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January 22, 2009
Ga., Ohio headline state rankings releases
Postseason State Rankings:
You could say that Greg Reid had an MVP season. The five-star cornerback prospect from Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes County High School was a star in all three phases of the game. This year Reid had nine interceptions and a 102-yard fumble return for a score. Offensively, he rushed for 1,242 yards and scored 16 touchdowns on 118 carries.
Reid was also the MVP in two postseason all-star games. In the Georgia North-South Football Classic, he returned two punts for touchdowns in helping the South to a 17-0 win. The following week he intercepted two passes in the Under Armour All-American Game.
This was a special season for Reid and his play has catapulted him to the No. 1 ranking in Rivals.com postseason Georgia Top 75.
"Greg Reid probably had the best week of practice of any competitor at the Under Armour All-American Game," said Barry Every, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "He has quick hips, quick feet and excellent ball skills. But what really separates him from everybody else are his practice habits and effort level. Every snap is full go and maximum effort."
The No. 2 spot in the Georgia Top 75 is also held by a five-star cornerback in Atlanta Booker T. Washington's Branden Smith. Smith is one of the country's fastest prospects.
"Branden Smith is a legit 100-meter guy with the fourth-fastest time in Georgia state championship history," Every said. "He has been starting both ways and on special teams since he was a freshman in high school. Smith is taller than Reid and also takes each practice snap like it's a game. Both Smith and Reid are serious about being the best they can be."
Checking in at No. 3 in the state is defensive end/linebacker prospect Jarvis Jones from Columbus Carver. Jones was the Georgia preseason No. 1.
"Jones is a physically overpowering linebacker," said Barton Simmons, a Rivals.com recruiting analyst. "The way he's put together leads me to believe he could grow into a defensive end. Jones is strong at the point of attack and he's extremely explosive, which translates into a great rush end who can be dominate at the line of scrimmage."
Georgia has become one of the top producing states in terms of top-end college football prospects. This season is no different, except there doesn't seem to be the same number of elite running back prospects.
"Georgia produces the fourth-most Division I kids annually but always seems to come up short with top-rate receivers," Every said. "This year is no different. But what is lacking in the skilled position that is usually high in quantity and quality is running backs. Also, Georgia seems to lack each year in overall talent at the quarterback position."
If there are a few areas of quality and quantity this year in the Peach State, they are in the secondary and in the trenches.
"Defensive backs seem to be the most obvious strong point with four potential elite defensive backs in the top 10," Every said. "There is also depth at the interior offensive and defensive line positions this year."
Georgia Tech leads the way with 11 members of the Georgia Top 75, while Georgia has 10. Georgia, however, has four of the top seven and 10 of the top 23 prospects committed. All SEC schools except Florida and Ole Miss have players committed from the state of Georgia. Boston College, Virginia Tech and Virginia are the only three ACC schools that don't have any players committed from Georgia. In all, 22 different BCS conference schools have players committed from the Peach State.
There's a new No. 1 in the state of Ohio.
After a strong showing in the U.S. Army All-America Game, Massillon (Ohio) Washington defensive back Justin Turner moved up to the No. 1 spot in the Rivals.com Ohio Postseason Top 60. He moves ahead of offensive lineman Marcus Hall of Cleveland Glenville and defensive back Jamie Wood of Pickerington (Ohio) Central.
The news of Turner's climb to the top spot means the Michigan Wolverines scored the top player in the state, which does happen, but with Jim Tressel's stranglehold on the talent in the Buckeye State it's been a rare occurrence.
Glenville defensive back Mike Edwards also made a nice climb in the rankings, moving all the way up to the No. 21 spot. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback had a solid senior season and proved he was one of the state's best after starting out at the No. 45 spot in the preseason rankings.
There were a few minor changes in the Idaho and New Mexico Top 5 lists. Quarterback Taysom Hill remains No. 1 in Idaho, followed by linebacker Darren Markle and tight end Billy Sanders. In New Mexico, Rio Mares, who is heading to Tulane, takes home the top spot in the postseason ranking.