There is no state that produces more Division 1 talent that the great state of Texas. Last season alone the Lone Star State had 314 prospects that signed D-1. “It’s another quality year in the state of Texas and a very unusual year at tight end with some amazing prospects at that position,” said Stacey Dean, the Big 12 Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “DajLeon Farr, Martellus Bennett (left) and Jermichael Finley are all TE prospects from Texas on the National Hot 100. Farr is my top player in the state and he’s the top tight end in the country. He has not made his decision but Bennett’s headed to Miami and Finley is committed to Arizona. Kyle Anderson, another quality tight end from the state is headed to LSU. The state is also deep this season at running back and defensive tackle.” Farr leads the way for TheInsiders.com Texas Top 100.
Like Texas, TheInsiders.com Alabama Top 30 is lead by some very talented tight ends – Tommy Trott and Gabe McKenzie. “Trott (right) and McKenzie are two super athletes,” said Scott Kennedy, the South Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “Trott is a super pass catching tight end and McKenzie can do it all. Don’t be surprise with McKenzie ends up playing defensive end at the next level. Overall, this is a better crop of prospects than last season based on the number of academically qualified prospects.” The state’s top ranked prospect is Chris Keys, a transfer from the state of Louisiana. He is currently ineligible to play for North Jackson High School in Alabama and may move back to the Bayou State.
TheInsiders.com North Carolina Top 30 is led by a trio of players that made TheInsiders.com National Hot 100 – Toney Baker (left), Derek Nicholson and Jonathan Crompton. “I think Baker is as good as any running back in the nation,” said Miller Safrit, the East Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “He’s durable and makes a lot of plays on his own. Nicholson is an instinctive linebacker, almost a polar opposite of his brother A.J. (a starting linebacker at Florida State). Crompton potentially is as good as the two players ranked ahead of him. He’s worked hard on the little things and is great get for Tennessee. Overall this season is as deep in North Carolina as I can remember. As many as 40 to 50 players from North Carolina will sign D-1 scholarships this year.”
Ndamukong Suh (right) is one of the top prospects from the west coast and he is the top rated player from the state of Oregon. He is a beast on both sides of the ball at defensive tackle and offensive guard. “Suh is a big time prospect for a guy his size,” said Chris Fetters, the Northwest Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “He’s a prospect that comes along every seven to ten years from the state of Oregon. You just don’t see big kids like him with that athleticism, speed and size from this part of the country all that often. Suh can dunk a basketball flat-footed. I am not surprised that every top college in the country is after him. The only surprise is what school he chooses.” Suh is the No.1 prospect in TheInsiders.com Oregon Top 20.
“Overall, it’s a pretty good year in the state of Iowa,” said Chris Pool, the Midwest Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “The state is blessed with some quality linemen on both sides of the ball.”
Tyler Blum (left) is the number one rated prospect on TheInsiders.com Iowa Top 20. Blum, 6-6 and 240 pounds, is a tight end and defensive end in high school, but he projects as a future defensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes. “Tyler is a small school athlete that will be a 300 pound destructive force in a few years,” said Josh Clark, the Midlands Recruiting Analyst for TheInsiders.com. “He’s a three-sport athlete (wrestling, baseball) that’s versatile, explosive, and knows how to use leverage.”
Coming tomorrow, TheInsiders.com state rankings for California, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin.
2004 TheInsiders.com Preseason State Rankings
Miller Safrit contributed to this report.