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January 27, 2009

Florida headlines final state rankings releases

Postseason State Rankings:

The state of Florida is blessed this season with an extraordinary amount of talented running backs in the 2009 class. To date, 38 prospects at the position have been offered scholarships, and 20 schools across the country have running backs from the state of Florida committed.

So it's no coincidence that the top player in the Rivals.com Postseason Florida Top 100 is Trent Richardson, a big, strong and powerful running back from Pensacola Escambia.

"Trent Richardson's combination of tremendous size and speed is similar to that of Earl Campbell," said Barry Every, a national recruiting analyst from Rivals.com. "He's definitely a back that will wear defenses down, yet he has breakaway speed."

One of the top athletes in the state is Sanford's Ray Ray Armstrong. He had a big senior season in leading Seminole to the state championship. Along the way he moved way up the recruiting charts and checks in as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Sunshine State.

"I see a very gifted large athlete with Armstrong," Every said. "He can project as a safety, outside linebacker/defensive end, tight end or even wide receiver at the next level. I think the sky is the limit for Armstrong. He just needs to find the position that will use the skills he already has, which I believe is outside linebacker. It has been mentioned before that he is similar in size and athletic ability as Jevon Kearse in high school, and I can definitely see that."

The preseason No. 1 prospect in Florida was Greenville Madison County Jacobbi McDaniel, who comes in at No. 3 in the postseason rankings. At No. 4 is the state's most electrifying player in Sanford Seminole wide receiver Andre Debose, and at No. 5 is athletic Quincy West Gadsden defensive tackle Gary Brown.

Rounding out the top 10 in Florida are Tallahassee Godby athlete Willie Downs, Tampa Plant quarterback Aaron Murray, Vero Beach linebacker Zeke Motta, Miami Palmetto running back Jaamal Berry and Seffner Armwood defensive end Ryne Giddins.

Aside from the running back position, it's a terrific year in Florida at other skilled positions like receiver, cornerback and safety.

"I think it is a tremendous year at running back, receiver and in the secondary. I also like some of the depth along the defensive line with guys like Brown, McDaniel, Giddins and Demonte McAllister," Every said. "Historically Florida does not seem to produce offensive tackles, especially considering the number of D-I kids that are in the state each year, and this year is no different."

New prospects in the postseason Rivals.com Florida top 100 include Winter Springs running back Al-Terek McBurse, Pahokee cornerback Jarvis Byrd, Pahokee running back Vincent Smith, Jacksonville Terry Parker linebacker Sam Barrington, Tampa Jesuit wide receiver Erick McGriff, Pahokee linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, Hallandale Beach running back Korvic Neat, Tampa Hillsborough running back Lindsey Lamar, Miami Northwestern wide receiver Wayne Times and Naples running back Greg Pratt and Pompano Beach defensive end Antwon Higgs.

Florida State leads the way with 13 players committed on the Florida top 100, followed by Miami (10), Florida (nine) and USF (seven). Twenty out-of-state programs received commitments from members of the Florida top 100. Michigan had the most with five, while South Carolina had four.

Wrapping up postseason state rankings

The Minnesota top 10 didn't feature too many changes as the top three players receiver Bryce McNeal, quarterback Moses Alipate, and tight end Ra'shede Hageman all remained where they were ranked in the preseason ranking. Matt Garin, a defensive end from Apple Valley (Minn.) Eastview moves up from No. 6 to No. 4 overall, and Corey Frazier, a cornerback from Eden Prairie, Minn., moves into the top 10 at No. 10.

The Washington top 15 list features Deandre Coleman at No. 1. The two-way lineman excelled as a senior, and was impressive at the U.S. Army All-America game. Moving up to the No. 2 spot was Gino Simone, an athlete that could project on either side of the football. Grant Enger, Nolan Washington and Jamal Atofau round out the top five.

Nick Kasa of Broomfield (Colo.) Legacy goes wire-to-wire as the top player in Colorado. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound four-star defensive end takes home the top spot in the Colorado postseason top 20. It's the same spot he held in the preseason rankings. Also staying at No. 2 was Parker (Colo.) Chaparral offensive tackle Jack Harris. Both Harris and Kasa are Colorado commitments. Moving up to No. 3 is Matthew Tucker, a do-it-all athlete from Aurora (Colo.) Grandview. Tucker has been committed to Arizona State for quite some time and he could project at a number of different positions.

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