Scout looks at the nation's Top 5 athlete in the 2017 class

June 28 -- Scout takes a look at the top five athletes in the 2017 national recruiting class, broken down by region. One of the five is a top UCLA target...

There are players who make you say "Wow" when you watch them move on the football field. Some are running backs, others are receivers or quarterbacks or linebackers or cornerbacks.

Scout takes a look at the top athlete in each region, and it does not mean the player is designated as an athlete as his projected position, but it could turn out to be the case.


Devon Hunter, the No. 4 prospect in the nation, can play a variety of positions but it is his speed, acceleration, change of direction and instincts that make him such a valuable athlete high on the board for nearly every major program in the nation. Defenisvely, his hips are loose and he can turn and run down the field with a receiver. As a receiver, he high-points the ball and demonstrates plus ball skills. From a physical standpoint with his size, speed and strength, he is unmatched i the East Region.

Recruiting Update: Hunter released a Top 11 Friday of AlabamaAuburnClemsonFloridaMarylandMichiganNorth CarolinaNotre DamePenn StateTennessee and Virginia Tech. He said he plans to visit Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee in the near future, but no dates are set.


The top athlete is the region is J.K. Dobbins, who is committed to Ohio State. The Top 100 athlete will get the first shot at running back in Columbus and the chances are very high it will be the position that suits him best. But his speed is such a weapon that he is the type of player who can be utilized in multifaceted ways. He can line up at receiver in third down situations and he could also be a threat on special teams. Look for him to be used at times in ways coach Urban Meyer used prospects like Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.

Recruiting Update: Committed and soild with Ohio State.


Detroit Cass Tech receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones won the NIKE Football+ Ratings Championship at The Opening last year as an underclassman, the only time that happened. He has sub-4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, exceptional leaping ability as exhibited by the viral clips of him jumping over classmates and dunking at assemblies. In terms of physical gifts and athleticism, there is no one that has more in the Midwest.

Recruiting Update: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee and many others are recruiting him, but the Michigan, Michigan state and Ohio State are waging a classic Big Ten battle, and many see him choosing between those programs. Academics (pre-med) will be a major focus.


DeAngelo Gibbs is a freak athlete who makes things look easy on the field.  The scary thing about the Loganville (Ga.) Grayson standout is his potential.  He is most natural at wide receiver, and he can make plays there all day, but his future is likely in the defensive secondary.  He could be a big corner or a safety on the next level.  He has size, speed, playmaking ability and a skill set that college coaches across the country covet.  When he is pushed, he is scary good.  He has the body, ability and potential to be a three and out player in college.

Recruiting Update: With Gibbs, he is not going to reveal too much personally, so you have to know who to talk to, follow where he visits, and really dig in to find out much on him.  What is known is he really likes Georgia and Tennessee.  Alabama, Oklahoma and some others may hang around, but in the end, it looks like Gibbs will play in the SEC East. Georgia may now have the edge because his cousin, J.R. Reed, is set to transfer to Georgia from Tulsa.  Reed chose Georgia over Tennessee and that could be the same thing Gibbs does in February.


Calabasas (Calif.) High's Darnay Holmes is the No. 1 corner prospect in the country, but he is  just as dangerous on offense as he is on defense.  He i a lockdown corner, one of the best pure cover corners from the region in some time, but he is also a key offensive weapon for Calabasas, able to play both running back or receiver. In fact, during the spring, he played a lot of offense on the 7-on-7 circuit and was almost impossible to cover.  It would not be a surprise if he gets some offensive reps in college and is used as a return man like USC uses Adoree Jackson.

Recruiting Update:  UCLA, NebraskaOhio State, ArizonaStanford and Washington are recruiting Holmes hard, but keep an eye on UCLA, Nebraska and Ohio State. It could come down to one of them.

Scout's Chad Simmons, Allen Treiu, Greg Powers and Brandon Huffman contributed to this story

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