Scout names its Top 15 prospects in the South regardless of class

May 13 -- Who are the best of the best in the South regardless of class? Here are Scout's top 15 that features prospects in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 classes, including a few UCLA targets...

Rankings are fluid as new names emerge, prospects are seen live, and new tape is evaluated.

Less than a decade ago, it was basically one class at a time.  Then it became two, next it was three, and now select football prospects in middle school have received scholarship offers.

Recruiting analysts are now evaluating all high school prospects and rankings are coming out earlier and earlier.  When looking at the best in the South, this feature throws out class, and just simply ranks the top 15 prospects as of right now.

1.  Trevor Lawrence, 2018 QB, Cartersville (Ga.)

Lawrence is a premiere prospect and he has a great shot at starting No. 1 in the country when Scout ranks the 2018 class later this summer.  He has everything you look for in a quarterback and his top schools are ClemsonFloridaGeorgiaOklahoma, and Tennessee.  He could make a decision this summer.

2.  Dylan Moses, 2017 ATH, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

Moses is from Louisiana, but will play his senior season in Florida.  He is a one-time LSU commitment.  He named AlabamaTexasUCLA and USC along with LSU his top five schools earlier this spring.  Moses has shined on both sides of the ball all his life, but he is all defense in college.

3.  DeAngelo Gibbs, 2017 ATH, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Gibbs is a natural athlete who does so many things at a high level.  He is most comfortable at wide receiver now, but he is a defensive back in college.  He keeps things close to the vest when talking recruiting, but Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee are some of the schools in the mix.  He does not plan to commit until late in the process, after he takes his official visits.

4.  Stanford Samuels III, 2017 CB, Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan

Samuels has everything you want in a shutdown cornerback.  He may actually be a little low on this list at No. 4.  He is a Florida State legacy, so the Seminoles are considered the leader.  Clemson, Georgia and Michigan are also schools still under consideration.

5.  Tedarrell Slaton, 2017 OG, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage 

Slaton can be dominant in the trenches.  He is extremely powerful and he really knows how to control the man in front of him.  He looks like an NFL interior lineman now.  Clemson is the school he named as his leader recently.  Alabama, Florida State, Michigan and many others are still in this race.

6.  Devonta Smith, 2017 WR, Amite (La.)

Smith is as smooth as they come.  He is still a little light, but he will add weight and strength over time.  He is explosive and he makes play after play look easy.  He is being compared to Odell Beckham being in the state of Louisiana.  Smith is a former Georgia commit, but Alabama is considered the team to beat now.  

7.  Tyreke Johnson, 2018 CB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian

Johnson has been a recruit known throughout the south since eighth grade.  He has size you cannot coach, he is smooth in transition, and he is capable of being a big-time cornerback or safety on the next level.  He really likes StanfordUCLA and USC out west, and schools like Alabama, Florida and LSU closer to home.  

8.  Cam Akers, 2017 RB, Clinton (Miss.)

Akers plays quarterback in high school because the ball needs to be in his hands.  He can throw, but his home with be at running back.  He has a great blend of power, speed, and elusiveness out of the backfield.  Akers was a one-time Alabama commit and the Crimson Tide is still in this, but Georgia, MississippiOhio State and Tennessee are likely higher on his list.

9.  VanDarius Cowan, 2017 LB, Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.)

Cowan is a two-time Florida State commit, but he is now committed to Alabama.  Cowan is an elite linebacker who can run, hit and rush the passer.  The biggest surprise when watching Cowan live this spring is how he moves in space and runs with running backs at his size.  He has NFL written all over him.

10.  Zamir White, 2018 RB, Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland

White has been a workhorse for Scotland the last two seasons.  He plays like a veteran and has handled the national attention as well as anyone.  He is a strong, durable back being compared to former Georgia star, NFL Rookie of the Year, Todd Gurley.  White has spent a lot of time on the road this spring and schools like Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and LSU.  He is not planning to make a decision too early.

11.  Xavier Thomas, 2018 DE, Florence (S.C.) Wilson

Thomas is a freak off the edge and he is a nightmare for opposing offensive tackles.  If he does not win the battle with speed, then he can work inside moves and use power to get to the quarterback.  His top four schools are Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State and Tennessee.

12.  Owen Pappoe, 2019 LB, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Pappoe is only a freshman right now, but he is not your normal freshman.  He is an elite athlete who started at Grayson, one of the top high school programs in the South last fall.  He has great size for his age, he shows awareness on the field, he can run, and the scary thing is, he is still going to get so much better.  Keep an eye on Tennessee early, but he is still eyeing plenty of schools including Florida State and Georgia to name a couple.

13.  Calvin Ashley, 2017 OT, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips

Ashley has been a prospect high on Scout's board since he was a freshman.  He is the lowest five star in 2017 out of the South, so he has a lot of eyes on him this summer and fall.  He has very good size, he is a good bender and he has flashed good feet.  He is currently committed to Auburn.

14.  Jake Fromm, 2017 QB, Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County

Fromm just continues to impress.  He is a 2017 quarterback in the five star discussion.  The Georgia commit was the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015.  He has a lightening quick release, a very live arm, and he is a natural leader.

15.  Patrick Surtain, 2018 CB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage

Surtain is a real contender for a five star ranking when Scout ranks the 2018 class in the coming months.  He is impressive on the hoof, he knows the game, he has great range, and you cannot teach his instincts.  He knows the game inside and out.  It is early, but Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and LSU are his top schools.


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