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July 31, 2009

Ga., Ohio and N.C. state rankings released

Preseason State Rankings:

When it comes to the Peach State you could make a case for a half-dozen players as to who really is the state's top prospect. Wide receivers Da'Rick Rogers and Markeith Ambles, defensive linemen T.J. Stripling and Garrison Smith, safety Alec Ogletree, and running back Mack Brown are all special talents. So who got the nod in the Rivals.com top 100 for Georgia as the state's No. 1 prospect?

It's Calhoun's Da'Rick Rogers.

"Da'Rick really has everything you could ask for out of a receiver from a physical standpoint," said Rivals.com analyst Barton Simmons. "He's tall, extremely strong and muscular and he has rare speed, even at his size. If the ball is in the air, his explosiveness off of the ground combined with his strength puts defensive backs in a helpless position. He's just a major mismatch on a number of levels."

Rounding out the top five are Stripling from SW Dekalb, Ogletree from Newnan, Ambles from Henry County and Smith from Atlanta. If you look at the state by position, defensive linemen dominate the list, especially at the top, where eight find themselves among the top 28.

"All the serious talent is along the defensive line with Jalen Fields, T.J. Stripling, Garrison Smith, Neiron Ball, Denzel McCoy, Mike Thornton, Jeffrey Whitaker and others," said Barry Every, national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "They also have some high profile receivers in Rogers, Tai-ler Jones, and Markeith Ambles in a state that historically does not produce many long term talented wideouts. I would say the state as overall talent is par for the course. But what's exciting is all the schools from all over the country finally realize how talented a state that Georgia is."

Georgia has committed five of the top seven while all nine of Georgia Tech's commitment made the Georgia top 100. Vanderbilt has nine commitments from the state of Georgia, with seven making this list. Alabama and Auburn both have five commitments from the 100 while Stanford has four. 19 college football programs in all have commitments in the Georgia Top 100.

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Linebacker Jordan Hicks (No. 1) and safety Latwan Anderson (No. 2) find themselves atop the Ohio preseason top 50, but it's the big fellas across the offensive front that are getting so much attention in the Buckeye State.

"Ohio is loaded with offensive tackles," Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst Greg Ladky said. "More specifically, tackles that can run-block and excel in pass-protection; a combination that is getting harder to find with the proliferation of the spread offense across the nation. Andrew Norwell is Ohio's best offensive lineman. He turns back the clock with superior run blocking skills, a mean attitude until the whistle blows, and plenty of athleticism too. Fellow four-star prospects Matt James and Andrew Donnal are well-rounded tackles as well. Don't be surprised if three-star prospects Skyler Schofner and Kevin Schloemer also join the four-star pool later this year."

The talented trio of Greensboro (N.C.) Page DE Gabe King, Greensboro (N.C.) Northern Guilford athlete Keenan Allen and Hillsborough (N.C.) Cedar Ridge OT Robert Crisp begin the season at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively in the Tar Heel State.

Prospects from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming combine to make the Rocky Mountain States Top 7, led by Helena (Mont.) Capital athlete Matt Miller.

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