Moving up and Moving Down

The fallout from all-star games is always interesting to watch. A number of Irish players played in these games, and some probably performed better than most expected while some probably didn't. Will we see a big change in the rankings in the near future?

The week is over, the game is finished, and all the all-stars will be back in school starting today. Now the "re-evaluations" will begin. After a week of dissecting every flaw in all these prospects and their talent, we'll now see one of the last and final rankings of the season. Some will likely move up. Some will move down.

Unfortunately for some, they might move down and there's little reason for their ranking to fall. One problem with having so many ND recruits in this game is a good number of recruiting experts go into the week believing "there's no way Notre Dame should have this many players in these games." They're probably right in their thinking, but that notion automatically assumes at least a few are overrated, so automatically some guys are going to fall based on that thinking.

Again, I'm sure there were a guy or two who maybe didn't belong, but not all of them were committed to Notre Dame. There were kids committed to other schools who probably didn't belong as well.

What can we expect to see?

The first casualty might be Steve Filer. Filer has played in a 3-4 defense his entire high school career—the same type of defense he'll play in at Notre Dame. In the Army game, the East used a 4-3 defense and Filer, in his own words, said he struggled to adapt quickly to the new scheme.

Also not helping the four-star prospect was the overwhelming amount of talent at linebacker on the East squad. It's very easy to look somewhat average when playing next to Arthur Brown and Etienne Sabino—probably the two best linebackers in the country. Later on in the week we started to hear good things about Filer and he started making plays. There's no question the Chicago, Ill. native is a vastly talented linebacker, but don't be surprised if he drops a few spots in the national rankings when the new rankings come out. Should he fall? That's hard to say as he doesn't know this defense. He'll definitely still be a four-star player, but I wouldn't doubt he drops a few places once the rankings come out.

Kyle Rudolph also might slide a few spots. It seems ridiculous, and it is ridiculous. I doubt he slides in the Scout.com rankings, but he may in a few others. Why? Again, the East squad used the tight ends less than Lou Holtz used his when coaching at Notre Dame. Rudolph was rarely given the chance to show what he could do. The East just didn't throw to the tight end, so Rudolph spent a good part of the week working on his blocking. Again, I think he'll stay about the same in Scout rankings as I know many on Scout.com are very high on him, but don't be surprised to see him drop a bit elsewhere, and I don't think it would be justified if he did.

It's almost a given you'll see Deion Walker drop a bit. Why? Because he committed to Notre Dame. That's the old joke Irish fans have been saying for years. What really hurts Walker, and others like Jonas Gray and Jamoris Slaughter, is all were injured during the week and didn't get to play much to show what they can do.

Walker is the most at risk to fall because he's listed as a five-star guy on Scout, and a good number of wide receivers impressed this week at all three games. Walker is obviously very talented, but unfortunately others had the opportunity to move up while Walker was on the sidelines injured. I'd expect to see him fall a bit, but is it justified? I don't know because we didn't get to see what he could do most of the week. Others did show what they could do, thus it's easy to make that call.

Lane Clelland is another player who may drop a bit. Clelland played well at times, but as we've heard, he did struggle when playing against the bigger players. In Clelland's defense, he is a wrestler and there is a weight limit he has to stay under to wrestle, and he was injured and fought through the injury to continue playing. I think that wrestling season may have him a bit undersized and not quite as strong as he'd normally be. Yet, we did hear and see him struggle at times. Working in Clelland's favor is the fact that not many linemen did shine in the week leading up to the game, and he was injured a good part of the week, so he shouldn't drop far if he does at all.

The good news is a good number of players should be moving up after this week's performance.

Braxston Cave had an outstanding week of practice in the UnderArmour game followed by an outstanding performance in the game. Cave inexplicably dropped to a three-star from a four-star player earlier this year on Scout.com. Cave was on a mission to prove those doubters wrong and he certainly did that. I expect Cave to regain his fourth star, and to move up considerably into the Scout.com top 250.

Brandon Newman was another player who dropped to a three-star prospect on Scout.com's ranking system. Others also had him as a three-star player. Newman was one of the bigger surprises out of any game and showed a tenacity and toughness not many knew he had. I also expect to see Newman regain his fourth star and move into the top 250 in all rankings after an impressive week of practice.

Robert Blanton also had a good week of practice. He's a four-star prospect on Scout but ranked a little lower elsewhere. Blanton turned some heads this week with his physical play and his coverage skills. He's another player who may move up the charts a bit and regain a star in other rankings.

The guy who needs to move up is John Goodman. Goodman just won't get the credit he deserves because there's a great deal of talent at the wide receiver position this year. But Goodman showed this week he can play with anyone. He's has much more speed than many thought, and he has excellent lateral quickness to make people miss. He also caught a touchdown in the game, which should help his case when the powers that be start looking at his ranking. I expect him to move but can he crack the top 100?

It will be interesting to see what happens with four-star prospect Darius Fleming. On the first day of practice Fleming put on a show. He was the talk of practice with his speed, quickness, strength and tenacity and then he got injured. When healthy he looked like one of the top five players overall at the game, but a shoulder injury slowed him until late in the week. Will anyone remember his dominance the first day? Probably not…..sad, but probably true. He definitely belongs in anyone's top 100. It will be interesting to see if he moves up or not.

Michael Floyd also made a case for moving up. He's been a five-star recruit on Scout.com for awhile. Another site has him as a four-star player. But, I think Floyd showed he's definitely in the top 3-4 wide receivers in the country with an excellent week in practice, and two lengthy touchdowns in the Army game. The knock on Floyd was top end speed, but Floyd certainly showed he had the ability to get deep all week in practice and the game. Will Floyd move up to the top 50 players in the country? I think he showed he belonged in that group and deserves to be there.

My guess is the rest of the players practicing and playing in these games lived up to their billing. I don't see much movement with the rest of the players as they all played about as well as anyone would expect. We heard a lot of good things about all of these players throughout the week, and it's quite obvious the Irish are getting a huge influx of talent coming signing day. Hopefully those ranking these players will give them their just due when the rankings come out.


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