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August 19, 2012

Rivals100: Post-summer's toughest calls

MORE: Rivals100 live chat, 2 p.m. ET Monday

The Rivals.com team of analysts met last week to discuss the post-summer rankings. On Monday, the new Rivals100 rankings will be released, followed by the Rivals250 on Tuesday. The analysts will hold live chats at 2 p.m. ET each day to discuss the rankings.

Here is a sneak peek from the analysts:

What was the most difficult decision you faced personally in this round of rankings?

Rob Cassidy: It's not that Taquan Mizzell's ability was in doubt after a strong summer. What made his situation tough to sort through were the potential scenarios at work. He sparked talk of a position change. Of course, that led to even more debate. What would a switch to all-purpose back do to his overall ranking? How far should he shoot up the running back rankings should he stay at his current spot? Mizzell's situation was fluid and inspired a lot of what-if before it was settled.

Kynon Codrington: I had a tough time determining the top cornerback. Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy CB Jalen Ramsey was outstanding at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and The Opening. The USC pledge has ideal size, hips and change of direction, and shut down nearly every receiver he faced. Tampa (Fla.) Wharton CB Vernon Hargreaves III injured himself at The Opening and couldn't compete. However, he showed when healthy he is a versatile defender lining up at safety and picking off six passes at Gridiron Kings in Orlando. Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel CB Kendall Fuller didn't do anything to jeopardize his status this summer at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, The Opening and Gridiron Kings. Ramsey and Hargreaves proved they belong at the top of the discussion when ranking the nation's elite defensive backs.

Mike Farrell: For me it was obviously the battle between Kendall Fuller and Vernon Hargreaves III for the No. 1 cornerback slot. I think both players will be very successful in college and could go on to NFL careers, but I believe with Fuller's advantage in size and his natural instincts at the position as well as his family lineage, he's the safer bet to me. I think he is vastly undervalued elsewhere and he is a rare prospect at cornerback. But we had some very heated discussions about this and others had a different opinion so everyone will see how they shake out in Monday's release.

Adam Gorney: My toughest pick was Kendall Fuller vs. Vernon Hargreaves III for the No. 1 cornerback. Hargreaves had his chance at The Opening to prove it on a national stage but sat out with a mild ankle injury. And the guy who really deserves consideration is Jalen Ramsey. He was so phenomenal at every event and could be a guy who keeps creeping up the rankings toward that top spot at his position.

Josh Helmholdt: The toughest question for me in this go-round was whether we had a five-star wide receiver in the 2013 class. The wide receiver position is so highly valued in the college game today that it really is surprising no receiver had previously earned five-star status. The summer gave us a chance to see the majority of the top wide receivers in the nation and several are going to be moving higher in the rankings, but whether any had proven five-star worthy was a tough call.

Woody Wommack: I struggled most with the battle between Vernon Hargreaves III and Kendall Fuller for the top cornerback spot in the country. Both players were already in the top 10 with five-star rankings, and both also turned in terrific performances over the summer. I saw them both up close and personal at Gridiron Kings last month and came away impressed with skill sets of both players. Luckily I wasn't making the decision alone, and to say we had a healthy debate over the pair would be an understatement.



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