Lots of talent just outside the 150
They didn't make the initial rankings, but these players have skills to end up in 150
The back end of the 2011 ESPNU 150 had the most parity we have seen in recent years. The first rendition of the ESPNU 150 is out earlier than in past years, so there is ample time for changes and a chance for players to move in and out, particularly after we evaluate senior-season performances. Here's a list of players who just missed the cut the first time around, but could be poised to make the jump at some point.
RB, 6-1, 205 pounds | College: Undecided
One of the better downhill runners in this class -- and that's based on his sophomore film because Allen suffered a season-ending leg injury during his opening game last fall. When healthy, he is a very gifted athlete with a great blend of size, speed and power coveted at the next level.
Brendon Bigelow (Fresno, Calif./Central East)
RB, 5-10, 180 pounds | College: Washington
A healthy senior season will likely shoot Bigelow into the ESPNU 150 and into an upper-tier category of 2011 running backs. The Washington pledge has top-level speed and the overall skill set as a running back, but needs to bounce back from an ACL tear suffered late last season.
(Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast)
S, 5-11, 185 pounds | College: Florida State
He may be overshadowed a bit by his ESPNU 150 teammate Keelin Smith (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast). While he lacks his fellow safety's 6-3 frame, Brutus may possess more intangibles as a high-point defender. Both players are committed to FSU.
S, 6-1, 185 pounds | College: Ohio State
He made a strong argument to be included in the ESPNU 150 and is one of the better run-supporting safeties from the Southeast. Cash needs to continue improving his hip flexibility and overall coverage skills, but he brings a lot of physical tools to the table for the Buckeyes to develop in Columbus.
Hakeem Flowers (Greenville, S.C./Wade Hampton)
WR, 6-2, 170 pounds | College: Undecided
With his versatile skill set, Flowers could actually be in the athlete category, as well. He is big, has deceptive speed to create separation and could also play safety in college thanks to his good range and ball skills.
Deryck Gildon (Arlington, Texas/James Martin)
OLB, 6-2, 210 pounds | College: TCU
TCU has become a nationally ranked program by recruiting prospects like Gildon. This Texas native may lack ideal speed measurables on paper, but he's simply a great football player and a productive, versatile athlete who projects best as an outside linebacker for the Horned Frogs.
(Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman)
DE, 6-4, 252 pounds | College: USC
If the name sounds familiar, it's because this potential college swingman along the defensive line is a cousin of USC's Xavier Grimble, ESPN's No. 1 tight end prospect in 2010. A bit of a tweener, Grimble has size, a lot of tools and could eventually develop into a solid defensive tackle.
ATH, 6-4, 220 pounds
He is somewhat of an enigma because he is a jack-of-all-trades, but must still develop at one position to become the player he could be. Big and rangy, Lyerla has the measurables and football instincts to succeed wherever he ends up.
Albert Louis-Jean (Brockton, Mass./Brockton)
CB, 6-1, 175 pounds | College: Miami
He may be one of the better defensive backs to come out of Massachusetts in recent years. The Miami commit is not facing top-end competition each week and is a bit of a tweener, but his height, physicality and transitional skills are coveted out on the perimeter at the next level.
Al Page (Bronx, N.Y./Christopher Columbus)
DT, 6-2, 290 pounds | College: Rutgers
He continues the recent trend of talented defensive linemen from New York. The Bronx native may lack the national recruitment of 2011 ESPNU 150 DE Ishaq Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) and Florida DT Dominique Easley (Staten Island, N.Y./Curtis), the No. 3 overall prospect for the Class of 2010, but we feel this explosive 290-pounder with violent hands in the trenches will make an impact for Rutgers.
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