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Recruiting Watch

Checking in on's top 10 prospects for 2005

Posted: Wednesday June 30, 2004 10:21AM; Updated: Wednesday June 30, 2004 10:31AM

By Jamie Newberg, is proud to announce its first release of the National Hot 100 team for the Class of 2005. These prospects were selected based on film evaluation, game scouting, our MSL combines, camps as well as the input of college coaches from coast to coast.

Here's a brief look at the's Top 10 prospects:

Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams (Greenbelt [Md.] Roosevelt) is the most explosive player in the country and is our No. 1 prospect. Williams, at 6-feet tall and 193 pounds, has unreal speed (a sub-4.4 in the 40) and quickness. Don't be surprised if he gets a shot to play both ways as a wide receiver and cornerback -- as well as return kicks -- in college. Williams prefers offense, though, and he'll get his initial shot at wide receiver.

Last season, as a junior quarterback, Williams rushed for 1,363 yards on 163 carries for 22 touchdowns, and passed for 558 yards as well. On defense, he added three interceptions. Williams also returned two punts for scores while averaging 40 yards per punt return. Williams has a slew of scholarship offers from all over the nation, including Maryland, Florida, Florida State, Miami, USC and LSU.

"In seven years as head coach, I have placed 92 players in college and three players currently in the NFL," Roosevelt head coach Rick Houchens said. "In all my years, and all of my players that I have been blessed to work with, Derrick Williams is without a doubt the greatest player that I have not only coached but also seen in my 10-year high school coaching career."

You could make a great case that Callahan Bright (Bryn Mawr [Pa.] Harriton) is the nation's top prospect. This terrific defensive tackle checks in at No. 2 overall. Bright, a 6-2, 315-pound big man, has participated in lacrosse, track and field (shot put) and wrestling in high school. He's exceptionally strong, with a 400-pound bench press and a 700-pound squat, but his three best attributes are his speed, quickness and intensity level. Bright is also a super offensive guard prospect and stars on both sides of the ball.

"Boy, can [Callahan] run," Harriton head coach Harold Lewis said. "He's very tenacious. He is an every-down player with a high motor."

It's early, but Bright currently favors LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State. All have offered him a scholarship.

Ryan Perrilloux

Ryan Perrilloux (Reserve [La.] East St. John) is the country's top quarterback prospect and is ranked No. 3 overall. At 6-2 and 207 pounds, he reminds me of current Dallas Cowboys QB Quincy Carter at the same age. Perrilloux is blessed with a strong arm and has great quickness in the pocket when things break down.

As a junior, Perrilloux passed for more than 2,600 yards, notched 29 touchdown passes and had only five interceptions. He also rushed for 1,274 yards and 22 scores. LSU could prove tough to beat in the race to sign him, but Perrilloux also lists Florida, FSU, Georgia, Texas, Michigan and USC as contenders. All have offered him a scholarship.

Powerhouse Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln has recently generated a long and impressive list of super prospects. This season, the school's big name is wide receiver Fred Rouse. Rouse, the nation's top wide receiver prospect and No. 4 overall player, could very well be the best of the bunch from Lincoln.

"I don't know who is the best [from Lincoln], but Fred is right up there with them," said Lincoln head coach Dave Wilson. "All of those guys [Antonio Cromartie, Gavin Dickey, Pat Watkins and Craphonso Thorpe] have special qualities and so does Fred. Besides being so athletic, he has great instincts. In addition to being an outstanding wide receiver, he's a great kick returner and just has that knack for finding the crease. Fred Rouse will be a player who stands on his own."

Rouse, at 6-3 and 187 pounds, can beat you on any type of passing route, and when he gets in the open field, he runs like a gazelle. The Seminoles are the favorite to land Rouse, but watch out for the Hurricanes. He also likes USC, Tennessee and LSU, all of which have offered a scholarship.

Jamario O'Neal

For the third consecutive year, the top cornerback in the land is from Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville High School -- and will attend Ohio State. Two years ago, it was Donte Whitner and last season it was Ted Ginn Jr. This season, it's Jamario O'Neal, and he checks in at No. 5 overall.

O'Neal is a tremendous athlete who could play a variety of positions for the Buckeyes, but he projects right now as a CB. He has great size (6-1, 185), speed (10.4 in the 100 meters) and is very strong. O'Neal has super lateral movement and great hips to play the corner position.

Eugene Monroe, dubbed "Mean Gene," is the top-rated offensive line prospect and No. 6 overall. Monroe, at 6-7 and 320 pounds, is from Plainfield, N.J. Mean Gene is a prototype tackle with a big body, long arms and great feet. He also carries a 4.0 GPA and has committed to Virginia.

"I'm a real good pass blocker and I can dominate on run blocking as well," Monroe said. "I can block in the open field, too. I set my feet good and can work my hands well. But I want to control defenders more easily and improve my hand quickness and placement. I also want to improve my agility and movement."

Justin King

Coming it at No. 7 is Justin King (Monroeville [Pa.] Gateway). He could play on either side of the ball, but projects higher at cornerback. King has blazing speed and even better quickness. As a running back, he has good vision and once he gets in open space he's deadly with the football. Defensively, he's an aggressive CB with superior closing speed and he can be physical.

"I prefer playing cornerback," King said. "It's better in the long run because there are more corners than running backs in the NFL."

Michigan and Penn State currently lead the race for King, but he's also considering FSU, Texas, USC and Pittsburgh. Each school has offered him a scholarship.

The top linebacker in the country -- and No. 8 overall -- is Luthur Brown (Lakewood, Calif.). Brown is an every-down linebacker who can rush the passer, play sideline-to-sideline and drop in pass coverage.

"Luthur is 6-3, 227, and he is just so physically impressive," Lakewood head coach Mike Christensen said. "I went to the Chargers training camp last year, and he wouldn't look out of place in an NFL camp. He's still a kid but he's built like those guys and on top of that he runs like a Poly [Long Beach] running back."

Brown presently favors Miami and USC but UCLA, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Nebraska and Washington are all in the mix. He has offers from every school.

Patrick Turner

At No. 9 is Patrick Turner (Madison [Tenn.] Goodpasture), a huge wide receiver listed at 6-5 and 210 pounds. Turner possesses tremendous hands, concentration and body control.

"Patrick is an outstanding young man who works very hard," Goodpasture head coach David Martin said. "He has unlimited potential because of his talent. Patrick has a natural instinct for getting open and going for the ball."

As a junior, Turner had 56 receptions for 955 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Vols are sitting pretty with Turner and he's also listing Miami, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and USC. All have offered him scholarships.

No. 10 overall, Mark Sanchez (Mission Viejo [Calif.]) is the most polished quarterback in the land, but Perrilloux (at No. 3) has more upside. Sanchez, at 6-2 and 215 pounds, threw for more than 2,600 yards, 29 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. His completion percentage last season was a whopping 75 percent. He has great mechanics and footwork. Sanchez possesses a very good arm and has all the passes in his arsenal. He makes great decisions with the ball and is very accurate.

"I love to make audibles and break down the defense," Sanchez said. "I've been well-coached [by Bob and Bret Johnson] and I read well. I also get out of the pocket well and can throw on the run and scramble, too. I need to work on my footwork, speed and on my consistency."

Sanchez is currently listing Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas and USC as front-runners.

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