With the release of the Top Ten for 2016 on Wednesday and the Scout 100 on Thursday, the Scout 300 released today for the class of 2016.
And if there is a theme in 2016, its at receiver, with 62 receivers in the Scout 300.
As usual, the South is the strength of the Scout 300, with 108 players from the region in the 2.0 release.
"The depth in the trenches is what stands out the most about this class early on in the South," said national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons. "So many top defensive and offensive linemen are in the Scout 300. On the defensive line, 25 prospects that project to play with their hand in the dirt are on this list. On the other side, a dozen offensive linemen are now Scout 300 prospects. It is a strong year at these positions."
But it's not just on the offensive line the South is strong.
"How about wide receivers," Simmons said. "There are always playmakers in the South and 2016 is no different. Just under two dozen (23) made the Scout 300 and six different states are represented."
The other side of the ball has its strenghts too from the South.
"Overall, the 2016 class looks to be very strong with a good blend of athletes and linemen. When examining early on, defense is what sticks out. The defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back positions all are strong, deep, and impressive," said Simmons.
The Midlands comes in with 65 players in the Scout 300.
“This year the most talented position may be wide receiver as the region boasts double digit players in the 300 and they are all quite different," said national recruiting analyst Greg Powers. "Many top rated guys will grab attention and headlines, but expect people to sleep on guys like TCU commit Courtney Lark and Texas A&M commit Tyrie Cleveland. Defensive end is also having a bounce back after a down year in the region in 2014.”
Kansas has a couple of players in it this year too.
“No one from Kansas made the Scout 300 in 2014, but two players in the 2015 year have already been rated high and they are battling it out to be the No. player in the state. Defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe is a freak of nature who moves well at 6-foot-4, 266 pounds and safety Isaiah Simmons is also a physical specimen in his own right at 6-foot-3, 200,” said Powers.
The West, which has 53 players, is also deep at receiver.
"The 2015 class out West was known as 'The Year of the QB,' because of the incredible depth and talent at the top of the board. 2016 will be known as "The Year of the WR,' as there as many as 10 pass catchers who have legitimate top 100 talent," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins.
Who holds on to the top receiver spot is going to be debated for the next year.
"The battle at the top of the board is fierce led by La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat's Tyler Vaughns and Corona (Calif.) Centennials's Javon McKinley. Vaughns is a silky smooth receiver with soft hands and tremendous body control. McKinley is a big, physical kid who can use his size to create separation and has the speed to run away from a defense. Not far behind those two are several other players who could wind up No. 1 on our board by the end of the summer. Long Beach Poly's (Calif.) Jack Jones is a quick, explosive slot receiver who can take a little five yard hitch, makes 2-3 players miss and take it to the house," said Biggins.
And there are plenty more to choose from.
"Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita's Dylan Crawford, a St. Francis transfer, has a solid frame, runs well, is a high level athlete and one of the most polished, college ready receivers in this group," said Biggins. "Westlake's (Calif.) Theo Howard is similar to Crawford in that he does everything well. He has an athletic body, can get deep, runs well after the catch, is a natural pass catcher and shows the polish of a player who should be able to step in and play early in college."
One of the best two-way players in the West, a region that has had plenty the past couple of years like Adoree Jackson, Myles Jack and Shaq Thompson, is Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Michael Pittman.
"The wildcard in the mix here is Pittman," said Biggins. "He is a huge kid at 6-4, 210 pounds and is a high level athlete. He's not nearly as polished as the other receivers in this group but might be the best overall football player. His upside might be highest as a defensive player as he has shown to be physical, head hunter at safety and he could easily grow in to a outside linebacker in college."
The Midwest has 39 players in the Scout 300.
"The highest entry into the 300 was running back Chris Davis, an Indianapolis native who has outstanding athleticism and ability to catch the ball. Others who moved in include defensive end Khalid Kareem and Detroit Cass Tech's fast-rising safety Demetric Vance," said national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu.
The East rounds up the Scout 300 with 35 players, and it too is heavy on receivers.
"It is a big year in the East for receivers as eight of the top 40 players in the region play the position, and many of them have nice size," said national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn.
Getting the ball to the receivers is important, and the East has two bigtime passers.