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August 30, 2011
Like the Rivals100 that was released on Monday, the Rivals250 has many changes throughout the ranking as numerous players moved up and down based on seeing them at camps, combines and 7-on-7 events throughout the summer.
Starting at the top is Miami (Fla.) Norland inside linebacker Keith Brown, who jumped all the way to No. 101 after not being included in the first round of rankings. His showing at The Opening in Oregon along with Gridiron Kings definitely helped the four-star's cause.
"Brown has the athleticism to play at multiple linebacker spots, but his home is likely in the middle," Rivals.com Florida analyst Chris Nee said.
"He does an excellent job of filling gaps and making the tackle against the run, but is also capable of disrupting plays behind the line of scrimmage. He has the athleticism to play running backs out of the backfield and in the flats. His strong off-season was capped by a solid performance at Gridiron Kings."
Brown was one of many prospects who went from off the board into the top 250 after showcasing themselves this summer.
Mesquite (Texas) Horn cornerback DeVante Harris was outstanding at The Opening and other events and moved all the way to No. 115 from being unranked.
"Harris has proven that he can stick to just about anybody in coverage," Rivals.com Southwest analyst Brian Perroni said.
"He is able to open his hips and run with fast receivers. He needs to add some bulk to play in a very physical Big 12 Conference and, if he does, he has a chance to be en elite player early in his career."
After strong showing at the Stanford Elite 11 and the Elite 11 at Pepperdine, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle quarterback Bart Houston climbed to No. 126.
"Houston is an intelligent quarterback who is a big-time winner on the high school level," Rivals.com West analyst Adam Gorney said.
"He was so impressive at the Elite 11 making decisions and delivering strong passes that we felt compelled to make him a big mover. Houston is so smart, rarely makes a bad pass and his decision-making ability is another thing that really makes him stand out."
Other prospects who went from unranked into the top 250 were Patterson, Calif., defensive end Pio Vatuvei, Thomasville, Ala., outside linebacker Tyler Hayes, South Bend (Ind.) Washington athlete David Perkins, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran tight end Christo Kourtzidis, Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville defensive tackle Korren Kirven, Long Beach, Miss., defensive tackle Nick James, New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr offensive tackle Derek Edinburgh, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside corner Joshua Holsey, Upland, Calif., receiver Kenny Lawler, Richardson (Texas) Pearce receiver Corey Coleman, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith all-purpose back J.C. Coleman and Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King all-purpose back Dennis Norfleet.
"There are few prospects in the mold of Perkins," Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt said. "He is legitimately 6-2 with the frame to play over 225 pounds in college, yet he also has clocked several sub-4.5 40-yard dashes.
"He excels at the running back position in high school, but his speed and athleticism should make for a great outside linebacker at the college level. He showed at several camps this summer that he can rush the passer with the best in the nation, and he's faster than most of the running backs he'll be asked to cover."
The last three prospects to make the Rivals250 cut were Buffalo (N.Y.) St. Joseph's quarterback Chad Kelly, Nashville (Tenn.) McGavock defensive end Caleb Azubike and Mercer Island, Wash., quarterback Jeff Lindquist. All three are new additions.
Ups and downs
There were also many movers and shakers both up and down. Starting near the top, Plymouth (Pa.) Wyoming Valley receiver Eugene Lewis catapulted up 60 spots to No. 102. Following a strong showing at The Opening, Buford, Ga., inside linebacker Dillon Lee jumped 129 spots to No. 103. After a solid performance at the Elite 11, Cleveland, Tenn., quarterback Chad Voytik moved up 48 spots to No. 105.
"We saw (Lewis) at the Penn State NIKE Camp and he was easily one of the best receivers there," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "He's a long strider, very smooth, no wasted effort, a great route runner and he caught everything. He has a sneaky fifth gear. When he got deep he could really run past people."
Gorney said: "Lee was incredible at times out at The Opening because he's so big and strong but can also get out in coverage and make plays. He is way more athletic than it first appears plus he plays with great intensity and toughness."
Others that made significant jumps up included Los Angeles Venice wide receiver Gabriel Marks (50 spots), Flint (Mich.) Powers Catholic defensive tackle Danny O'Brien (68 spots), Baltimore (Md.) Gilman athlete Cyrus Jones (51 spots) and Citra (Fla.) North Marion receiver Latroy Pittman (28 spots).
"O'Brien has always had an explosive first step, but what was holding him back from a higher ranking early in the process was that he did not play with the power of other elite defensive tackles," Helmholdt said.
"Over the course of the spring, however, O'Brien added 25 pounds to his frame and with the weight gain came the needed strength. He was impressive at the Ohio State NIKE Camp in May, then went out and had increasingly better performances at college camps and The Opening over the summer."
Farrell said: "(Jones) can play both ways. He'll probably end up being a defensive back which is his strength. It was good to see him participate as a wide receiver and a defensive back at Gridiron Kings and show us how multidimensional he is. He's made a marked improvement on getting bigger and stronger and he has the athletic ability to play either way at a big-time program."
Trending downward were players including quarterback Zeke Pike, who dropped 32 spots to No. 104, wide receiver Jordan Payton and cornerback Ishmael Adams, who fell 22 and 21 positions, respectively, linebacker Scott Starr, who went from No. 110 to No. 140 and running back William Mahone, who slipped 75 spots to No. 153.
There were a number of other high-profile prospects that fell in the rankings. Wide receiver Dwayne Stanford fell 70 spots, receiver Deontay McManus dropped 57 spots and outside linebacker fell from No. 77 to No. 170. Quarterback Connor Brewer went down from No. 123 to No. 174. Running back Greg Garmon slipped 51 spots to No. 235.