The First 5-Stars of 2009

National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Oct 23, 2007
Jamie Newberg

It's never too early in recruiting anymore, as is ready to unveil its first 10 5-Star Prospects for the Class of 2009. This group is led by quarterback Matt Barkley, a trio of running backs, a couple of hard hitting linebackers, a big corner and others. National 100 - Class 0f 2009

Here's a very early look at the first 10 5-Star prospects for the Class of 2009. Quarterbacks Matt Barkley (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Russell Shepard (Houston, Texas), running backs Bryce Brown (Wichita, Ka.), Lamar Miller (Miami, Fla.), and Mike Ford (Leesville, La.), linebackers Dorian Bell (Monroeville, Pa.) and Manti T'eo (Honolulu, Hi.), defensive tackles Johnny Simon (Youngstown, Ohio) and Chris Davenport (Mansfield, La.) and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden (Ala.) spear head this talented group. Let's take a closer look.

Matt Barkley
QB Matt BarkleySanta Ana (Ca.) Mater Dei
Mater Dei is known for their quarterbacks (which include Heisman Trophy winners John Huarte and Matt Leinart), but Matt Barkley may be the best to have played for the Monarchs. A starter since his freshman year, Barkley is the best passer in the West this year, regardless of class, and he's been in double digits for offers since late in his sophomore year.
Watch Video- Brandon Huffman, West
Matt Barkley
SLB Dorian BellMonroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Gateway head coach Terry Smith told me that Dorian Bell may be the best pure athlete he has ever had and that is saying something. Bell is a tremendous athlete and he rarely makes a mistake. He is outstanding in coverage and stout against the run. Shayne Hale is a great player and he gets a lot of press, but Bell may turn out to be the better college ball player. It was Bell's development that enabled Smith to move Hale to defensive end this season and strengthen the Gators defense.
 - Bob Lichtenfels, East
Matt Barkley
RB Bryce BrownWichita (Kan.) East
At 6-foot-0, 205 pounds, Bryce Brown is a powerful runner that also has nice speed. The one thing that is most overlooked when projecting running backs is vision, and Brown seems to be able to "feel" the defenders and make moves accordingly. He is everything that you want a running back to be wrapped up in one package.
 - Greg Powers, Midlands

DT Chris DavenportMansfield (La.)
While it was DeAndre Brown who cemented a jump into the five star category at the combine in New Orleans, Chris Davenport made strong run for overall camp MVP with one of the most impressive performances of the year. Davenport not only dominated the offensive linemen, he flipped a couple blocking dummies with his raw brute strength and power.
Watch Video- Miller Safrit, Southeast

RB Michael FordLeesville (La.)
Ford shows every week just how much potential he has. Taking over the starting just over midway through his sophomore year, Ford completely dominated in the new role at Leesville. Ford had the great mix of balance, power, and a great burst through the line of scrimmage.
Watch Video- Miller Safrit, Southeast

CB Dre KirkpatrickGadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City
Even though people want to talk with the Gadsden City coaches about the talent of Scout100 member Jerrell Harris, the coaches are very quick to point out they believe Kirkpatrick can be even better. Watching the film of Kirkpatrick, he looks similar to Antonio Cromartie coming out of high school with a tall, physical, athletic cornerback playing on an island and locking down his side of the ball.
Watch Video- Miller Safrit, Southeast

RB Lamar MillerMiami (Fla.) Killian
Miller is an elusive running back coming from the talent rich Miami area who showed even as a sophomore the natural instincts that put him amongst the nation's elite. He is the total package for a running back and has the entire weight of the team on his shoulders with ten touchdowns so far the season though his team has just two wins at this point in the year.
Watch Video- Miller Safrit, Southeast

QB Russell ShepardHouston (Tex.) Cypress Ridge
Shepard (6-2, 185) is a true dual-threat quarterback who has the ability to score at any given moment. He reads defenses well on pass plays and runs in-and-out of defenders with ease. He possesses great speed (4.4 40-yards) and quickness and makes good decisions out of the shotgun. But what really makes Shepard a top-notch player is his leadership. He allows his teammates to make plays and manages the team efficiently. All in all, he is an electrifying player who would be a great addition to any Division I college program.
 - Alan Zepeda, Southwest

DT Johnny SimonYoungstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney
Working the Combine tour and seeing as many games and players that I do, I feel I have a pretty good bead on who is who among the top defensive linemen in the country. I would put Johnny Simon against anyone in the nation, regardless of class. Yes, he is that good. Simon is built better than most college defensive tackles and he has as good a get off as I have seen in a high school player. He is a tireless worker and just an outstanding young man.
 - Bob Lichtenfels, Midwest

WLB Manti Te'oHonolulu (Hawaii) Punahou School
T'eo could be the finest prep player Hawaii has produced and is the top defensive prospect in the West. He hits like a truck and all the national powers wisely offered him early on.
Watch Video- Brandon Huffman, West

Tomorrow, will release the rest of the National Top 100 for the Class of 2009. Prospects 1-10 will receive five-stars while prospects 11-100 will receive four-stars.

Related Stories
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ScoutTV: Gadsden City's DB Dre Kirkpatrick
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 -by  Oct 26, 2007

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QB Matt Barkley (profile)
WLB Dorian Bell (profile)
RB Bryce Brown (profile)
OT Chris Davenport (profile)
RB Michael Ford (profile)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (profile)
RB Lamar Miller (profile)
QB Russell Shepard (profile)
DT John Simon (profile)
SLB Manti Te'o (profile)
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