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August 3, 2009

Pa. one of six new state rankings released

Preseason State Rankings:

Last year it was Ohio State that seemed to dominate the state of Pennsylvania, landing the top two players in the Keystone State as well as another top 10 prospect. However, that's not the case this year as the Penn State Nittany Lions own their home state. With commitments from six of the top 10 prospects in the Rivals.com Pennsylvania Preseason Top 40 for the class of 2010 led by quarterback Paul Jones. However, the top three prospects in the state remain uncommitted.

Jones, a 6-foot-3, 226-pounder from McKees Rocks (Pa.) Sto Rox, is ranked as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the nation and leads a strong PSU class. Jones, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the state, is joined by offensive lineman Thomas Ricketts, linebacker Mike Hull, tight end Kyle Baublitz, offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach and defensive end Dakota Royer as Nittany Lion commitments in the top 10. Ricketts is ranked as the No. 5 prospect followed by Hull at No. 6, Baublitz at No. 7, Dieffenbach at No. 8 and Royer at No. 10. Penn State also has commitments from the No. 16 prospect, wide receiver Alex Kenney, and No. 18 prospect, offensive lineman Luke Graham.

Despite Penn State's strong start, the top three prospects in the state remain open led by No. 1 Sharrif Floyd, who is ranked as the nation's No. 1 defensive tackle. Floyd likes Penn State but also has schools like Florida, Miami, South Carolina, North Carolina, Boston College and others. Floyd hails from Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington.

The No. 2 prospect in the state is cornerback Cullen Christian from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Penn Hills. Christian favors Michigan currently and could join the state's No. 9 prospect, Ken Wilkins, in Ann Arbor.

And Ohio State might not be shut out of the top 10 in the state this year after all if the No. 3 prospect, Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara athlete Corey Brown, decides to join 2009 studs Corey Brown (no relation), Dorian Bell and Jordan Hall in Columbus. Brown likes OSU, Florida, Rutgers and others.

Despite losing out on Western PA prospects Jones, Ricketts, Hull and Dieffenbach to Penn State, Pitt has recovered nicely with commitments from the state's No. 13, 17 and 19 prospects. Pittsburgh (Pa.) Penn Hills defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Mckees Rocks (Pa.) Sto Rox wide receiver Andrew Carswell and Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith are all solid Pitt commitments.

Another program doing well in Pennsylvania is Boston College with commitments from No. 14 Seth Betancourt and No. 20 Andre Williams.

Rutgers, a program that landed three of the top 15 prospects in PA last year, is still looking for its first commitment from the state for 2010.

More new releases

The Missouri Preseason rankings are out as well. According to Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree, "it's one of the deepest and best years in the Show Me State in a while, especially at the top of the rankings. Rivals100 offensive line prospect Nick Demien of Wentzville Timberland is at the top spot, but one could easily argue that Liberty receiver Marcus Lucas is the state's best. Behind those two at the top are a collection of four-star prospects that are all being recruited nationally. Even guys down the rankings like Brandon Bourbon at No. 11, Stephen Kaiser at No. 15 and Darrenn White at No. 17 are highly talented recruits.

As for Nevada, Crabtree said, "The Nevada top 15 features the nation's best tight end recruit Xavier Grimble of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman at No. 1. However, he's not the last Gorman player to make the ranking. The talented program in West Vegas places six players overall in the top 15. Speedy receiver and Arizona commit Garic Wharton of Las Vegas Valley is the state's second-best player, followed by Las Vegas Cimarron running back Stephen Nixon at No. 3. Overall the Vegas area dominates the rankings with only two players, Sparks Reed teammates Kyle Roberts and Garrett Corbett, not hailing from the city.

The Michigan Preseason Top 35 will be changing after the Elite 11 out in California where quarterbacks Robert Bolden and Devin Gardner outperformed Joe Boisture. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Greg Ladky said, "quarterbacks highlight the top of Michigan's rankings. Three of them participated in the Elite 11 quarterback camp. Those performances are not factored into these rankings, but all three are among the best in the nation. Boisture (No. 2) has the edge over Devin Gardner and Robert Bolden." And Michigan State is once again doing very well in state. Ladky said "after signing seven of the top 10 in-state players in 2009, the Spartans already have five of the top 11 on board in 2010. The state's top player, William Gholston, is a raw defensive end prospect with tremendous upside. He is the Spartans' highest ranked commitment thus far. C.J. Olaniyan, the state's No. 8 player, is another defensive end with great upside. The Spartans are in the mix for him as well."

And Arkansas also highlights Monday's state rankings release. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons said of the rankings, "after a down year in the class of 2009 in Arkansas, the state is much stronger in 2010 with a lot of FBS talent. Headlined by five-star Michael Dyer, one of the top running backs in the country, Arkansas has its second five-star from the state in as many years. Byran Jones at defensive tackle and Nebraska commit Anterio Sloan round out the top of the deep list.

Louisville (Ky.) Central linebacker Tim Patterson begins the 2009 season on top of the Kentucky top 10.

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