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July 29, 2009

Down year for talent in Alabama?

Preseason State Rankings:

You could certainly say that the state of Alabama has really had a couple of back-to-back years of great high school football talent. The talent level was high at the top and deep in terms of producing college football prospects for the Classes of 2008 and '09. How does the Rivals.com 2010 Alabama state ranking stack up to the last two?

"There does not appear to be the same amount of talent compared to the last two years," said Barry Every, National Recruiting Analyst from Rivals.com. "I am basing this on the fact that there does not seem to be as many kids holding Auburn or Alabama offers."

The last two years a prospect from the state of Alabama held the distinction as the nation's top prospect at their respective position in wide receiver Julio Jones two years ago and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick last season. This season's No.1 prospect in the pre-season Alabama state Top 40 is Stanhope Elmore cornerback DeMarcus Milliner and he just so happens to be the nation's top prospect in the secondary.

"It's just so rare to find a prospect that has the size of Milliner but also has his kind of elite speed and athleticism," said Rivals.com analyst Barton Simmons. "He's got the ability to play about every skill position on the field and he'll be doing that on the high school level but what really makes him special is that he is very natural at the cornerback position despite his size at around 6-2."

Led by Milliner, defense dominates the state, where up to seven players in the Alabama top 10 could project on that side of the ball. Joining Milliner in the top five are Blount safety Jarrick Williams, Jess Lanier linebacker LaDarius Owens, Opelika running back Corey Grant and Prattville athlete Sam Gibson. Milliner, Williams and Owens are all members of the Rivals100.

More new releases

The state of Maryland may not have a five-star prospect this season but that doesn't mean it isn't a good year in the state. Over five dozen players have been offered Division I scholarships and just like in 2009, this group is led by another big-time linebacker in Cal commit Nick Forbes.

It's a pretty deep year in the state of Wisconsin and you can expect most of those players to pick the Badgers before it's all said and done. However, at this time, the state's top two are headed to rivals of Wisconsin as defensive end Mike Hardy is headed to Iowa and quarterback Tom Parrish is committed to Minnesota.

Iowa and Oregon round out Wednesday's state rankings releases with Iowa City (Iowa) High athlete A.J. Derby and Portland (Ore.) David Douglas defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa leading the way in those states.



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