SCPrepNation 2009 Player Rankings #1-20

You've all been wondering who sits atop the updated 2009 player rankings for the Palmetto State. We've been getting emails and phone calls galore in the past 2 weeks from fans trying to find out who we've pegged the top prospect currently. Come inside and find out if J.K. Jay held on to the top spot or if he was overtaken by Chris Bonds, Sam Montgomery, or Damario Jeffrey.

SC Prep Nation Top Stories's Class of 2009 Top 20

1. DE Sam Montgomery

Greenwood High

6'5 240 pounds

Nobody has seen their stock skyrocket as much lately as the Greenwood High stud DE. Montgomery is a spectacular athlete who is still learning the nuances of the game after playing just one year of football. His upside is off the charts and his list of offers is equally impressive. The question now will be how he'll deal with double and triple teams now that everyone knows how good he is beforehand. A national All-American candidate.

2. S DaMario Jeffrey

Columbia High

6'4 215 pounds

Jeffrey gave Montgomery a hard run for the #1 spot but we expect Jeffrey to more than likely go no lower than #2 and could overtake the Greenwood star for #1 at some point this coming season. If you haven't watched his video then you need to do so. The size and speed he possesses are mind-boggling. He will challenge for national All-American status along with Montgomery.

3. DE Chris Bonds

Richland Northeast High

6'4 275 pounds

Chris Bonds is coming off of ACL surgery and the big man reportedly is looking good. His stock has been high since his 10th grade year and arguably Bonds may have the most impressive offer list in the state. Expect a monster season from the big man from RNE. He will make another run at regaining his #1 ranking that he held for the past 2 seasons. He too is capable of contending for national All-American status.

4. OL J.K. Jay

Christ Church Episcopal

6'7 275 pounds

We had J.K. Jay at #1 in our last batch of rankings and the Clemson commit didn't do anything to hurt his stock. It's just that the others who now reside above him have seen their stock skyrocket like crazy. The Tigers secured a monster in Jay and expect him to come out this season and assert himself as a contender for top 3 status.

5. ATH Stephon Gilmore

South Pointe High

6'1 175 pounds

Stephon Gilmore has the "it" factor. A tremendous athlete Gilmore can change the game every time he touches the ball. Most schools are recruiting him as a DB but he's so dynamite with the football in his hands potential suitors should think long and hard about making him strictly a defensive player. A good season along with a strong team could move him higher in the rankings.

6. WR Alshoun Jeffery

Calhoun County High

6'4 215 pounds

In terms of potential schools all over the country are salivating at the chance of landing the Calhoun County star. His size stands out but Alshoun has great hands. Also a big-time hoops prospect expect some schools to offer the chance to play both sports as a recruiting chip. Teaming with QB David Sims he could have some outlandish statistics which could propel him into top 3 contention this coming season. His list of offers is among the state's very best.

7. DE Duane Chisholm

Beaufort High

6'2 250 pounds

With Devin Taylor gone now teams will turn the majority of their focus on Chisholm. When we saw him last year Chisholm fared well against double teams and he has the motor that college coaches love. If he were to grow another inch or two we feel he could move up not only in our state rankings but on the national charts as well.

8. ATH David Sims

Calhoun County High

6'0 208 pounds

Like Montgomery, David Sims' stock has soared so far this offseason. Sims lines up at QB and S for Calhoun County and most schools are recruiting him at safety. His most recent offer from GT and new option master Paul Johnson could afford him the opportunity to play QB on the college level. Athleticism and toughness are the key elements of his game. With a number of big time targets Sims will get the chance to show off his arm along with his legs once again.

9. OL Quentin Washington

Timberland High

6'4 322 pounds

We saw Quentin Washington first as a sophomore and the big man has done nothing but gotten better each time since. Boasting a tremendous list of offers at this point Washington should see that list continue to grow as his highlight tape circulates amongst college coaches. In terms of potential we like him just as much as J.K. Jay.

10. WR Ricco Sanders

Byrnes High

5'11 175 pounds

Ricco Sanders was another prospect we told you about first. Sanders has seen his stock explode and watching his highlight tape is a testament as to why he's gotten the big offers he currently holds. He's not the biggest receiver but he runs solid routes and once he gets the ball he always has a chance to take it to the endzone due to his 4.36 speed. Expect more offers to come and in the prolific Byrnes offense Sanders could have a record breaking season.

11. S Chris Payne

Columbia High

5'11 190 pounds

Payne is another player who has come on strong this past season. He is a prospect with all of the tools at safety that schools covet highly. Recently committed to South Carolina but don't expect that to deter other schools to keep pleading their case for his signature on a LOI.

12. RB Travis Small

Cheraw High

5'11 185 pounds

Travis Small is the best player in the state without a scholarship offer...hands down. Some may question his size but his statistics are gaudy. What many don't realize is that he's doing it on a limited number of carries as he's often pulled after one half of play. Small could break more than a few of the state rushing records this season.

13. S D.J. Swearinger

Greenwood High

6'0 190 pounds

Shell Dula's defense may be one of the state's best this year. Swearinger holds it all together in the defensive backfield. He has a couple of offers already in hand and we see nothing that should slow those additional offers down. A menacing tackler Swearinger

14. RB Roderick McDowell

Sumter High

5'9 175 pounds

As we state in our previous batch of rankings many would question his size. The Clemson Tigers saw his ability and quickly offered and got their man. McDowell runs with tremendous vision and heart. Expect another huge season statistically from the future Clemson Tiger.

15. RB Devin Wherry

South Pointe High

6'0 217 pounds

We have 2 running backs rated ahead of Devin Wherry. That may turn some heads but Wherry played with some nagging injuries last year. When he does tote the rock he's a force to be reckoned with. He had 240 carries for 1370 yards and 12 TDs last year. With a couple of nice offers on the table Wherry could see that list grow with a good showing on the camp/combine circuit again this offseason.

16. QB/WR Josh McKie

Mauldin High

6'0 175 pounds

McKie tore it up last offseason at UNC's camp. He got an offer and after this season and visiting the Tar Heels he gave them a verbal commit. McKie plays QB/WR for Mauldin and he's got great ball skills. A threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball expect schools to continue to test McKie's verbal commitment to the Tar Heels.

17. DE Justice Cunningham

Pageland Central High

6'3 232 pounds

Another player who really has come on strong as of late Cunningham is a man. We expect him to make strides up the rankings if he shows well this offseason and gets off to fast start next year. A tremendous physical specimen Cunningham also tears it up in the classroom with a 4.1 GPA. Possibly the top football student-athlete in the state.

18. RB Rockarius King

Timberland High

5'7 170 pounds

We're still waiting for someone to look beyond his 5'7 height. This kid is probably the best in the state when it comes to vision and running with sheer will overpowering larger opponents. Watch his highlight tapes and you'll find your jaw dropping. Expect another HUGE season from King statistically. We're just hoping someone steps up early and shows this kid the love he deserves.

19. S Justin Bright

Byrnes High

6'2 185 pounds

When it comes to simply "bringing the wood" this kid may be the best in the state along with Columbia's Chris Payne. Upon review of last year's AAAA state championship game it was Bright who put the lick on Summerville WR A.J. Green that put him out of the game. Bright recently landed his first offer and deservedly so. A fierce competitor, he may not be the biggest in terms of bulk but he utilizes great technique and speed. Bright also stars in the classroom like Justice Cunningham with an amazing 4.2 GPA making him a player college coaches will love to recruit.

20. WR J.J. Suber

Newberry High

6'3 205 pounds

We caught flak for not showing J.J. Suber more love in our last rankings update. We aren't dissing him but his numbers aren't as outstanding as others are. In terms of potential on the next level and as a great recruiting prospect, he has the most upside of any wideout in the state. He has a few offers already and will move up as those offers are from some of the nation's best college programs.