Nothing gets a recruitaholics blood boiling quite like recruiting rankings. Even though 90% of the fans probably haven't seen 90% of the players, all it takes to spark a little controversy is to come up with a list of say, 100 top players, rank them in order based on college potential and watch the sparks fly.
As is always the case, this is another deep year for talent on the West Coast and particularly in California. There may not be the star quality at the top of the board as in previous years, but depth wise, this year ranks as one of the best in recent memory. As a result, picking just 100 players to list was extremely tough and there were at least another 50 players that missed the cut who are just about good as the last 50 on this list.
The top player on our board without question is Los Alamitos (Calif.) safety Randy Estes. Just how good is the talented defensive back? He was the top defensive player in the West region as a junior last year and could be the best defensive back to come out of Cali since Ronnie Lott in the early 70s. Physically, Estes is off the charts with plus size, speed and incredible hitting ability. Of course there are a lot of players that can do those things but what makes Estes so special are his incredible football instincts, his toughness and his desire and work ethic to be the best player on the field.
The top offensive player on our board is Concord (Calif.) De La Salle wide receiver Cameron Colvin. Much last like year, this is another deep year at the wide out position and Colvin is the best. He combines excellent size and toughness with a game breaking speed and athleticism. Colvin is one of the best we've seen at going up between defenders and making the catch and his ability to accelerate out of his breaks is incredible.
Right behind Colin is fellow NorCal star Lavelle Hawkins. Hawkins, out of Stockton (Calif.) Edison, is already very polished as a receiver. He has great hands, runs very good routes and can run after the catch better than any wide out in the region. For pure speed, look no further than Long Beach Poly's (Calif.) Derrick Jones. Jones has clocked a 10.3 in the 100m and averaged nearly 30 yards a catch last season.
Staying with the pass catchers, the West is home to the top tight end in the country as Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista star Zach Miller is as good as it gets at the position. He's both a possession guy with great hands but also has the speed to get down the field and will be a match-up nightmare for colleges to defend at the next level. As good as he is on offense, one top 25 program actually told us they have Miller as the No. 1 rush end on their board but offense will be his meal ticket in college.
Speaking of rush ends, we have to mention San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian's Jeff Schweiger who plays like his hair is on fire on the football field. With his size, 4.5 speed in the 40 and non-stop motor, Schweiger reminds us a ton of former Nebraska and current St. Louis Ram standout Grant Wistrom. Relentless is the best word to describe Schweiger as he just keeps coming and never takes a play off. When your teams best player is also it's hardest working, it sure makes it easy on the coach and that's yet another plus the talented athlete brings to the table.