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February 8, 2012
Rivals100: Toughest decisions
Rivals.com's football recruiting analysts weigh in on their toughest decision in the initial Class of 2013 Rivals100 rankings.
Mike Farrell: My toughest decision was where to rank Derrick Green (No. 64) and Taquan Mizzell (No. 86) in relation to one another. Both are great backs with different styles and needed to be close numerically at the position and overall. It will be interesting to see this battle for Virginia's top running back all year.
Adam Gorney: My toughest call in the Rivals 100 was keeping both Tahaan Goodman and Chris Hawkins out of it. The two defensive backs from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., have outstanding junior film and have picked up numerous offers in the last week - some major ones - so I'm wondering whether they deserve to be up just a little bit higher. I've heard only good things about both of them from trusted sources as well but I have not seen them play in person so I wanted to be a little more conservative off the bat. The good thing is there are so many updates to the Rivals100 and I'm sure I'll see both of them numerous times over the coming months. Those will be my chances to see if they're properly placed in the Rivals 250 or if they deserve a major bump into the top 100.
Josh Helmholdt: Alliance (Ohio) Marlington safety Dymonte Thomas is one of the fastest players in the Midwest for 2013, and overall an outstanding athlete. As a junior, though, he mostly played close to the line of scrimmage and we did not get a chance to see much of him in coverage. So, we did not get too bullish on his ranking until we were able to more thoroughly assess his coverage skills.
Chris Nee: Including Derrick Henry among the top 100 prospects was a no-brainer, but exactly where he should fall in and what primary position he should be considered for is tough to gauge at this point. Henry has been a running back throughout his high school career and says he intends to remain at that spot when he reaches the next level, but we feel at this point it is best to consider him a unique, special athlete who could play a variety of positions possibly on either side of the ball. Ranking him as an athlete leads to a bit of an unknown territory because you aren't specifically comparing him to running backs.
Keith Niebuhr: He's not in my region, but I'll go with Derrick Henry, who is rated as an athlete but plays running back at Yulee (Fla.). He's listed at 6-foot-3, 232 pounds and is among the best put-together prospects in this class. The question is this: Which position will he play in college? Some think tailback. Others worry he's too big for that position. Might he be better suited for tight end? Or defensive end? I really don't know. And neither do many college coaches. Even though he has rushed for a ton of yards, I worry about his upright style at the next level. What I do know is that Henry is an exceptional athlete. And I truly believe he will succeed no matter the position. Therefore, I believe he's a top-100 prospect. But I'm not sure precisely where he belongs. Ultimately, he landed at No. 29.
Brian Perroni: It is a very strong year in the state of Texas for defensive tackles and all of the top prospects seem to have huge upsides. With Isaiah Golden, Justin Manning, A'Shawn Robinson and Darius James (though James is listed as an offensive guard), those four could have gone in nearly any order. It was tough to decide exactly which order to place them within the Rivals100 as they are all very, very good players.