South: Rankings Update
This story originally published on FOXSportsRecruiting.com
Chris Jones
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Dec 19, 2012
Chad Simmons


Before we enter the All-American game season, there have been some moves within the Scout rankings. After evaluating prospects in all-star games and playoffs the last few weeks, you can see who made moves here.

Now that the high school football seasons are over and most of the all-star games have been played, some prospects have seen their stock improve on Scout.

After spending time in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina last week, a number of prospects made moves.

Here is a look at some of the biggest moves out of the South.

Jones Jumps Into Scout100

The biggest mover within the Scout300 is Chris Jones, a 6-foot-6, 255 pound defensive end that is committed to Mississippi State.

Jones has some impressive film, but he is that much more impressive in person. After watching him for a couple of hours, it was evident that he is one of the top defensive linemen in the country.

He moved up from the high 100s to no. 91 overall in the country and he could continue to ascend up the rankings after he plays in the Under Armour All-America game.

What is so great about Jones is how good he is while still being so raw. He is quick off the ball and he can really dip that shoulder to get past offensive tackles when rushing the quarterback, but he is still learning technique and he rarely uses his hands in combat. He has so much room to improve and to think about what he could be like in three to fours could have him in five-star discussion come January.

Another Four-star Running Back

It is just a great year in the South at running back. Our top backs (in order) in 2012 were Keith Marshall (Georgia), Duke Johnson (Miami), Mario Pender (Florida State), T.J. Yeldon (Alabama), Mike Davis (South Carolina), Todd Gurley (Georgia), and Matt Jones (Florida), and all had big impacts other than Pender who was redshirted due to injury.

That is a very strong group and the 2013 group may not be as good at the top, but it could be deeper.

Mark Dodson (Ole Miss commitment) and T.J. Logan (North Carolina commitment) added a fourth star last month and Georgia Tech commitment Travis Custis added his this cycle.

Custis could be a steal for Georgia Tech. Some question his speed and his quickness through the hole, but they shouldn't. He ran for over 2,000 yards for the second consecutive season and the Yellow Jackets not only are getting a productive player, but a back with strength, sneaky quickness, and someone who finishes with great body lean.

Wide Receivers on the Move

No drastic moves here where prospects changed stars, but Auburn commitment Jason Smith moved up six spots at his position. He is now the no. 30 receiver in the country and he may move up a little more come January.

After watching him at a practice for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, he showed very good hands, natural ability to catch the ball, and all of the ability you look for in a big-play wide receiver. He will be used in multiple ways at Auburn and he should be a prospect that really flourishes under Gus Malzahn.

Other receivers that saw positive moves were Georgia Tech commitment JuMichael Ramos (No. 75) and Ole Miss commitment Derrick Jones (No. 110). Both are wide receivers that are 6-foot-2 or taller with deceptive speed and good hands.

Clemson commitment Mike Williams dropped slightly in the receiver rankings to no. 41. He is still a four-star wideout with a lot of ability, but he needs to work on his get off and his separation speed. He is outstanding on the deep balls and when the ball is in the air.

Quick Hitters

  • It was once clear that Tyrone Crowder of Rockingham, N.C. was the top interior OL in this region, but Alabama commitment Grant Hill is making a push for that spot. Hill has dropped about 30 pounds over the past year and Crowder has added some weight. Hill moved into the Scout100 this cycle and is now only 10 spots behind Crowder overall. This is a battle to watch over the final month.

  • Ashton Shumpert really impressed Scout in Montgomery last week. The combination of his size, strength, and quickness as a running back really stood out. He did not make a big move and we kept him as a safety in our rankings for now, but he could be a top prospect at either position. He is currently the no. 11 safety in the country and the no. 160 prospect overall. He will likely sign with Mississippi State or Ole Miss.

  • It is a tight race for the top offensive lineman in the state of Mississippi. Kent Flowers was the top offensive lineman last week in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game and he has really closed the gap on Jake Thomas. Both OLs are committed to Mississippi State and Thomas is the no. 27 and Flowers is no. 35. It could get closer than this before all is said and done. Ole Miss commitment Daronte Bouldin also moved up to no. 49 at offensive tackle.

  • Vanderbilt commitment Jonathan Ford remained a four-star and a member of the Scout300, but he dropped seven spots down to no. 32. He is a little thinner than expected and he really needs to add some weight and strength to his lower body. He is still one of the top backs in this region and a great get for the Commodores, but his size was a little deceptive on film.

  • Mississippi State commitment Deon Mix moved down to the no. 41 offensive guard in the country. He is still a solid three-star prospect, but he needs to reshape his body, get stronger at the point of attack, and move his feet more when in battle. He bends well and he shows flashes at OL, so the Bulldogs have a prospect that Scout expects to contribute down the road.

  • Tony Bridges is a prospect to remember. He may be headed the Junior College route, but the 5-foot-11, 175 pound athlete out of Hattiesburg, Miss. is someone who impressed at cornerback last week. Keep an eye on this one. He is a three-star CB on Scout.
    Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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