It is the year of the defensive back in the Alabama Top 40, so one of the nation's best at the position takes the final top spot for the class of 2010.
"It was a great year in Alabama for defensive backs, and Demarcus Milliner is the top player in the state," said Simmons. "He is a corner in the body of a safety, he has great ball skills, he is good in press coverage or soft zone, and he is a strong tackler. Jarrick Williams, Nick Perry, and Deion Belue are three other defensive backs that are in the top 10 as well. Williams is an all around strong safety, Perry is a head-hunter at safety, and Belue is a corner who may be the fastest kid in the Alabama Top 40."
The former number one in North Carolina headed to Oregon leaving a two-way battle for the top spot between Alabama safety commitment Keenan Allen and N.C. State offensive tackle commitment Robert Crisp. Ultimately it was Allen taking over the North Carolina Top 30 after a huge Shrine Bowl and U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"Keenan Allen heads the list in the Tar Heel State and he just rose up the charts throughout 2009 and into 2010," said Simmons. "He is one of the top athletes in the country. He has great size, he could be a star wide receiver or safety on the next level, and he makes it all look so effortless. Allen not only took over the top spot in North Carolina, but he took over the top spot in the South as well. He is a dynamic playmaker that we will all hear from early in his career on the next level."
The Virginia Top 30 is bolstered by a pair of transplants from out-of-state, but the Tidewater area continues to provide the biggest depth in the state.
"The top of the Virginia Top 30 is occupied by offensive stars in five-star quarterback Phillip Sims and four-star wide receiver Justin Hunter," said Bob Lichtenfels, East manager for Scout.com. "But then the list gets defensive with four defensive linemen in a row led by Ego Ferguson, Evan Hailes, Ohio transplant Jamel Turner, and defensive end Zack McCray.
"Sims and Hunter had outstanding showing at the Under-Armour All-American practices. Sims is a deadly accurate passer and Hunter is a superb athlete that can stretch the field vertically. Ego Ferguson had a strong showing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and he remains as one of the highest rated players in the East who remains uncommitted."
The Oklahoma Top 25 is led by versatile athlete Demarco Cobbs, a Texas commitment who ends up going wire-to-wire as the top ranked player in the Sooner State.
"Cobbs had a huge senior season and his versatility gives him the chance to play multiple positions at Texas, but it looks like he will be getting his first shot at running back," said Greg Powers, Midlands analyst for Scout.com. "But with his size and length he could also be tremendous safety and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp may make a play for him to come over to his side of the field once he arrives in Austin. Irwin has been a solid number two choice behind Cobbs all year, so the top two guys have held steady all year. Irwin had a strong senior season and then impressed all of the scouts on hand at the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. The biggest riser on the list is Southmoore tight end Austin Haywood, who makes a strong case to challenge Cobbs as the prep player of the year in Oklahoma after dominating on both sides of the ball and leading the upstart Sabercats deep in to the playoffs."
According to Scout.com Northwest analyst Chris Fetters, what's amazing about the prep talent in the Utah Top 25 isn't the quantity or quality, even though there's plenty of both, rather it is the staying power.
"Of the top-25 prep players rated by Scout.com that have already made a verbal commitment, only three plan on leaving the state," said Fetters. "That's an impressive statistic, one that is explained in part because of the close ties between family and church (in the case of BYU), or just the close ties of family and the desire to stay close to home. But there's no doubt BYU loves to stay close to home and nab a lot of the top Utah talent. Their presence on this list is tangible; eight of the top-10 committed players will play in Provo."
Scout.com Midwest manager Allen Trieu believes that the Wisconsin Top 20 has a few players who did not get the attention they deserved nationally.
"A few kids like Marquis Mason just got on the radar late, but will make college impacts," said Trieu. "As usual, there were a lot of good linemen in the state and also one of the top punters in the country in Will Hagerup."
The Minnesota Top 10 has the nation's top prospect easily on top, and the state has several talented players from around the Twin Cities.
"Minnesota may not be deep but there are some great players at the top," said Trieu. "We all know Seantrel Henderson but I also think Jimmy Gjere and Tobi Okuyemi will be fine college players."