The Summer Class of 2017 Scout 300

July 15 -- Scout updates the 2017 Scout 300 following the majority of the summer camp period and The Opening Finals with major movement in the top five behind Najee Harris, who is still at the top of the rankings, and a new No. 1 defensive end in the country...

Summer 2017 Scout 300

With the summer camp circuit winding down and The Opening Finals now in the rearview mirror, the final summer rankings release today on Scout for the 2017 class.

Like he has been since the 2017 Scout 300 2.0 was released the day after National Signing Day 2016, Antioch (Calif.) running back Najee Harris, a commit to Alabama, remains No. 1 in the rankings.

But he's being pushed for that top spot more than he has been by another prospect from the West, Graham (Wash.) Kapowsin five-star offensive tackle Foster Sarell.

After a dominant performance at The Opening Finals, where he was named OL MVP, Sarell moves from the No. 5 overall spot to No. 2 behind Harris, giving the West the top two prospects nationally.  Sarell remains the No. 1 tackle prospect in the country.

"We made the comment after the first day of lineman one on ones at The Opening last week that Foster Sarell should definitely be in contention for top overall prospect in the nation," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. "Sarell was so impressive, we quickly moved past talking about whether he was the top lineman at this year's event to where he ranked historically to some of the other top linemen we had seen over the years. Alabama tackle Cam Robinson is probably the only OL we've seen that was more impressive than Sarell and he has every physical trait to not only dominate in college but on Sunday's as well."

Sarell is the highest ranked player ever from the state of Washington and is the highest ranked tackle from the region since Arik Armstead in 2012.

"He has a massive 6-7 frame but moves like a player half his size and is among the most athletic tackles we've seen come out of the west in years," said Biggins.  "He's also very strong and physical and showed his versatility at The Opening moving inside and playing guard and didn't lose a rep there either."

Harris and Sarell, in fact, have been the No. 1 and No. 2 player in the West for over a year and continue to remain there.

"While he moves up to our No. 2 player nationally, the gap between Sarell and Najee Harris for top overall recruit is razor thin," said Biggins.

Making a major move up after being named a five-star in early June is new No. 1 quarterback Davis Mills from Atlanta (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian.

The Stanford pledged moved to No. 2 after a stellar spring and Elite 11 Finals and moves into the top spot at the quarterback rankings, and No. 3 overall nationally, after continuing his upward ascent at The Opening Finals.

And right behind him is Clinton (Miss.) running back Cam Akers, who moves to the No. 2 running back in this class and No. 4 overall prospect.

"There is a new pair at the top in the South, with Mills and Akers, and both could be competing for the Heisman Trophy in the coming years," said national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons.  "Taking over at the top is Mills.  He is a pocket passer with the ability to pick defenses apart. He checks every box when evaluating quarterbacks."

And Akers moved up 19 spots in the national rankings and six spots in the South.

"As soon as we saw Akers live in New Orleans, this spring, he was a five star the next day," said Simmons. "Now he is a top five prospect in the country. He is the total package at running back — power, balance, explosive, patient, speed, ball skills — he has it all. Schools are still fighting for Akers, the one time Alabama commit. Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Tennessee among others are in this race."

Rounding out the Top Five is Devon Hunter from Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River, now ranked as a safety and the No. 1 player at his position in the 2017 class.

"After watching Hunter perform well at The Opening, and getting a chance to evaluate his skill set over several days, it was decided safety is his best projected position," said national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn. "He has the athleticism and skill set to play receiver, and while programs may tinker with him at cornerback or playing nickel back, safety is his future. He drives well on balls in front of him, he can cover to the sidelines and, although it does not show on the 7-on-7 scene, he is a physical player. North Carolina Virginia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Florida are the schools he speaks with the most. He said he knows he will officially visit Alabama, and he could officially visit Notre Dame, but dates are yet to be set."

Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal – a private school in the Houston area – now features two of the top three rated prospects in the Midlands region and tackle Walker Little is the newest regional five-star.

"There may not be a player in the region with potentially as high of a NFL draft ceiling playing at one of the most premium positions," said national recruiting analyst Greg Powers. "The 6-foot-8, 305-pound offensive tackle is massive and already looks much heavier, which means he carries his weight extremely well. When playing under control and balanced he was almost unmoveable. Once he gets his massive paws on you then you can pretty much guarantee that he will finish you off."

Little is now the No. 16 player in the 2017 class and the No. 2 offensive tackle nationally.

There is a new No. 1 defensive end in the class too in Redlands (Calif.) East Valley five-star Jaelan Phillips.

Before The Opening, the UCLA commit was the last five-star, but now moves to No. 15 overall and tops at his position.

"Phillips has been primarily an outside linebacker, but he's played more and more with his hand down this spring and at The Opening, he showed just why he had 30+ offers from coast to coast," said national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman.  "It's scary to think how good he will be since he hasn't even neared his ceiling.  He was one of the Final Five defensive lineman and his motor combined with his quickness and strength and athleticism was on display all week."

The West is also home to the new No. 1 tight end in the country, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Colby Parkinson, a commit to Stanford.

"I've said it a bunch the last few months, but Parkinson is pretty much a combination of the last 5-6 tight ends that starred at Stanford," said Huffman.  "It's like they went to a lab and took the best attributes of former Cardinal tight ends like Zach Ertz, Austin Hooper, Coby Fleener and Levine Toilolo and said, put them all together and what will come out, and out pops Parkinson.  He will be in contention for a fifth star during his senior season and through the Army Bowl."

The South did add a pair of new five-stars in this ranking.

"There are two new five stars — well only one has not been one before, but both added the fifth star this cycle," said Simmons. "Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Trevon Grimes showed us everything we wanted to see at The Opening Finals."

Grimes makes a return to five-stars.

"He has always had the physical tools, but he didn't always play like he wanted to be the best. He did that in Oregon, and he is back in the top 25 for 2017. Ohio State leads Florida, Florida State and Miami, with a decision coming August 25," said Simmons.

And there is another star out of the Sunshine State, Alex Leatherwood, another new five-star.

"Leatherwood is an offensive tackle out of Pensacola Booker T. Washington who dominated last week," said Simmons. "He is big, powerful, mean, nasty, and he could project at left tackle, right tackle or even guard. He is committed to Alabama."

The Midwest had a big mover in Detroit (Mich.) King cornerback Ambry Thomas.

"Thomas is one kid who we had already moved up after his performance at The Opening Regional, but he moved up even more after what he did at the finals," said national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu. "He showed he's one of the best athletes in the country and I don't think it's impossible he moves up more."

Two safeties moved up to the top spot in their respective regions and cracked the Scout 100, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman's Bubba Bolden and Southlake (Texas) Carroll's Robert Barnes, who both made the Scout Super Team Defense from The Opening.

Bolden is the third player from Bishop Gorman in the top 100.

"We've liked Bolden for awhile now and every time we see him, he impresses us a little more," said Biggins. "You can make a strong argument he was the top safety at The Opening flashing a ton of range, ball skills and always seemed to be around the football. Bolden has a prototype safety frame at about 6-foot-2, 200 pounds with room to grow. He runs well, is very physical and aggressive in the run game. He's a headhunter who plays with a serious edge to him and is one of those guys you're never comfortable playing against because of his aggressive style."

Meanwhile, Barnes, a commit to Oklahoma, also made a big jump out of the Lone Star State in the national rankings.

"Having the first chance to watch him in extended action since the first scrimmage of the 2015 season Barnes is a player who is very impressive at 6-foot-3, 199 pounds," said Powers. "He plays for one of the most prestigious high school programs in Southlake (Texas) Carroll and you can see that he has been well taught. He rarely if ever left the field at The Opening and took on the leadership of the defense that ended up winning the championship. He is a coverage safety with a linebacker frame. All of the skills that make up the newest Midlands Top 100 member."

From the Midwest, there is a new four-star in Oliver Martin out of Iowa City (Iowa) West, a receiver who had a superb week in Beaverton.

"A new entry into the 300 from the Midwest is Martin, who was already a pretty high 3-star, but he tested well in Oregon and was also one of the standouts of the week, consistently getting open and making plays," said Trieu. "He's the type of kid who can fit into just about any offense because he can play in the slot, he can play outside if you need to and he just understands how to get open and has excellent hands."

In the East, a couple of outside linebackers made moves, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic linebacker Drew Singleton and Bridgeton (N.J.) linebacker Markquese Bell.

"Singleton received a slight bump up from his No. 82 national ranking after showing his ability to play in space," said Dohn. "He reacted quickly to the running back coming out on pass patterns, and he showed the speed to run down the field and also cover in the flat. His downhill speed was impressive, and he continues to add size. Singleton said he knows he will take an official visit to Alabama, and he is also showing a lot of interest in Clemson, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Rutgers."

And Bell is getting closer to cracking the Top 200, moving up to No. 201 overall and he moves to outside linebacker in this ranking.

"Bell's body type adds to his versatility," said Dohn.  "But watching him play safety and seeing the room for growth on his frame, his position was shifted from athlete to outside linebacker. He will give programs the choice to play him as a big defensive back or a linebacker with the length and frame to cover well, but as he matures and gets bigger and stronger, he has the frame to hold 225 pounds and be a very good linebacker. With the projection and his fluidness as a player, he was pushed up a bit in the rankings. On the recruiting front, Bell will be at Ohio State's Friday Night Lights on July 22, and he is tentatively set to visit Rutgers for a July 30 barbecue. Then, providing he can get a ride, he is planning an Aug. 6 visit to Michigan for a barbecue. Florida continues to recruit Bell hard, and he said he plans on making official visits, and he knows he will take one to Michigan, and another to Clemson, where he visited recently."

There is one newcomer to the Scout 300 from the West and a new four-star too in Santa Margarita (Calif.) tight end Grant Calcaterra.

He moves up 10 spots at the tight end position to No. 8 nationally and makes his debut in the Scout 300 after a sterling showing at The Opening.

"Calcaterra was one of the big surprises of the week but in reality, it really shouldn't have been," said Biggins. "He's a big receiver with very good size, speed and hands so allowing him to play tight end against a linebacker is a major mismatch. Depending on how much weight he puts on, he'll be able to line up in a variety of positions and should do big things for Oklahoma at the next level."

The next Scout 300 update will come in the early part of the fall, during the high school football season.

Summer 2017 Scout 300

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