Who are the best of the best?

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Most of the top players in the nation are gathering in San Antonio for the annual U.S. Army All-America Bowl. Many of them have made college commitments but a few of the top 10 prospects remain undecided as the February signing date approaches. So who are the players to watch? Who are the best players in the class of 2010?

My top 10 is headed by 6-8, 330-pound offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul, Minn. I first rated Seantrel as the nation's No. 1 player in March of 2008 for Sports Illustrated. Now here it is, almost two years later, and he still ranks as the nation's No. 1 prospect. He has proven to be the best OL prospect to come out of the Midwest since Joe Thomas. He is the most recruited player in the country. He is visiting Iowa, Notre Dame, Minnesota, USC, Florida and Ohio State.

The rest of my top 10 includes (in order) running back Marcus Lattimore of Duncan, S.C., defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat of Plano, Texas, running back Lache Seastrunk of Temple, Texas, quarterback Blake Bell of Wichita, Kan., defensive back Robert Woods of Gardana, Calif., quarterback Jake Heaps of Sammamish, Wash., quarterback Phillip Simms of Chesapeake, Va., quarterback Devin Gardner of Inkster, Mich., and running back/linebacker Anthony Barr of Los Angeles, Calif.

Like Henderson, Lattimore, Jeffcoat and Seastrunk remain uncommitted. Barr likely will choose Notre Dame, where his father Tony Brooks played, or UCLA. Bell has committed to Oklahoma, Woods to USC, Heaps to BYU, Simms to Alabama and Gardner to Michigan.

Most analysts agree on the top players in the class. But there are exceptions. And there are some differences that are difficult to understand.

For example, I am convinced that Iowa-bound C.J. Fiedorowicz of Johnsburg, Ill., is the best tight end in the nation. He ranks No. 16 on my top 100 list. But he isn't rated at all on Rivals' top 100 list and he is No. 65 on Scout's list.

Another one that puzzles me is Notre Dame-bound Christian Lombard of Fremd in Palatine, Ill. After watching him play in person and reviewing his film, it was apparent to me that Lombard had as good or perhaps better senior season than Henderson. He ranks No. 30 on my list, the fourth best offensive lineman in the country. But Rivals didn't rate him at all among its top 100 while Scout placed him No. 59.

Rivals rates USC-bound wide receiver Kyle Prater of Proviso West as the No. 2 player in the nation, behind only Henderson. I rate Prater No. 19, the second best wide receiver in the nation behind only Darius White of Fort Worth, Texas. Scout rates Prater No. 13.

But there are always some players that the analysts and college coaches disagree on. Take Florida State-bound linebacker Jeff Luc of Port St. Lucie, Fla. I rate him No. 75 but Rivals ranks him at No. 6 and Scout at No. 25.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on December 31, 2009 10:45 AM.

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