With Scout's release today of the first Scout 100 for 2018, Georgia is on the mind and at the top.
"At the top, it is very strong in the South in 2018," said national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons. "Out of the 37 that landed in the Scout 100, 20 are ranked as offensive prospects, 16 defense and one athlete."
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is not only the No. 1 prospect in the region, but the country, and the soon-to-be junior out of Cartersville (Ga.) has all eyes on him with a commitment to Clemson, Georgia or Tennessee likely coming in the near future.
Lawrence is one of six five stars in the initial rankings from the South and he is one of two quarterbacks and one of two Georgia natives in the Top Ten.
At No. 3 is Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Patrick Surtain and he's followed by the second quarterback in the top ten, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Matt Corral, a commit to USC.
Another defensive end comes in at No. 5 in Florence (S.C.) Wilson's Xavier Thomas, the highest rated Palmetto State pass rusher since former No. 1 player Jadeveon Clowney in 2011.
The top receiver in the country comes from Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins in five-star Jalen Hall, ranked No. 6 overall. In fact, Hall is one of two top-ranked receivers for the Hawks, joining teammate Joseph Lewis, the No. 1 ranked receiver nationally in 2017.
Leading the way at running back is Laurinburg (S.C.) Scotland's Zamir White, who is the first top-ranked back from South Carolina since Marcus Lattimore in 2010.
Longtime five-star Tyreke Johnson from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy, the No. 2 corner nationally and No. 8 player overall.
The top offensive lineman in the 2018 class is Jamaree Salyer from Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy, an offensive guard and the No. 9 player in the class.
The South leads with 37 players in the Scout 100.
Out of the the 37 prospects in the Scout 100 out of the South, 17 play in the Sunshine State.
"Florida is loaded and balanced in 2018 with top skill guys and linemen in this class," said Simmons. "The strongest positions at the top this cycle is defensive back and wide receiver. Six of the top 24 prospects in this region are either cornerbacks or safeties. Surtain and Johnson, both five stars could project at either spot in the secondary. Both play corner right now."
"Allen is another one in that mold, but Scout likes him more safety right now when looking longterm," said Simmons. "And the top safety in the region is Jobe, a Miami commit. He has size, speed to the ball and hands.
The receiver position is strong in the South in 2018.
"At wide receiver, Terrace Marshall leads the way. He is out of Bossier City (La.) Parkway and he has everything you want in a No. 1 wideout on the outside," said Simmons. "It is a good mix of size and speed in this group. Xavier Williams, Brian Hightower and Jacob Copeland all are from Florida and they are all three in the top 80 nationally.
And the backfield is a strength too.
"You cannot overlook the running back position either," said Simmons. "White is the No. 7 prospect in the country, then you also have Lorenzo Lingard, Dameon Pierce, Justin Watkins (Florida State commit), James Cook (Florida State commit) and Fabian Franklin ranging from No. 36 to No. 100. Overall, the top 100 is full of talent from the South."
Out West, 26 prospects from the region made the Scout 100 with 21 of them calling California home, three of them from Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins and Nevada also had three in the Top 100, all from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, both schools having a national best three in the top 100. And Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian had two players in the Top 20 nationally.
"It was a close battle between Matt Corral and Jalen Hall for the top overall recruit in the West," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. "The two five-star athletes have a ton of potential and would likely be ranked among the top 50 recruits nationally if we ranked them as part of the 2017 class."
Yet it was the passer from Oaks Christian in Corral who ranks highest from the West.
"In the end, Corral got the nod and checks in as the No. 4 player nationally. Corral has every tool you could want in a quarterback, both physically, mentally plus the intangibles to boot. He has a live, accurate arm, throws with touch and can change speeds, is athletic enough to make a play with his legs and shows plenty of toughness and will stand in and take a shot and not flinch. The USC commit has two years to develop before he hits college and has the talent to compete for playing time early in his college career," said Biggins.
Hall was racking up offers before he even got to high school and hit double digits before he finished his freshman year and follows teammate Joseph Lewis as the nation's No. 1 receiver in his class.
"Hall is your classic big receiver who is pushing 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds," said Biggins. "He put up big numbers as a sophomore and has been dominant this spring as well. He tested extremely well at The Opening Regional Camp in L.A running a 4.63-40, a ridiculous 3.96 shuttle and jumped 35” in the vertical. He remains wide open in his recruitment but Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee and USC are just a few on him heavily."
As loaded as Gorman's 2017 class, no one ranks higher nationally than 2018 linebacker Palaie Gaoteote.
"The nation’s highest rated four-star is Gaoteote," said Biggins. "Gaoteote checks in as the No. 11 player in the country and with the schedule Gorman plays this fall, could easily work his way in to a five-star ranking sooner than later. The 6-foot-2, 210 pound ‘backer is versatile enough to play inside or outside, runs very well, hits like a truck, is fluid in his movement and can stop/start and change direction like a safety. He shows very good instincts and has a nose for the football as well. National programs like Auburn, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State plus UCLA, USC and Washington out West have all offered."
And the top safety nationally also comes from the West in Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Jaiden Woodbey.
The four-star checks in at No. 14 overall and he has double-digit offers, with the two local schools, UCLA and USC, all over him as well as a host of national programs, including Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
The top two running backs in the country in the 2017 are from the West and the West's top back in 2018 is No. 2 nationally in West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade four-star T.J. Pledger.
Pledger has offers from coast to coast, with the two local schools heavily pursuing him along with Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State and Nebraska.
He ranks No. 18 overall in the Scout 100.
The Midlands sports 19 players in the Scout 100 with 14 of those prospects from Texas.
"A recurring theme you will see with the Midlands 2018 rankings is depth and talent along the defensive front," said national recruiting analyst Greg Powers. "Four of the 19 prospects from the region in the Scout 100 are defensive lineman."
Topping that group is Katy (Texas) Taylor defensive end Max Wright.
"The 6-foot-4, 255-pound strongside end from Taylor may have indeed been a five-star to start off if it would have not been for an ACL injury that forced him to miss district play and most of his sophomore year," said Powers.
But that doesn't detract from his ability.
"The talent is still there as national offers from Alabama and Ohio State indicate," said Powers. "He is big and agile. He has really good hips. He's quick enough to make plays behind the line of scrimmage and strong enough to hold up and defend against the run game."
Three defensive tackles, St. Louis (Mo.) Parkway North's Michael Thompson, Houston (Texas) Westfield's Keondre Coburn Keondre Coburn and St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade's Trevor Trout, round out the Midlands defensive line prospects in the 100.
From the East, 13 prospects made the initial list.
"The mix is eclectic when it comes to the East Region in the inaugural class of 2018 Scout 100," said national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn. "Ten positions are represented by the 13 players , and there is also a nice split on both sides of the ball with seven projected defensive players and six projected on the offense."
Two of them are already committed.
"Parsons, the No. 2 player in the nation, and quarterback Phil Jurkovec, the No. 46 player in the nation – are already committed," said Dohn. "Parsons committed to Penn State while Notre Dame moved into Pennsylvania landed Jurkovec."
And a familiar state leads with the most prospects.
"Pennsylvania is the dominant state in the East when it comes to the Scout 100, but it will be interesting to see if Penn State can take advantage of it," said Dohn. "There are four players in the Scout 100 from the Keystone state, but it could change."
Safety Isheem Young, who played at Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep, is readying for a move to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.
"And that could alter his recruitment in a big way," said Dohn.
Jurkovec, Parsons and Young (No. 30) are joined by tight end Zack Kuntz (No. 69) of Camp Hill (Pa.) High.
The Midwest has just five players in the Scout 100.
"It's not as top heavy of a year in the Midwest, but there are some guys who are in position to move even higher," said national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu.
The region is known for its guys in the trenches, though, and this class is the same.
"As usual, the region has some really strong linemen," said Trieu.
"Carman is your classic tackle prospect, long and lean, where McCall is a mauler with a real mean streak," said Trieu.
The skill positions have a couple in the Scout 100 too.
"There are some other prospects from the Midwest in the first 100 that are really good prospects," said Trieu. "Cornerback Houston Griffith has recently added several major offers and has the size and ability to be a high end cover man in college. Running back Jaelen Gill is a dynamic talent who can run routes and catch the ball in addition to being able to score from almost anywhere on the field."
The deepest position in the Scout 100 is receiver, with 15 of the top 100 while cornerbacks, offensive tackles and quarterbacks have 11 players each. And there are 10 running backs in the Scout 100.
The full Scout 300 will release on Friday, July 1.