We have a new member in the Scout 100, four new players jumped in to the Scout 300 and six new four-stars were given out as well. In addition, the top defensive end out West jumped in to the national top 10 and the region’s top safety prospect made yet another big move up the charts.
We’ll start out with the player who made the biggest jump in to the 300, Walnut Creek (Calif.) Berean Christian receiver Isaiah Hodgins.
Hodgins was already a four-star prospect but was just outside the Scout the last time rankings were updated. The receiver made a big jump in to the Scout 300 at No. 174 and his tape definitely justifies it. The former Washington State commit has great length and body control, is a smooth route runner and has downfield speed as well.
He runs well after the catch, has very good hands and really impressed us on both sides of the ball. Hodgins is playing with a nice, physical edge to him and we like his toughness and compete level. He's almost as impressive at safety as he is at receiver and his upside is very high.
The player who made the biggest jump who was already in the Scout 300 was Sumner Senior (Wash.) athlete Connor Wedington
Wedington jumped from the No. 225 ranked prospect nationally to No. 65 and is the new No. 1 overall ATH in the region. Wedington has had a dominant senior year on both sides of the ball and would be ranked a top 100 prospect at either safety or running back.
Physically, the development he has shown in the last year is remarkable and his combination of size, speed and overall athleticism is at a college level right now. We loved him over the summer and he really stood out among the best of the best at The Opening Finals last July.
With the pads on, Wedington has been even better and it will be interesting to see what side of the ball he plays at once he gets to Washington, but it's definitely a good problem to have.
You can make an argument that no player has been more clutch in big situations this season than Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman safety Bubba Bolden and he continues to rise up our board.
Bolden is now rated the No. 2 overall safety in the country after jumping from the No. 65 overall prospect to No. 38 and he’s probably not done yet. Bolden has simply been amazing all year and has arguably been the best player on the nation's best team.
His blocked field goal against Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas to send the game in to double OT that the Gaels eventually won will go down as one of the most historic plays in school history. The thing is, he does something similar every game with a clutch late interception or big hit to set the tone early. His ability to play the run, cover down the field and always be around the ball is unmatched.
In terms of pure freakiness and making plays someone his size shouldn't be able to make, Redlands East Valley (Calif.) defensive end Jaelan Phillips is on another level.
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Phillips bounces around between defensive, outside linebacker and even some inside 'backer. His ability to move around and play in space at that size is unheard of and he looks and plays like someone who weighs 215 pounds, not 250.
His lateral mobility and quickness in space is next level right now and he's basically un-blockable coming off the edge. He plays out of a two point stance and doesn't rush the passer on every down but when he does, his ability to beat multiple blockers and the relentless way he pursues the quarterback is fun to watch. Just last week, the UCLA commit racked up five sacks and even returned a punt for a touchdown for good measure.
Phillips is now rated the No. 3 overall prospect in the West, No. 7 nationally and although you hate to use the term, 'can't miss' on anyone, when you combine his physical tools with his passion for the game and how hard he works off the field, he's about as close to a can't miss prospect as you're going to find.
In addition to Hodgins, four other players jumped in to the Scout 300 and all three added a 4th star to their name as well.
Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon wide out Alex Cook moves in at No. 194 nationally. The big receiver is making a ton of plays on both sides of the ball and it won't shock us if he plays in the secondary in college.
The Washington commit committed to the Huskies as a receiver and that's where we like him as well. He's a strong, physical kid who uses his size well, has powerful hands and can make plays down the field. He runs well enough to be a deep threat but is a pure pass catcher and will be that reliable possession receiver as well.
Jamire Calvin has been on the cusp of picking up a 4th star since the spring but we wanted to see him with the pads first. Through five games this year, no receiver in the state has been more impressive.
Calvin has been simply electric and is good for at least 2-3 big plays every game. Whether it's taking a short hitch, making a few guys miss and taking it to the house, running a post and blowing past a secondary or returning a punt or kick for a score, Calvin has shown the kind of big ability we wanted to see.
Calvin jumps in to the Scout 300 at No. 235 nationally. The athlete has taken official visits to Nebraska and Oregon State and is setting trips to Cal and Notre Dame.
Elijah Hicks is the 4th new member in to the Scout 300 out West and he comes in at No. 259 nationally. We liked Hicks a lot over the summer at the Opening regional camp in L.A and loved him at the USC Rising Stars Camp.
He's another player who has continued to step up his game and improve with the pads on and has developed very well since his junior year. He's a bigger, faster, stronger athlete and you can tell he's playing with a ton of confidence right now.
Hicks has also been impressive at receiver and in the return game and is simply one of the best all around players in the region. He projects as a shutdown corner in college who could see the field early in college. Hicks has already visited Northwestern and will visit Notre Dame this weekend. Cal, UCLA, USC and Washington are heavily involved here as well.
A few other players who moved up in the Scout 300 included safety Isaiah Pola-Mao, up 20 spots from No. 142 to No. 122, Miami commit D.J. Johnson, up 79 spots from No. 246 to No. 167, Washington commit Brandon McKinney, up 30 spots from No. 235 to No. 205, Oregon commit Jaylon Redd, up 17 spots from No. 256 to No. 239
In addition to the players mentioned above in the Scout 300, four other players were upgraded to four-star prospects.
Chula Vista (Calif.) Mater Dei running back and Oregon commit C.J. Verdell, Corona (Calif.) Centennial defensive back and UCLA commit Jaylan Shaw and Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita offensive lineman and USC commit Brett Neilon and Folsom (Calif.) linebacker and Washington commit Ariel Ngata are all having big years and combined with their physical upside, were easy calls to make.
Verdell has shown a rare combination of size, speed and power. He's an inside/outside back and we love the toughness he runs with.
Shaw impressed at several summer camps but like we've said before, we wanted to see it with the pads on. He has been a lock down corner in coverage, physical in run support and made a ton of plays on the ball.
Neilon has been tremendous all season and has every tool you could want in a next level center. He's smart, tough, strong and athletic. He's a powerful run blocker, can get to the second level and has the feel and short area quickness to excel in pass protection as well.
Ngata is kid who plays with a non-stop motor and makes plays all over the field. He's fast, physical, tough and can rush the passer, play the run and is athletic in space. You can move him all over the field and he's a kid with tremendous upside that were excited to see how he develops in 2-3 years.