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June 13, 2012

Texas-sized battle for top spot in state rankings

MORE: Rankings | Texas | Oklahoma | Missouri

The state of Texas sends the most prospects to FBS schools on a yearly basis and there is never a shortage of talent. However, the Lone Star State may be lacking a bit at the very top in the class of 2013.

Only one Texan - Whitewright quarterback and Texas commit Tyrone Swoopes - has achieved five-star status. However, the dual-threat passer is far from a sure thing and is the very last five-star at No. 17 overall in the country. He will have a chance to prove himself as a thrower next week at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge and could cement his spot as the No. 1 overall player in the state rankings.

Sitting at No. 2 in the state rankings is Sealy wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. Though he is a four-star prospect, the nation's top receiver prospect is only one spot behind Swoopes in the national rankings. Seals-Jones is a high school quarterback and safety who also could go a long way towards improving his stock when he works out at receiver at the Five-Star Challenge.

In keeping with the theme, another big hybrid prospect - Derrick Griffin of Rosenberg Terry - comes in at No. 3. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Texas A&M pledge could play wide receiver or tight end for the Aggies. He is also a Top 50 national basketball recruit and plans to play both sports in College Station.

Coming in at No. 4 is Dallas Lake Highlands offensive tackle Kent Perkins. The U.S. Army All-American is the No. 2 tackle in the country and became a household name even before his freshman season. A Texas commit, he will also be in action at the Five-Star Challenge.

The two prospects ranked Nos. 5 and 6 are linebackers Mike Mitchell and Deoundrei Davis of Plano Prestonwood and Houston Cy Woods, respectively. Both were relatively unknown heading into the spring but saw their stocks soar. Both are also U.S. Army All-Americans. Mitchell can play any of the three linebacker spots while Davis, a Texas commit, has the size of a linebacker, but plays like a safety.

Four more U.S. Army All-Americans round out the top 10 in Celina offensive tackle Jake Raulerson, Dallas Jesuit wide receiver Jake Oliver, Alief Taylor defensive end Torrodney Prevot and Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning. Both Raulerson and Oliver are committed to Texas as well, giving the Longhorns five of the top ten players in the state.

[ RELATED: Find your state's ranking here]

After a down year for the position in 2012, the defensive tackle class in Texas is very strong in 2013. Though Manning is the only one in the top 10, several others are ranked highly. Texas commit A'Shawn Robinson of Fort Worth Arlington Heights is No. 11, Texas A&M commit Isaiah Golden of Carthage is No. 17 and Texas A&M commit Kerrick Huggins is No. 23. Texas commit Darius James of Harker Heights, the nation's top center prospect, is ranked No. 14 in the state and could possibly end up as a defensive tackle.

The wide receiver group in the state is strong as well. Seals-Jones, Griffin and Oliver are all in the top ten and are followed by several other four-star prospects. West Mesquite's Eldridge Massington, a USC pledge, comes in at No. 18, Cedar Hill's Laquvionte Gonzalez, a Texas A&M pledge, at No. 22, Houston Bellaire's Devin Lauderdale, a Texas Tech pledge, at No. 26, Tyler John Tyler's Fred Ross, an Oklahoma State pledge, at No. 28, Houston Cy Falls' Jacorey Warrick, a Texas pledge, at No. 32, Dallas Skyline's Ra'Shaad Samples at No. 34, Wylie East's Marcell Ateman, an Oklahoma State pledge, at No. 36 and Fort Worth Southwest's Robbie Rhodes, a Baylor pledge, at No. 37.

The quarterback group is also a strong one. In addition to Swoopes, Cody Thomas of Colleyville Heritage is also a Rivals100 prospect. The Oklahoma commit is ranked No. 13 in the state. Texas A&M has two four-star quarterback commits in Kenny Hill of Southlake Carroll and Kohl Stewart of Houston St. Pius, ranked Nos. 25 and 27 in the state, respectively.

Texas A&M leads the way with commitments from 15 members of the Texas Top 100. Texas has 13, followed by Texas Tech with six, Oklahoma State and TCU with five apiece, Baylor with four and Oklahoma with three.

In contrast to the state of Texas, the state of Louisiana is much stronger at the top than a year ago. With no prospects in the Rivals100 for the class of 2012, the Pelican State has four in 2013.

The No. 1 player in the state is Baton Rouge University Lab defensive end Tim Williams, followed by Lake Charles Barbe tight end DeSean Smith, Jackson East Feliciana athlete Kendell Beckwith and Monroe Neville wide receiver John Diarse, an LSU commit.

Three other LSU commits fall in the top ten with Shreveport Green Oaks athlete Tre'Davious White at No. 6, Kentwood Jewel Sumner safety Jeremy Cutrer at No. 7 and Loranger cornerback Jeryl Brazil at No. 10.

With in-state LSU dominating the Louisiana state rankings, the same holds true for Oklahoma in its home state.

The top two prospects, Lawton defensive end D.J. Ward and Tulsa East Central cornerback Stanvon Taylor, are both committed to the Sooners. Tulsa scored a huge coup by keeping four-star offensive guard Rob Boyd, the No. 3 prospect in state as well.

Missouri is cleaning up in its home state as well. The Tigers missed out on the top prospect when St. Louis Burroughs running back Ezekiel Elliott committed to Ohio State. However, they did receive commitments from the other two four-star prospects, Fort Zumwalt South athlete Chase Abbington and Lee's Summit West linebacker Nick Ramirez.

In fact, Mizzou has scored commitments from six of the top 10 prospects in the Show Me State with the others being Richmond Heights defensive tackle Antar Thompson, Kansas City Staley quarterback Trent Hosick, Kansas City Hogan Prep athlete Anthony Sherrils and St. Charles Howell offensive tackle Harneet Gill.




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