Ernie Sims is the nation's top prep prospect. Sims, from Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian High School, is the nation's top rated linebacker. He also may be the country's top running back. Sims, 5-11.5 and 225 pounds, has already visited Georgia and Florida. In January, he will visit FSU, Auburn and Miami. Both his father and brother played football at Florida State. His mother was an All-American track star for the Seminoles too. Common sense says Bobby Bowden and FSU will be tough to beat. But he and his father have consistently said that he is genuinely interested in the four others. Don't be surprised if he signs with someone other than Florida State. Sims had two great trips to Athens and Gainesville. This one is too close to call. Sims plans on announcing his decision on Signing Day.
Wide receiver Whitney Lewis checks in at number two in TheInsiders.com Hot 100. Lewis is from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure High School and this season he also played running back. Check out these senior year offensive numbers. Lewis rushed for 1,059 yards (almost 10 yards per carry) and scored 23 touchdowns. He also caught 65 passes for 1,235 yards and 16 scores. Not too shabby! Lewis, 6-1 and 210 pounds, favors Florida State. Lorenzo Booker, last year's top rated prospect and teammate of Lewis, signed with the Seminoles. Word is that his family would prefer that he stay close to home and sign with USC. Oregon, Miami and Texas are also fighting hard for his signature.
The #3 rated player in the country is Lamarr Woodley, a ferocious hitting defensive prospect from Saginaw, Michigan. He plays outside linebacker but projects as a defensive end. Woodley, 6-2 and 250 pounds, is cat quick and very aggressive. He has already visited Michigan, Oklahoma and Southern Cal. Michigan State and their new Head Coach, John. L. Smith could be a factor before it is all said and done.
Chris Leak is rated the fifth best prospect in the country and the number two rated quarterback. Leak, from Charlotte (N.C.) Independence High School, is scheduled to announce his decision at halftime of the All-American Bowl this Sunday. The five finalists are Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Texas and USC. Leak is not tipping his hat but Florida and Southern Cal appear to be in the best position. If he is not ready, he will postpone the announcement. Leak has won three straight state titles and has thrown for 15,593 yards and 185 TD passes.
Demetris Summers is the nation's top running back prospect and comes in at #6 overall. Summers, from Lexington, South Carolina, had a spectacular high school career, despite being a marked man on every down. Summers is leaning to South Carolina but he will also visit Florida in January. Clemson, FSU and Miami could become a factor before it is all said and done as well.
Wesley Jefferson is rated #7 overall in the country. This hard-hitting linebacker from Brandywine (Md.) Gwynn Park High School, has already visited Maryland and Miami. In January, he will visit Notre Dame and Ohio State. Jefferson says he may keep everyone guessing until Signing Day before he makes his decision.
JaMarcus Russell is the third quarterback in the National Top 10 (#8). Russell, from Mobile (Ala.) Williamson High School, has tremendous upside and a rocket launcher attached to his shoulder. He may have the strongest arm in the country. Russell, 6-6 and 210 pounds, is also very athletic and he finished his career as the all-time leading passer in Alabama High School football history. He told TheInsiders.com last week that LSU, FSU and Florida were his top three schools. Auburn and Tennessee may get official visits as well. Russell will make all of his official visits in January.
Like the quarterback position, there are three linebackers in the top 10. The third LB is Earl Everett (#9 overall) from Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter High School. Everett is quite an athlete. At South Sumter, he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker and safety. Nebraska likes him as an option quarterback. He visited the Cornhuskers in December and he will visit Florida, Miami and FSU in January. Look for this one to come down to the Gators and Canes.
That is where things stand right now with the nation's top ten prospects. Stay tuned because the next five weeks will be a wild roller coaster ride as we inch closer and closer to National Signing Day on February 5th.