Players shoot up ESPN 150
How well the players played in practice for the All-American Bowl was as important (if not more important) than how they played in the actual game. Seeing many players at the end of their senior seasons helped us to re-evaluate our rankings.
Here are the players we were impressed with who moved up the ESPN 150.
WR Vidal Hazelton (No. 3 overall): We initially underrated him because he seemed bored and unchallenged against his competition during his sophomore and junior seasons. The upgrade in competition at Hargrave Military Academy and the week leading up to the All-American Bowl is a clear indication of his overall ability level and upside.
QB Mitch Mustain (No. 5 overall): It may not have come through in the game, but in our opinion, he's probably the most ready- to- play quarterback in this class.
DE Maurice Evans (No. 12 overall): As we said in the chat Monday prior to the game, Evans was the sleeper player to watch. They say the cream rises to the top, and he certainly did. He might be the most explosive edge-rusher in this class despite a lack of ideal size.
QB Jevan Snead (No. 13 overall): While the big three quarterback recruits get all the attention, Snead impressed us the most and may have the most upside as a college player.
OT Sam Young (No. 19 overall): He was the best-looking offensive lineman "on the hoof." He could gain 35-40 pounds and still maintain his movement skills.
DT Gerald McCoy (No. 21 overall): McCoy not only anchors at the point of attack versus the run but also has an impressive, explosive first step to penetrate gaps.
RB James Aldridge (No. 30 overall): Aldridge is a load to handle between the tackles as a power runner, yet he can also bounce plays to the outside. He also has the speed and quickness to take it the distance. He reminds me of "Cadillac" Williams.
ILB Brandon Graham (No. 33 overall): Graham was one of the more physically imposing linebackers in the game. He is a tackle-to-tackle run plugger.
CB Raeshon McNeil (No. 43 overall): The thing that stands about him is his confidence. He will step up and pressure receivers and get in their faces, and he has a nice pedal in off-man coverage.
RB Michael Goodson (No. 45 overall): He's the glider of the 2006 running back class. He combines great size and breakaway speed and is very elusive in the open field.
DE Robert Rose (No. 60 overall): Except for Micah Johnson and Gerald McCoy, Rose was the most physically imposing defensive player. Since many other defensive players are undersized height- wise, Rose has all the measurables you look for in a strong-side defensive end.
ILB Brandon Spikes (No. 107 overall): He was as advertised in terms of measurables, and his motor is what stands out about him. He's a real leader on the field and a student of the game.
K/P: Kyle Petersen (not in ESPN 150, 5th overall kicker): Petersen was impressive as a punter and as an overall athlete. He has the build of a tight end and can even short-snap. He has great leg strength, and when he connects, it sounds like an aluminum bat hitting a softball. He has a lot of work to do on his fundamentals to become a consistent punter, but he'll receive that coaching in college.
Tom Luginbill is the national director of recruiting for Scouts Inc. Craig Haubert is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc.