May 24, 2010

Ranking and predicting the RebelGrove.com Top 20

Mississippi appears to be loaded with top prospects this year, including an elite quartet of wide receivers, a pair of potentially dominant offensive linemen, one of the Southeast's most coveted cornerbacks and _ as usual _ more than a handful of dynamic athletes who project favorably on both sides of the football.

To say it's early for predictions is an understatement, but with the spring evaluation period wrapping up and summer camps around the corner, prospects are beginning to pare their lists and move closer to decisions.

With that in mind, here's the early RebelGrove.com top 20, complete with signing day predictions from Neal McCready and Chase Parham. The list _ and certainly the predictions _ are subject to change between now and early February.

1. Nickalos Brassell, ATH, Batesville (South Panola): Brassell can do a lot of everything. He projects as a wide receiver or cornerback at the college level, and he's almost certainly going to be a threat in the return game for his college of choice. Brassell has offers from all over, but it's clear Ole Miss, Alabama and Southern Cal are his early top three.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

2. Tobias Singleton, WR, Madison (Madison Central): The Madison Central standout made numerous visits to Ole Miss last season with teammates Bryon Bennett and Carlton Martin and continues to be a mainstay around campus. The wide receiver is a national recruit that has offers from Oklahoma, Alabama and other powers, but the in-state appeal could win out in the end.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

3. Donte Moncrief, WR, Raleigh: Moncrief has been turning heads for more than two years, and now, he's growing into his considerable potential. At 6-foot-3, Moncrief projects as an outside receiver who is speedy and shifty enough to play in the slot. However, what makes him so attractive to college recruiters is he's versatile enough to project at running back, linebacker or safety at the college level. Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Alabama appear to be his early favorites.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

4. C.J. Johnson, LB, Philadelphia: Johnson committed to Mississippi State in October, although offers have come in from around the Southeast. Johnson's father died when he was 13, and the linebacker is committed to staying close to home. Johnson has a good relationship with the Bulldog staff, and the commitment should stick.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

5. Aaron Morris, OT, Jackson (Callaway): It's an in-state battle for the top lineman in the Magnolia State. Morris visited both Ole Miss and Mississippi State for spring games and is eager to check out the programs again in the fall. Morris has been diplomatic and avoided declaring a leader so far.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

6. Darion Arrington, S, Wiggins (Stone): A relative unknown earlier this year, Arrington's stock has skyrocketed this spring. The 6-1, 215-pounder has picked up a myriad of offers from schools in the SEC and Big 12. Arrington piled up impressive numbers as a running back, but his future is almost certainly on defense, thanks to his penchant for hard hits and his nose for the football.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

7. Marcus Mayers, LB/S, Taylorsville: Some analysts believe Mayers is a better prospect than Johnson, who has received more hype thus far. Mayers, who recorded 89 tackles and three interceptions as a junior, has picked up offers from Oklahoma, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He grew up cheering for the Rebels, and he recently indicated he plans to make a decision prior to the start of his senior season.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

8. Jermaine Whitehead, CB, Greenwood: While most of Whitehead's high school football highlights have occurred on offense, his combination of size and speed have college coaches projecting him as a big cornerback who can match up with tall receivers and cut the field in half. In what was somewhat of a surprise, Whitehead committed to Mississippi State early, but with schools such as Notre Dame, Stanford and Alabama _ not to mention Ole Miss' continuing interest, which appears to be very much mutual _ still working him, this recruiting saga might be anything but over.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

9. Joseph Morrow, WR, Ocean Springs: Morrow has picked up offers from one-third of the SEC, and Ole Miss, LSU and Auburn should all feel good about their chances for Morrow. In a different year, Morrow would be a candidate as the top player at his position, but it's a deep, loaded pool at wideout in Mississippi.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: LSU

10. Senquez Golson, CB, Pascagoula: Arguably the top cover corner in the state, Golson's choice will also have to fight the MLB Draft next summer. A centerfielder on the baseball field, some scouts Golson targeted in the top-10 rounds of the Draft. Golson has a brother at Mississippi State, but Ole Miss is a key factor after an April visit by Golson.

Neal McCready: LSU; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

11. Justin Bell, OG, Jackson (Callaway): Bell --- a teammate of Morris - will likely decide between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs are ahead due to Bell's timeline. He is choosing a school in August, as of right now, and Bell hasn't visited the Rebels for a gameday.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

12. Josh Pinkston, WR, Forest: The younger brother of former Southern Miss and NFL star wide receiver Todd Pinkston is overshadowed by some of the state's other wideouts, but he has the tools to be a very good player on Saturdays. Pinkston appears poised to stay inside the state, and he's built relationships with coaches at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and at his brother's alma mater.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

13. Malcolm Faciane, TE, Picayune: Alabama offered Faciane, as did Southern Miss and Ole Miss, and the Picayune tight end quickly jumped on the Tide's offer, committing April 15. The in-state schools are still after him, but with Alabama's current sexiness, it's hard to think a switch will occur.

Neal McCready: Alabama; Chase Parham: Alabama

14. Zach Jackson, DB, Heidelberg: Jackson has offers from the three Mississippi schools and committed to Mississippi State during the Bulldogs' first junior day of 20010 on Feb. 13. Jackson is listed as an athlete but will end up on the defensive side of the ball.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

15. Maikhail Miller, QB, Fulton (Itawamba Agricultural School): The 6-3, 225-pound Miller has a big-time arm and is elusive in the pocket. Miller will run the spread offense this season at IAS one year after passing for more than 3,000 yards as a junior. Ole Miss, Memphis and UAB have offered, and while Miller isn't publicly declaring a leader, it would be an upset if he doesn't commit to the Rebels in the next few months.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

16. Chelarvez Brown, RB, Winona: "Chief" appeared poised to commit to Mississippi State earlier in the spring, but he backed off that stance following a visit to Ole Miss and some interest from other programs such as Southern Miss and Stanford. Brown rushed for more than 1,300 yards last season and has excellent hands to go along with 6-2, 188-pound frame. He's expected to camp at Ole Miss in early June and the Rebels could be on the verge of offering a scholarship.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

17. Kendrick Market, DB, Batesville (South Panola): Like former South Panola standout Jamarca Sanford, Market's stock is a smallish safety with a knack for making plays and delivering big hits. Several schools are going to watch Market this fall to see how he progresses, but he projects as a steady tackler with solid coverage speed who will contribute on special teams at the college level.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

18. P.J. Jones, DT, Tupelo: Jones, a 6-2, 252-pounder with the athleticism to play off the edge on occasion, appears to be the subject of an intense recruiting battle between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Jones is good friends with former Tupelo teammate Chad Bumphis, now a rising sophomore wide receiver in Starkville, but he's made several trips to Oxford and has a strong relationship with the Rebels' coaches as well.

Neal McCready: Mississippi State; Chase Parham: Mississippi State

19. Jraven Tribble, DE, Raleigh: College coaches flocked to Raleigh this spring to see Tribble's teammate, Donte Moncrief. While Moncrief impressed, so did Tribble. His combination of size (6-5, 245) and athleticism, combined with his potential to grow more and get significantly stronger, has put him on the verge of several offers.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

20. Woodrow Hamilton, DT, Raleigh: As has been the case with Tribble, coaches left Raleigh this spring with Hamilton suddenly on the radar for some major-college scholarship offers. Hamilton, a 6-3, 265-pounder, had 69 tackles and nine quarterback sacks as a junior at Magee, moved to Raleigh after his grandmother's death. Like Hamilton, he's expected to make camp trips to Ole Miss and Alabama early next month.

Neal McCready: Ole Miss; Chase Parham: Ole Miss

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