When the updated Scout 300 for 2017 was released after Signing Day last year, Antioch (Calif.) running back Najee Harris moved into the top spot.
A year later, in the Final Scout 300 for 2017, Harris remains at the top.
The gap closed since then, but at the end of the day, the future Alabama running back sits atop the final Scout rankings, becoming Nick Saban's first-ever No. 1 ranked prospect on Scout at Alabama.
Finishing at No. 2, thanks to a large body of work that including U.S. Army National Lineman of the Year honors, The Opening OL MVP, a start in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and great senior film is Graham (Wash.) Kapowsin offensive tackle Foster Sarell, who committed to Stanford in San Antonio.
The biggest jump into the top ten belongs to Fort Worth (Texas) Episcopal offensive tackle Walker Little. The five-star comes in at No. 4 and gives Stanford a pair of top five offensive tackles in this class.
Up two spots to No. 5 in the final rankings is Redlands (Calif.) East Valley defensive end Jaelan Phillips. The No. 1 defensive end in the country, the UCLA verbal was named the U.S. Army National Defensive Player of the Year.
Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River safety Devon Hunter, the top prospect in the East since the beginning, ranks No. 7 overall and sits atop the safety rankings. Hunter is still considering Alabama, Auburn, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Rounding out the top ten is Fort Worth (Texas) Episcopal defensive tackle Marvin Wilson. The No. 1 defensive tackle in the country, Wilson joins Little as the second player from his team to be in the top ten.
A Look Around the Country at the Final Scout 300:
The top player in the South is Clinton (Miss.) running back Cam Akers. The five-star did it all throughout his high school career. He was an All-American, he graduated early, he won a state title and he ends up the No. 1 prospect in the South. Akers had over 3,100 yards passing and over 2,100 yards rushing his senior season with a total of 65 touchdowns. He is going to be a star at Florida State. Out Dalvin Cook, in Cam Akers. He is the total package on and off the field, and it would be no surprise to see him in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist in the coming years.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy defensive end Joshua Kaindoh did not have to move too far to get inside the top 50, but after one day on the practice field at Under Armour All-America game week, he was on his way up. The Florida State Seminole not only moved into the to 50, but into the top 20. In the final ranks, Kaindoh went from No. 53 to No. 19.
Malik Willis has already left Roswell (Ga.) and moved to Auburn to play for the the Tigers. He is a dynamic athlete who really improved as a quarterback and helped his team reach the state championship game in December. Willis is a dual-threat quarterback who finished with over 3,500 yards of total offense and 37 touchdowns in 2016. He could be a star in Gus Malzahn's offense at Auburn.
Oklahoma commit Jacob Phillips made his move into the Scout 300 late in the spring, then after evaluating him as a senior, the linebacker out of Nashville (Tenn.) East has moved into the Scout 100. Phillips is a 6-3, 223 pound inside linebacker who can really come down hill and make plays. He is very strong at the point of attack and he is now Scout's No. 2 inside linebacker in the South. The Sooners are watching this one closely because LSU has come on here and the Tigers will host Phillips on an official visit this weekend.
Jacoby Stevens made a couple of move in the final rankings. Not only did the star out of Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland moves to safety from athlete, but he also went from four stars to five stars. He looks like an NFL player right now physically, and he is such a mature and intelligent young man. The LSU commit will make an early impact in Baton Rouge (La.) and he is one who could spend just three years in college before heading for the NFL. He is the complete package at safety with the ability move around in the secondary and never leave the field.
Ameer Speed passes the eye test, and his senior film looked just as good. Scout saw speed live and on tape, and he was already a borderline Scout 300 prospect, but after re-evaluating him after his senior season, he has made the move up the rankings and into the Scout 300. Speed is a 6-3, close to 200 pound corner that is tough at the line of scrimmage and he is very good on the perimeter as a tackler. Georgia, North Carolina and Oregon get official visits in January and he will decide between those three, Michigan State and Virginia Tech on signing day.
Mississippi State may have landed their next star quarterback in this class. New Orleans (La.) Landry Walker's Keytaon Thompson led his team to state championship as a senior and he is a true dual-threat quarterback with real upside as he develops his game more as a passer. At 6-4, 206, he is athletic with a good arm and a great feel for the game. Thompson has played hurt, he has stepped up in big games and he is a winner. Thompson moved into the Scout 300 and he is now the South's No. 5 quarterback.
Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River's Devon Hunter is the top player in the East, and the five-star safety held that position virtually throughout the rankings process. As he prepares for his decision this weekend -- Alabama, Auburn, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are involved -- the schools recruiting him with fervor continues. He is a safety with tremendous ball skills, an ability to cover and a willingness to be physical in the running game. He runs extremely well, and he could be a receiver in college as well, although his speed in the secondary is what elite programs desire.
Ohio State defensive end commit Chase Young of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha made a huge jump. He was a five-star since early in his junior season, but was the No. 28 prospect in the nation at the conclusion of the season. However, with his combination of speed, burst, balance, hands and all-around ability to rush the passer and the development of his run-stopping ability, Young made a push up the rankings.
Notre Dame commit C.J. Holmes, an athlete who will start his career as a running back with the Irish, was the No. 204 prospect and now is pushing the Top 150. The Cheshire (Conn.) Academy standout, who is already enrolled, is showed great patience and burst running between the tackles during an in-person evaluation. He displayed good vision and quick feet, and while he has the ability to play safety in college, running back seems like a very good fit as well.
The top of the Midwest board stayed relatively unchanged as the top prospects in the region held serve at their respective all-star games.
The top two prospects in the Midlands region happen to be from the same high school in OT Walker Little and DT Marvin Wilson from Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal and they also both happen to be in the Top 10 nationally.
Little checks in as the No. 2 OT nationally and has a high upside.
He is a young senior and at 6-foot-8, 305 pounds he has the look of a potential first rounder.
Wilson checks in as the No. 1 DT prospect nationally.
He is a warrior at the point of attack and any challenging his ranking should check out his senior film.”
This is the first time I can recall two players from the same Texas-based high school ever finishing No. 1 and No. 2 in the regional rankings.
The West has three of the top five players in the country, with No. 1 Najee Harris, No. 2 Foster Sarell and No. 5 Jaelan Phillips. Add in No. 8 overall prospect Stephen Carr, plus two other five-stars ranked No. 1 at their positions in guard Wyatt Davis and Darnay Holmes at corner, it might be the most talented top-end crop of prospects the West has produced in some time.
And now there is one more new five-star to add to the mix.
South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive tackle Jay Tufele has shined at every event, from The Opening Finals to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and despite a long legacy of stellar prospects from Bingham, he becomes the first five-star ever from the school. He's the No. 1 defensive tackle in the West and the No. 3 tackle prospect nationally.
Another big mover into the Scout 100 is Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian athlete Deommodore Lenoir, up nearly 30 spots in the overall rankings. Though ranked as a corner, he could play safety, wide receiver and even some running back in college. He had a tremendous senior year and a very impressive showing at the during the Army All-American practices and game. Oregon, where he was once committed, is in a good place Nebraska, UCLA and USC.
The newest member of the Scout 300 from the West is Provo (Utah) receiver Ty Jones. Coming off a big senior season, Jones went to San Antonio and shined over several other more touted receivers and makes his debut in the final rankings, coming in at No. 205 overall and the No. 5 receiver in the West (and No. 29 nationally).
Notes and Numbers:
- The most stacked offensive position in the Scout 300 is at receiver, where 45 receivers make the final list, but only three five-stars. Next is offensive tackle, with 29, including three of the top ten prospects in the country in Little, Sarell and Leatherwood.
- Defensively, the most loaded position is defensive end, with 31 pass-rushers including five-stars Phillips, Kaindoh, Epenesa, Young and Chaisson. Right behind them is cornerback, with 29 in the Scout 300 including a quartet of five-stars in Darnay Holmes, Jeffrey Okudah, Lamont Wade and Stanford Samuels III.
- Regionally, the South has the most members of the Scout 300 with 123 prospects. The Midlands and West each have 55 while the East has 37and the Midwest has 30 in the final rankings.
-The Big Three and One dominate the rankings as expected, with Texas having 46 players in the Scout 300, Florida with 39, California with 33 and Georgia with 31. The next tier includes Alabama with 15, 13 from Louisiana and 11 from Virginia.
National recruiting analysts Allen Trieu, Brian Dohn, Chad Simmons, Greg Biggins and Greg Powers contributed to this notebook.null