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Rashan Gary debuts at No. 1 in 2016 ESPN 300

4/23/2015
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ESPN 300 debuts for 2016 prospects

National recruiting director Tom Luginbill joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to break down the new ESPN 300, which features a new No. 1 prospect overall. Luginbill also compares one recruit to SpongeBob SquarePants.

The first edition of the ESPN 300 for the 2016 class has been released with Paramus (New Jersey) Catholic defensive tackle Rashan Gary leading the way. The 6-foot-4, 287-pound Gary is still undecided, but he’s not the only one. More than 60 percent of the top 300 prospects are still on the board. For a complete look at the best 300 high school football recruits in the country, check out the link to the ESPN 300.

It’s no surprise to see the Big Three of recruiting lead the way with the most players on the ESPN 300. Florida, Texas and California have always produced the most high-profile recruits annually, and the same is true with the 2016 class. Georgia has ascended over the past decade to become the fourth-best talent producing state in the nation.

With player rankings now official, we can start to analyze how teams overall are doing. Though it’s still very early in the process, Florida State’s 2016 class features two five-star recruits and is clearly the No. 1 class. The newly released ESPN class rankings have the Seminoles in the top spot over Miami, Ohio State, Ole Miss and LSU.

The guys who put together the ESPN 300, Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill, spent hours breaking down film as well as looking at camp and combine performances. For them the 2016 class is all about the defensive line. Here is their look at the movers and shakers in the ESPN 300.

Recruiters have been gushing about Gary for quite some time, and since he appears to be in no rush to make a decision, fans will have plenty of time to obsess about him, too. ESPN Big Ten recruiting writer Tom VanHaaren visited with Gary to breakdown his recruitment.

Overall as a region, the Southeast continues to be the king of college football. Even defending national champions Ohio State looks to the Southeast for talent, and the Buckeyes already have one ESPN 300 commitment from offensive lineman Tyler Gerald in Florida. Recruiters definitely look to the Southeast for talent, so it’s no surprise to see the ESPN 300 is made up of 149 players from states within the region.

Gerry Hamilton provides an even deeper dive into the ESPN 300, looking at five things each recruiting fan should know, including the rise of 6-foot-5, 253-pound tight end Devin Asiasi, and the battles being waged for the top defensive tackles in the country.