When he was named the first freshman five-star in April of 2014, Dylan Moses immediately shot to the top of the 2017 class.
So with Scout's release today of the first Scout 100 for 2017, it is not a surprise to see Moses atop that list.
The LSU commit, who goes to school less than a mile from Tiger Stadium at Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab, leads the way in the Scout 100, and it's all SEC West at the top.
Following Moses at No. 2 is Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips offensive tackle Calvin Ashley.
And while Moses has the edge now, with 19 months to go until Signing Day 2017, it could be a battle between Moses and Ashley.
"Dylan Moses is at the top and that likely is not a surprise nationally," said national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons. "Dylan has been on the national scene since middle school and he has not disappointed on the high school level. This race is far from over though. Calvin Ashley is an elite offensive tackle out of Orlando and not only is he ranked No. 2 in the south, but nationally as well. Both will be at The Opening Finals next week, so this race is on."
“Harris is the top overall prospect in the West and the top back in the country," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. "He has a rare combination of size, speed, hands and power and can run away from a defender as well.” At No. 4 is Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge athlete DeAngelo Gibbs and another athlete, Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River's Devon Hunter comes in at No. 5.
The top-ranked receiver is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas' Trevon Grimes, who comes in at No. 7 overall.
Rounding out the top ten is Essex (Md.) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel defensive end Joshua Kaindoh.
While Moses is ranked No. 1 at athlete and overall, he's a running back by trade, and that's the South's strongest position.
"In 2016, it is loaded at the top with interior defensive linemen, but the strongest position in 2017 is on the other side of the ball at running back," said Simmons. "Five of the top 81 prospects in the country are running backs out of the south led by Cordarrion Richardson out of Memphis (Tenn.) Trezevant. All but one of the top five backs is over 200 pounds, so the bigger, more physical backs are at the top this cycle. You could even add two others to this conversation - Dylan Moses who could play running back or linebacker at LSU and Alaric Williams is No. 82 overall and he shines at running back in high school, but is currently ranked as an athlete. It is a very strong year in the south at running back."
The Midlands is home to the nation's top quarterback in Shawn Robinson, and it's a strong group of passers from the region.
"The Big 12 has loaded up early on top quarterbacks in the 2017 cycle as three of the top eight in the Scout Top 100 have already made commitments to the conference," said national recruiting analyst Greg Powers. "Robinson will play at TCU. Chris Robison will play at Oklahoma. And Kellen Mond will play at Baylor. Look for these classes to bulk up on offensive talents as skill position and offensive linemen tend to gravitate to classes with upper echelon throwers. "
And there are more top rated prospects from the Midlands.
"Despite only having one current five-star rated prospect the region is stuffed with talent boasting the No. 1 rated inside linebacker (Anthony Hines), the No. 1 rated outside linebacker, the No. 1 rated safety (Jeffery Okudah), the No. 1 rated tight end (Brock Wright), the No. 1 rated outside linebacker (Baron Browning) and the No. 1 rated center (Jack Anderson) in the early going," said Powers.
It isn't a deep year in the Midwest in 2017, but there may be more talent at the top compared to 2016.
"I feel the 2016 class is currently deeper than the 2017 class appears to be, but 2017 is stronger at the top," said national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu. "When you look at Josh Myers, A.J. Epenesa, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Hunter Johnson and Jeff Thomas, that's as good a top five as we've had in the Midwest in a couple years I think, and there are skill guys in there. Usually the Midwest is lineman heavy, but there are some great skill talents in this year's class as well."
The East is home to a good stable of running backs in the 2017 class.
"There are strong running backs in the East when it comes to the Top 100," said national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn. "D'Andre Swift and Anthony McFarland, both of whom can be physical between the tackles and also get to the outside, are neck-and-neck for the top runner in the region. Meanwhile, Khalan Laborn is a thick runner who is hard to bring down on first contact, and is also in the conversation for the top running back in the region."
But the talent isn't exclusively at running back in the East.
"The top-end talent in the region is also spread out, via location and position," said Dohn. "Six states and the District of Columbia are represented in the East's members of the Top 100, and it also includes an athlete, a defensive end, cornerbacks, running backs, offensive tackles, a defensive tackle, an inside linebacker, outside linebackers and a guard."
The quarterbacks at the top out West are much stronger in 2017 than in 2016, though not quite at the 2015 level. But it is still a very good group.
"Quarterback is the strongest offensive group out West for the 2017 class," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. "Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman’s Tate Martell, currently the No. 13 prospect nationally, headlines this group but Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian’s Dylan McCaffrey at No. 41 and Chandler (Ariz.) Basha’s Ryan Kelley at No. 73 aren’t far behind. There’s also a few other 4-star signal callers outside the Scout 100 that we think could make big jumps this coming season."
On defense, the West is pretty stacked at cornerback.
"Newbury Park’s (Calif.) Darnay Holmes headlines a strong crop of corners that also includes Rancho Cucamonga’s (Calif.) Thomas Graham, rated No. 27 nationally, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian’s Deommodore Lenoir, No. 57 nationally and Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman’s Alex Perry, No. 77 nationally."
Bishop Gorman finished No. 2 in Scout's HS Top 50 last fall, with a sophomore-laden roster, Martell leading them to an unbeaten season.
In the Scout 100, the strongest position group is offensive tackle, with 14 players in the 100, with a dozen receivers and running backs. The biggest defensive positional unit is cornerback, with 11 players in the 100.
The full Scout 300 for 2017 will release on Wednesday, July 1.