in the NFL, the big
question surrounding Kouandjio heading to the Under Armour All-American Bowl was
if the big man's heart was really into football. Relatively new to the game, and
having never been challenged for the most part, it's understandable that
Kouandjio may have found himself a little bored on the gridiron. Then he lined
up against Clowney and the pilot light was lit. Clowney had his way with every
offensive lineman he came against, until he crossed paths with Kouandjio.
Kouandjio used his quick feet, long arms, and strength to more than hold his own
against the nation's No. 1 prospect making a case that he should not only be the
No. 1 offensive tackle, but No. 1 overall.
CB - DeAnthony Thomas (5-10/175)
(Crenshaw) Los Angeles, Calif.
Current Ranking - 5-Star, No. 4 Overall, No. 1 Corner
Committed to USC
Thomas was dubbed the "Black Mamba" dating back to his youth league
days because of how he would slither in and out of defenses with the ball in his
hands. One of my favorite phenomena of the last year was watching a small,
skinny unassuming Thomas show up at various competitions, including the Army
Bowl, and see the reaction from people seeing him for the first time. "That's
the best player in the country???" Within minutes of players taking the
field, the question is answered. Thomas is such a gifted athlete, he would be
ranked a 5-Star at corner, running back, wide receiver, and safety. With his
size, we feel his long term future would best be served as a
corner/return man, but if it's my job on the line, I want the ball in his
hands as often as possible.
S - Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (6-2/190)
(Dr. Phillips) Orlando, Fla.
Current Ranking - 5-Star, No. 12 Overall, No. 1 Safety
Committed to Alabama
He's known as "Ha-Ha", but there's nothing funny about facing him as
an offense. Clinton-Dix is facing a furious challenge for the No. 1 spot by
Karlos Williams (6-2/210), but he did nothing to hurt his own stock. He is a
fluid athlete that glides across a field, that is until he arrives to a ball
career. Then that fluid motion becomes violent. He has outstanding size and has
a very good feel for coverage schemes. Last July Clinton-Dix and Williams made
up the safety tandem at a star-studded passing tournament called Gridiron Kings.
I only remember one touchdown scored against Team South. Unheard of in wide-open
passing leagues. Clinton-Dix has been playing at a high level for several years
and is capable of making an early impact on the next level.
OG - Christian Westerman (6-5/295)
(Hamilton) Chandler, Ariz.
Current Ranking - 5-Star, No. 7 Overall, No. 1 Offensive Guard
Committed to Texas
As the only 5-Star offensive guard on Scout for the Class of 2011, perhaps no
player in the country had a vise grip on the No. 1 spot at his position as
strong as Westerman. If anything, Westerman further distanced himself from his
peers with his week of work at the Under Armour Bowl. Projecting as a guard, but
having played tackle throughout his high school career, Westerman was right at
home playing right tackle for his Under Armour team. Westerman showed good
flexibility, playing with good leverage and excellent footwork once he was
engaged with a defender. He has good lateral movement, yet his strength is still
playing tight in space and overpowering defensive linemen. While Scout feels
offensive guard would be his best position on the next level, he showed that he
has the tools and versatility to play any of the five spots on the offensive
line depending on where he's most needed.
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