South Hot 100

With 1/3 of all Division One prospects that make up what calls the South, the South Hot 100 is always loaded with star players. But each year there are different strengths, and different states ebb and flow with the depth of talent. This year is the year of the offensive lineman, and we see two states that had been down for consecutive years make a strong comeback.

Click South Hot 100 for Full List

The Class of 2005 was deep with linebackers. The Class of 2004 was chock full of quarterbacks. The Class of 2006 without question is the year of the offensive lineman. With the #1 prospect from four different states in the South being an offensive lineman, it is a good year to be in need of the big man. 

In addition to offensive linemen, Alabama and Mississippi are having much better years from top to bottom than the previous two classes, and they add a lot of depth to a very talented South Hot 100

With so many players to choose from in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, the South Hot 100 is as deep of a regional 100 list as can be made, but it also means that dozens of deserving players get left off of the list. This is a first look at's South Hot 100.

Click South Hot 100 for Full List

Headlining the class this year are two offensive lineman. Andre Smith of Huffman High School in Birmingham is a college ready earth mover. He has the best

Andre Smith

combination of size, strength, technique, work ethic, drive, and attitude that I've seen in an offensive lineman in four years. At 6-4 and 300 pounds, Smith has the size of a guard, but he has the quickness and agility of an offensive tackle.

Sam Young of St. Thomas Acquinas is the top pure offensive tackle prospect in the south. At 6-7 he plays with outstanding leverage and moves his feet like a much smaller man. He has very strong hands and once he locks up on an opponent, it's all over.

After such a deep year of quarterbacks in the Class of 2004, it was inevitable that there would be a gap between the sheer number of talented signal callers. After a year to regroup, the Class of 2006 has several top notch signal callers. 

The best of the bunch is Springdale's Mitch Mustain. Mustain has all the tools. He can throw the deep out with power. He can throw a fade with touch. He has the armstrength to get the ball where he needs it and the touch to make sure it can be caught. He has excellent mobility inside and outside of the pocket. 

Tim Tebow of Nease High School is another quarterback in the South that can get it done a lot of ways. Tebow has a huge arm on a huge frame. If he didn't have such a 

Tim Tebow

good arm, people would be all over him as an athlete. He is strong, and he plays without fear. That is the type of confidence that inspires teammates and wins championships.

The marquee position in the south for years has been the tailback spot. There are dozens of players worthy of mention for the top spots in the south, but two have risen to the top.

C.J. Spiller of Union County High School is the total package. He is one of the fastest players in the country clocking consecutive sub 4.4's at Camps as a sophomore and a junior, but speed is only part of the equation. Spiller runs strong. He plays unselfishly and actually lines up at fullback from time to time. He is a terrific blocker and has good hands out of the backfield. He's a weapon on the edge

C.J. Spiller

and up the middle.

Cordera Eason of Meridian is a huge running back that checks in at over 230 pounds, but he moves extremely well clocking in the 4.6 range at different camps. He has natural balance and power, and more than enough speed to break the long runs. Spiller and Eason make a true thunder and lightning combination.

Having Florida and Louisiana in the South means the South Hot 100 is never hurting for wide receivers, but this year is a little different. The Players are still talented, but the question about the position remains.

Jamar Hornsby of Sandalwood High School is one of the very best players in the South. Does he line up at receiver? Does he line up at Safety? He can be a star on either side of the ball, and right now, it looks like he's going to be a wide receiver in 

Jamar Hornsby

college. So for the South Hot 100, he's the #1 receiver. By the way, he'd be the #1 safety too.

Tim Hawthorne of Homewood High School bring some Alabama flavor to the top of the wide receiver chart. He is a big target at 6-2, and he is extremely polished. Despite a ton of offers already, Hawthorne is never turning down a chance to compete. He uses his body extremely well, runs great routes, and doesn't miss the ball. Hawthorne is a true wide receiver with the physical ability to make an early impact on the next level.

The tight end position had seemed to be a dying breed the past several years until players like Tommy Trott, Gabe McKenzie, Jeff Cottam, and Michael Johnson breathed new life into the position last year. This year there are several players picking up where they left off.

Lee Smith of Powell High School has all of the ability to be a great player at several positions. He is a tremendous blocker and an extremely effective receiver. He knows how to get open, and like most big men should, he makes the smaller defensive backs pay in the backfield once he has gotten his hands on the ball.

Caz Piurowski of Land O' Lakes High School is a huge target at 6-7 with outstanding hands. He doesn't miss anything thrown his way and will be a dangerous target on the next level. He will become a quarterback's best friend on the next level. He's easy to

Caz Piurowski

 see, and he fights for every ball and wins most of them.

Coaches say the best athletes are on defense, and it's hard to argue with them looking up and down the rosters at all levels of football. It would be hard to argue with anyone with one look at Micah Johnson of Fort Campbell.

Johnson is a freak of nature at 6-2 and pushing 280 pounds. He plays middle linebacker and running back for his team, and he wouldn't look out of place doing either on the college level. But the hardest position to find players for every year is the defensive tackle spot. Johnson has the size now to make an impact on the line of 

Micah Johnson

scrimmage, and he has the potential to be just plain scary on the college level. He's already scary on Friday nights.

Bart Eddins of Trinity Presbyterian is a defensive tackle in every sense of the word. He's big, strong, and nasty. Teammate Tommy Trott was the #1 prospect in the state of Alabama last year, and he may not have been the best prospect on his own team. Eddins plays with great strength, quickness, and leverage. He has that little extra something in the game that separates him from other talented athletes, and he expects to make plays. He almost always does.

Two years ago the top defensive end in the country was Charles Johnson of Hawkinsville High School. This year the state of Georgia has produced his clone.

Brandon Wood

 Brandon Wood of Haralson County High School measures equally in almost every category, and like Johnson, Wood does a little bit of everything for his team. Wood stars at running back and defensive end for his team, but it's at the end position that he will make his impact on the college level.

Another Peach State standout bookends Johnson on the college level. Jermaine Cunningham of Stephenson High School has a non-stop motor and quickness to beat linemen off the line. He is strong enough take on blockers at the point of attack, and he is quick enough to make life miserable in the offensive backfield for the opponent.

Fast, hard hitting linebackers have become a staple of the deep south, and this year is no different. Marcus Ball of Stephenson High School has been a star for the Jaguars 

Marcus Ball

since he was a sophomore in high school. At 6-0 and over 200 pounds, Ball has the instincts, physical ability, and attitude that coaches love having on the field.

Derrick Odom of Callaway High School is one of the most physically gifted prospects in the south. At 6-2 and 225 pounds, Odom has the size and speed to play inside or outside on the college level. College coaches will just be trying to sign him and figure out where to play him later.

D'Vontrey Richardson of Lee County High School could have made this list at any one of several positions. He is a quarterback by trade, but he is also an outstanding athlete. He has a huge frame and runs extremely well. If he doesn't play quarterback, he can start at safety, wide receiver, or even linebacker. Because we have to pick

D'Vontrey Richardson

 one position right now, we're placing him at safety, but don't be surprised to see this talented athlete standout at another position as well.

Allen Walker of Olive Branch is part of one of the most talent laden teams in the south. Like most terrific high school players, Walker could also star at several positions on the college level, but with the way he likes to hit people, he's a natural strong safety. He is a playmaker and a difference maker from the defensive backfield.

Corners can be the hardest position to scout for several reasons. First, the best corners on the next level usually play a different position in high school. Even if the prospect is playing corner, the best ones don't get tested during the games, and it's likely his teammate on the other side of the ball is getting all of the action.

The top cornerback prospect in the South for the Class of 2006 fits the above mold perfectly. Jai Eugene of Destrehan is a quarterback by trade, but he will move to a different position on the college level. He has the skill with the ball in his hands to 

Jai Eugene

play wide receiver, but at 5-11, he's worth his weight in gold at the corner position.

Ryan Hill of Rickards High School could be the best of what is another talented crop of defensive backs in the state of Florida this year. Hill is an instinctive player that knows when to lock up his man and when to break off his coverage to assist a teammate. He runs well and hits hard.

The South Hot 100 will evolve as players keep emerge, develop, and progress as the summer camp season and football season rolls along, but this is a first look at some of the very best players in the South and in the entire country.

Click South Hot 100 for Full List

Fightin Gators Top Stories