Scout Ranks to 1500

The Spring Evaluation period has come and gone for the Class of 2013, and the Scout recruiting team has updated its prospect rankings to include a whopping 1500 prospective student athletes.

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Scout's Prospect Rankings

QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C
DT | DE | MLB | OLB | S | CB | Scout 300

The Spring Evaluation period chock full of camps, combines, 7on7s, school visits and more is behind us, and Scout's team of scouts has been busy updating its college football prospect rankings to include a whopping 1500 prospects for the Class of 2013.

Quarterbacks on the Rebound

There may not be a signature theme for the Class of 2013 the way 2012 marked the year of the offensive tackle (list) and 2008 was the year of the receiver (list), but it may be the year that the quarterback is making a comeback.

The past several classes have been lean ones for pure pocket passers, with no true No. 1 quarterback since Matt Barkley came out of Mater Dei High School in California in the Class of 2009. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball scouts have been raving about the quality of big time arms in the last two drafts chock full of high school pitchers. 

It's not a huge leap to connect the dots and figure the lack of quarterbacks and the wealth of pitchers coming from the high school ranks are related. But the Class of 2013 is showing that the spread formations haven't killed off all pure passers and baseball hasn't taken all of the good arms.

It's not an exaggeration to say that the top seven quarterbacks -- led by Max Browne (6'5/215) of Skyline High School in Washington -- would have pushed for the No. 1 spot at quarterback in any of the previous three seasons. Browne is the top quarterback prospect since Barkley, and like the Heisman Trophy candidate, Brown committed to USC before his senior season.

The Class of 2013 has 29 quarterbacks in the Scout 300 while the Classes of 2012, 2011, and 2010 had 17, 18, and 19 respectively.

The Hoarders

Quarterbacks have been committing to schools before their senior seasons for years, and the Class of 2013 is no different. 21 of the top 23 quarterbacks in the nation have already made a public commitment.  What is different about the Class of 2013 is the number of running backs who have already made a decision. What's also interesting is that of the top running backs, they seem to be committing to schools in pairs (see table).

Team 1st RB 2nd RB
USC #1 Ty Isaac #3 Justin Davis 
Oklahoma #2 Keith Ford #8 Greg Bryant
Oregon #4 Thomas Tyner #11 Dontre Wilson
Ohio State #6 Jalin Marshall #10 Ezekiel Elliot
Alabama #12 Altee Tenpenny #16 Tyren Jones

The debate for top running back in the country is going to be a strong one. On paper, USC looks like the runaway winner with two of the top three prospects, but when teams are signing this caliber of talent in bunches, they're just as likely to end up with the best overall running back as the difference between No. 1 and No. 16 just isn't that wide.

Get ready, We're coming

The Class 2012 saw an unprecedented number of offensive linemen ranked in the Scout 300 with 49 players making the list, including an amazing 11 rated as five-stars. The Class of 2013 is bringing the defensive linemen, including the nation's No. 1 prospect, Robert Nkemdiche (6'4/270). All told there are 57 defensive linemen in the Scout 300, and it's particularly deep at defensive tackle with 31 players compared with just 20 last year.

An Early Start

With more information available than ever, the recruiting process is starting earlier and earlier every year. In previous years the evaluation and recruiting process didn't even truly begin until the summer camp season started and coaches got to see their recruits on campus in person. The summer camp season has yet to begin, but 500 ranked prospects have already made their announcement and more than half (162) of the Scout 300 has already committed.

Buyer Beware

With 16- and 17-year-old kids being pressured into making decisions before they're ready for fear of losing a spot to another player, the other continuing upward trend will be players decommitting as they get more informed about the process and have more time to make a decision.

A Never-Ending Process

Scout began ranking the Class of 2013 in September of 2011. Rankings continue to expand and get updated as more players are seen, and other players mature or fail to mature. While at times it can feel like the recruiting process is over by the summer, the Scouting process will continue right through the summer camp season, senior seasons, and all-star games before being finalized in January of 2013.

QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C
DT | DE | MLB | OLB | S | CB | Scout 300

Scott began with Scout as the Southeast Regional Manager in 2002. In addition to his recruiting responsibilities, Scott developed and ran the National Scout Combine series from 2005 thru 2008. Scott has been Director of Scouting since 2006 and oversees the Recruiting Rankings for Scout.
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