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August 25, 2010

Five stars within reach for these prospects

MORE: The Rivals250 | 2011 Team Rankings

Rivals.com currently has 13 five-star prospects in the rankings for the 2011 class. The 2010 class saw five stars awarded to 26 prospects and the average number of five-star prospects in each class since 2002 is 29.

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every takes a closer look at the players currently ranked No. 14-30 and what it might take for each of them to get a fifth star.

Five-star Potential
6-5/288, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
Why he's close: Huge road grater that excels as a run blocker. He has shown the ability to get downfield and throw blocks that extend plays. Westerman has superior strength and the versatility to play at least three positions along the line at the next level.
Why he's not there: Does he have the lateral quickness and arm length to play left offensive tackle in college? Has a tendency not to run his feet once he's engaged, rendering his powerbase ineffective.
No. 15: RB Mike Bellamy
5-10/175, Punta Gorda (Fla.) Charlotte
Why he's close: Extremely fast and explosive; can score if given a sliver of space. He also catches the ball extremely well and could double as a receiver at the next level. Bellamy has the skill set to excel as a kick or punt returner.
Why he's not there: He is very slight in stature at this time and may not be durable enough to run between the tackles on a regular basis. Bellamy also runs a bit upright, which makes him vulnerable to a big hit and decreases the yards he will get after contact.
No. 16: OLB Steve Edmond
6-3/225, Daingerfield (Texas)
Why he's close: An incredible tackling machine that quickly closes on the ball carrier. He has excellent size and can play all three linebacker positions. Should excel on special teams.
Why he's not there: Does not play against the biggest and best competition in Texas. Straight-arm tackles are broken by good backs at the next level. So he needs to wrap up and run his feet while tackling.
No. 17: PQB Jeff Driskel
6-3/225, Oviedo (Fla.) Hagerty
Why he's close: Driskel has much of what you want in a five-star quarterback. He has very good size, he moves well, he has a strong arm and he can make all the throws. His accuracy has increased each time we've seen him and his mechanics are solid.
Why he's not there: Driskel needs to show he's a five star on the field. We know he doesn't have a ton of talent around him and he plays for a new school, but we're looking for the marked improvement we saw all spring and summer to translate more into live football action. We want to see if he has improved his field vision.
No. 18: WDE Ray Drew
6-5/243, Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central
Why he's close: Has the rare combination of freaky athleticism and a frame that will allow him to grow into a huge defensive end. Drew has incredible lateral movement and enough speed to run sideline to sideline and cover kicks on special teams.
Why he's not there: Has a tendency to play high and allow offensive linemen to get hands on his body. He could also add to his arsenal of pass-rushing techniques instead of just relying on speed.
No. 19: RB Kenny Hilliard
6-0/218, Patterson (La.)
Why he's close: He is an extremely physical runner and solid as a truck. Hilliard also has excellent ball skills for a big back and has been one of the most productive backs in state history.
Why he's not there: Does he have big-play ability or home-run speed? Right now he is so big he may just be a grinder.

No. 20: ATH Devon Blackmon
6-0/175, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Why he's close: Very versatile athlete that could project as a receiver or defensive back at the next level. Blackmon has great hands and knows what to do with the ball after the catch. As a defensive back, he has hips on a swivel and serious ball skills.
Why he's not there: All his film and experience in game situation is as a quarterback so he is not getting the game experience needed at his eventual position. Once the pads are on, will he block or tackle without reservations?
No. 21: RB Isaiah Crowell
5-11/190, Columbus (Ga.) Carver
Why he's close: A muscular back that does a nice job of lowering his shoulder pads and gaining yards after contact. Crowell has excellent hands and can be an every-down back.
Why he's not there: He has added a lot of lower body weight and may not have that same quickness or home run speed that he possessed last season. Crowell could improve his balance and break more arm tackles below the waist.
No. 22: SDE Stephon Tuitt
6-5/260, Monroe (Ga.) Monroe Area
Why he's close: May have the best body of any defensive end in the country. He also does a nice job with pad level for a tall guy and has enough speed to catch plays from behind. Tuitt is very coachable and willing to learn new techniques.
Why he's not there: Someone this big and athletic should be able to take over a high school game, destroying the man across from him on every play. Leading by example may inspire his team to victory, something they have not experienced the last two years.
No. 23: OT Gregory Robinson
6-5/296, Thibodaux (La.)
Why he's close: He is a mammoth athlete that has the agility to dance with the most experienced pass rusher. He also has a very versatile body shape that will allow him to project at three different positions along the line. Versatility is the key to longevity.
Why he's not there: He needs to improve his pad level during run blocking and win the leverage battle. Does he have the height and arm length needed to be the prototypical left offensive tackle, which is usually what it takes to become a five-star offensive lineman?
No. 24: WR Trey Metoyer
6-2/198, Whitehouse (Texas)
Why he's close: Metoyer is a really physical receiver with excellent ball skills. He has the body control to adjust to the ball in the air and runs extremely crisp routes. His production has been phenomenal.
Why he's not there: Does not have that elite speed to make tons of yards after the catch. Metoyer also does not have the height that makes him a total mismatch for defensive backs.
No. 25: ILB Stephone Anthony
6-3/220, Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
Why he's close: Huge middle linebacker that gets good depth in coverage and has exceptional ball skills. Anthony does a nice job of running his feet after initial contact making him a sure tackler.
Why he's not there: Is he athletic enough to play more than inside linebacker at the next level? Someone his size should be lifting the ball carrier out of his shoes at contact. This can be done by uncoiling from the hips and powerbase just before contact.
No. 26: TE Nick O'Leary
6-4/215, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer
Why he's close: Runs excellent routes and knows how to find the holes in the defense. He also uses his body like a power forward in basketball, keeping defenders on his hip to win jump balls in tight coverage. For a thick receiver he does an excellent job of attacking the ball with his hands.
Why he's not there: He is not the tallest tight end and may not have the overall size to become an effective run blocker. All this is needed to become an every-down tight end, which is what it takes to become a five-star player.
No. 27: WR Jarvis Landry
5-11/178, Lutcher (La.)
Why he's close: Landry is a fantastic route runner with possibly the best ball skills in the country. He really attacks the ball rather than let the ball eat him up. For a small receiver he does a nice job of holding his blocks on running plays.
Why he's not there: He does not have great size and his speed is good but not great. So is he a deep threat or a small possession receiver from the slot receiver position?
No. 28: RB Aaron Green
5-11/191, San Antonio (Texas) James Madison
Why he's close: Green may be the most explosive back in the country. He is nearly impossible for defensive backs to cover and can make defenders whiff in the open field. He is a serious home-run threat with the skills of a potential kick and punt returner.
Why he's not there: He needs to become a more consistent pass catcher. At times he allows the ball to get to his body and struggles adjusting while the ball is in the air. If a back can't catch passes like a receiver, he won't play on every down.
No. 29: CB Doran Grant
5-10/171, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary
Why he's close: One of the most physically impressive defensive backs. He looks as comfortable in man coverage as off-man coverage. The hard-hitting Grant has excellent instincts and good ball skills for a defender.
Why he's not there: He is a bit stiff in the hips, sparking the question whether he is a safety or a corner. Needs to stay lower in his backpedal, improving his balance and reaction time to the ball.
No. 30: CB Marcus Roberson
6-1/170, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Why he's close: Has the coveted height to battle tall receivers for the ball and the quickness to stay with smaller receivers. Roberson has excellent ball skills making him a potential difference maker at the next level.
Why he's not there: This will be his first year of starting at the varsity level. Though he has been dominating in the camp setting, does he have the toughness to come up and hit while in run support? Does Roberson also possess the short-term memory needed to be a defensive back left on an island?



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