The Scout.com Preseason State Rankings will all be revealed over the next four days for the Class of 2007. Today, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Arkansas, and Hawaii are released.
The Buckeye State is year in and year out one of the top producing football states in the country. This season the state of Ohio is led by the defensive standouts, especially at the safety position.
“Secondary is primary in the "Buckeye State", as more than twenty defensive backs earned spots in the Top 75, including five in the top ten,” said Scout.com Midwest Recruiting Analyst Bob Lichtenfels. “It's a defensive end however who holds down the top spot in LaSalle's Ben Martin. Martin can be great and will be, once his frame fills out at the next level. Safety Eugene Clifford could just as easily be the top player in the state. When I am asked about Ohio I tend to say Martin is 1A and Clifford is 1B.”
The state of Kansas has a four star football prospect this season and he is one of the top big athletes in the region. His name is Christian Ballard and he can play on either side of the ball at tight end or defensive end.
“Every year the term "Jumbo-Athlete" is mentioned,” said Lichtenfels. “This year Kansas has a prospect who fits the bill. Christian Ballard (Kansas commitment) has size and speed and he can play a number of positions. The Murphy brothers Brian and Ryan, along with Ballard gives Free State three of the states top ten prospects.”
It's a good year in Iowa, especially at the top with defensive standouts like linebacker Tyler Nielson (Iowa commitment), cornerback Jordan Berstine and defensive tackle Cody Hundertmark (Iowa commitment) and wide receiver Colin Sandeman (Iowa commitment).
“Iowa has dominated in-state this year landing four of the top five players and they lead for super safety and No. 2 prospect Jordan Bernstine,” said Lichtenfels. “Bernstine improved his stock with an outstanding MVP performance at the Iowa Scout.com combine. Humboldt linebacker Tyler Nielsen is the top prospect. He is as good of a lateral linebacker as you will find.”
Arkansas always seems to produce some big time college football prospects like quarterback Mitch Mustain and running back Darren McFadden. This season is no different with another big back leading the pack, Broderick Green (USC commitment) as well as quarterback Kodi Burns and offensive lineman Lee Ziemba.
"Burns is a fantastic athlete who can beat teams with his arm or his legs,” said Scout.com Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jeremy Paterson. “He's just below a guy like Mustain from last season. Green is a super back that runs with great power and speed and he can catch out of the backfield.”
Over in the Islands of Hawaii this group of prospects is led by the big men in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Overall, it's a good year in the state of Hawaii.
“As you would expect, this group is chock full of big men that have a nasty streak and like to let it show,” said Scout.com West Recruiting Analyst Chris Fetters. “Kaniela Tuipulotu, Michael Matamua and Alex Tupulua especially, all show that tendency to want to plow the opponent into the ground, and that gets college coaches very excited. It's no surprise that the top eight in-state players are all linemen, even Farrington's Sam-Earl Fehoko, who swears he's going to be one of those cat-quick rush ends that cause offensive coordinators to lose sleep at night.”
Coming Wednesday are the Scout.com preseason state rankings for Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Alaska.
Scout.com State Rankings