by Dave Miller
January 22, 02014
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With the 2013 college football season in the rearview mirror, it’s time to turn our attention to the sport’s next biggest event: National Signing Day.
The National Football Post will begin ramping up its recruiting coverage starting today with a glance at the rankings of the Top 25 senior prep players in the country who have yet to commit to a program.
1. CB Marlon Humphrey, Hoover High School (Hoover, AL)
The 6-foot, 179-pounder is one of the top defenders in the 2014 class. The son of former outstanding Crimson Tide tailback Bobby Humphrey, the best player in Alabama will choose between playing for in-state 'Bama or Florida State.
Will Adoree' Jackson stay in-state or head to the SEC?
2. CB Adoree' Jackson, Junipero Serra High School (Gardena, CA)
The 5-10, 182-pounder, who will continue to compete as a jumper in track and field, has USC, UCLA, Florida, Tennessee and LSU in the mix for his verbal pledge.
3. OT Damian Prince, Bishop McNamara High School (Forestville, MD)
The 6-5, 286-pounder has good athleticism and flexibility. He's a very good run blocker and pass protector whose top three are Florida, Maryland and South Carolina. The Gators have a commitment from his close friend Jalen Tabor, but Penn State, Auburn and LSU are making late pushes.
4. WR Malachi Dupre, John Curtis Christian High School (River Ridge, LA)
The 6-3, 187-pounder, who has won state titles in the long jump, high jump and triple jump, has thoroughly impressed on the field despite playing in a run-oriented offense. LSU, Alabama, Florida State and UCLA remain in the running for his pledge.
5. DE Lorenzo Carter, Norcross High School (Norcross, GA)
The 6-5, 234-pounder has a great frame to add weight and very good instincts. The top player in the Peach Tree state has Georgia and Florida as his co-favorites. Florida State and LSU are on the outside looking in.
6. ATH John Smith, Long Beach Poly High School (Long Beach, CA)
The 6-1, 206-pound two-way standout known as "JuJu" is one of Southern California's best in the 2014 class. Many recruiting analysts believe that USC is the prohibitive favorite, but UCLA remains in the mix as well as Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oregon. He is considered a safety prospect at the next level but could also play wide receiver.
7. WR Ermon Lane, Homestead Senior High School (Homestead, FL)
The 6-2, 196-pounder, who is considered the top receiver in the Sunshine State, is a good route runner with very good leaping ability. He recently decommitted from Florida, and some analysts believe that he could be headed to Florida State to play with good friend Dalvin Cook, the Miami Central running back who flipped his commitment from Florida to Florida State.
8. OLB Rashaan Evans, Auburn High School (Auburn, AL)
The 6-3, 217-pounder, who was one of the top performers at the Under Armour All-America Game, has a top three of UCLA, Auburn and Alabama despite serious wooing from Georgia and Ole Miss. Evans recorded more than 40 tackles for loss and 18 sacks as a senior.
9. DT Malik McDowell, Southfield High School (Southfield, MI)
The 6-6, 260-pounder, who transferred from Loyola High School to Southfield High before his senior year, could be close to giving a commitment to Michigan State. But LSU is making up ground in the race, and Florida State remains in play. Officially, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are McDowell’s final seven schools.
10. DE Solomon Thomas, Coppell High School (Coppell, TX)
The 6-3, 256-pounder, who is one of the best players in the Lone Star State, has Arkansas, UCLA and Stanford in his top three. His older sister is a student at Arkansas.
11. OG Braden Smith, Olathe South High School (Olathe, KS)
The 6-6, 285-pounder is one of the strongest players in the 2014 class, as he's completed three reps at 515 pounds on the bench press. TCU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama and Notre Dame remain in the mix for his pledge.
12. OG Damien Mama, Saint John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
The 6-4, 370-pounder, who is ranked as one of the top offensive guards in the country, is not expected to be available in 2015 and 2016 because of a Mormon mission. USC may hold an advantage over UCLA, Alabama and BYU because the Trojans have strong roots in the Polynesian community.
Michiah Quick is considered a better fit at cornerback, but he could emerge as a good receiver at the next level.
13. ATH Michiah Quick, Central East High School (Fresno, CA)
The 6-foot, 170-pounder is considered by some programs as a better fit at cornerback, but he could emerge as a good receiver at the next level. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC are in the mix as well as Alabama and Oregon.
14. OT Casey Tucker, Hamilton High School (Chandler, AZ)
The 6-6, 290-pounder is primed to pick between Stanford and Arizona State, according to most recruiting analysts. The Sun Devils are hoping another top tackle prospect doesn't leave the state.
15. DT Travonte Valentine, Champagnat Catholic High School (Hialeah, FL)
The 6-3, 305-pound athletic defensive lineman is down to LSU and Miami (FL), though he decommitted from the Hurricanes earlier this month. His recruitment has included commitments to Louisville and Florida before giving a verbal to the Hurricanes.
16. S Steven Parker II, Jenks High School (Jenks, OK)
A lot of recruiting analysts believe that the 6-2, 175-pounder will choose Oklahoma, although he also has offers from major programs such as Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama and Ohio State.
17. RB Derrell Scott, Havelock High School (Havelock, NC)
The 5-11, 184-pounder, who rushed for more than 2,100 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior year as his team won its third straight state title, could land at Tennessee, although South Carolina and Florida remain in the mix.
18. ILB Kenny Young, John Curtis Christian High School (River Ridge, LA)
The 6-1, 210-pounder has Oklahoma State as one of his five finalists. LSU, Miami (FL), Texas A&M and UCLA are also in the mix.
19. DT Derrick Nnadi, Ocean Lakes High School (Virginia Beach, VA)
The 6-1, 299-pounder recently made trips to Ohio State, Florida State and Penn State. Former Nittany Lions assistant Larry Johnson was his main recruiter at State College, so keep an eye on the Buckeyes with Johnson now in Columbus. However, Virginia Tech has been considered the leader as the Hokies try to keep him home.
20. CB Wesley Green, Martin Luther King High School (Lithonia, GA)
The 5-11, 173-pounder recently said that South Carolina is his new leader after the coaching changes at Georgia. Auburn, Clemson and Ohio State also have offered, but it appears to be a battle between the Bulldogs and the Gamecocks.
21. S Bishard Baker, Bellevue High School (Bellevue, WA)
The 5-9, 174-pounder is one of the nation's best playmakers who has top Pac-12 offers. Washington has a chance to keep him in-state, but keep an eye on UCLA.
22. RB D’Ernest Johnson, Immokalee High School (Immokalee, FL)
The 5-11, 182-pound former North Carolina commit could be a great fit at South Florida, especially if Marlon Mack announces that he is headed to Louisville.
23. ATH Chris Lammons, Plantation High School (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
The 5-10, 171-pounder likely slots in best at cornerback. He has received offers from major schools such as South Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Alabama and Ohio State. Keep an eye on the Gamecocks.
24. RB Donte Thomas-Williams, Hillside High School (Durham, NC)
The 6-foot, 217-pounder has offers from top programs such as Florida State and UCLA, but a visit to NC State looms. And the Wolfpack have done well under Dave Doeren this cycle. However, don't sleep on West Virginia either.
25. OT Roderick Johnson, Hazelwood Central High School (Florissant, MO)
The 6-6, 320-pounder has offers from major schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State and Alabama. The Seminoles have had the lead despite his recent visit to Columbus.
Others of note: DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, GA), WR Trevon Lee (Fort Lauderdale, FL), RB Mikale Wilbon (Chicago, IL), QB Kyle Carta-Samuels (San Jose, CA) and S Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, LA)
Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.