247sports.com's preseason top 247


The release of the preseason Top 247 sets the standard for the top high school football prospects in America heading into the fall.

Now, the only movement that will be made in the rankings before February will be based on what the class of 2012 does under the lights and in pads.

Corey Coleman and Todd Gurley sit barely outside the Top 100 after previously being nowhere near that distinction.

Coleman, out of Richardson, Texas, made the jump to No. 103 from No. 224 after showing special athleticism at The Opening event in Oregon, and putting that athleticism to good use in 7-on-7 play.

Gurley possesses speed that can’t be ignored. A world-class track athlete, Gurley is also a football player - and his speed shows up on the field.

Tyler Nero leads a big jump for a pair of Auburn commitments. Nero, previously an unranked four-star, shot up the rankings to No. 125 due to his physicality and motor at the line of scrimmage. Similarly, thoughness and a competitive nature are a big reason for the jump of previous three-star Jovon Robinson out of Memphis, Tenn. The Auburn running back commit has been a warrior inside and outside of pads in several settings.

Despite Robinson’s big jump, he isn’t the top-rated player in the state of Tennessee. That title goes to Sheldon Dawson, another player previously rated as a three-star who checks in at No. 148. Dawson currently stands as one of the University of Memphis’ top commitments in years and could excel at either running back or cornerback in college.

Along with Auburn, LSU saw a couple of its commitments make big jumps. Cornerback Dwayne Thomas moved into the Top 247 at No. 229. Meanwhile, Lamar Louis continued his dominating camp tour this offseason, making it impossible to keep him any lower than his new slot at No. 130.

Cincinnati got good news with the recent commitment of Dennis Norfleet at running back. Norfleet was barely inside the Top 247, but has now moved all the way up to No. 136. He has quickly become a universal favorite among the national rankings committee as a player who is absolutely dominant every time he steps on the field.

Wisconsin commit Bart Houston and Texas A&M commit Matt Davis showed that they’re worthy of Top 100 consideration. Houston and Davis made their statements at the Elite 11 and Gridiron Kings events, respectively. Houston checks in at No. 132 with Davis right behind at No. 133.

Jeremy Liggins out of Oxford, Miss., is another quarterback that made a big leap - though he may make his biggest impact at another position on Saturdays. Listed as an athlete, all 270 pounds of Liggins has impressed us enough to shoot all the way up to No. 139.

The linebacker position was another spot that saw some big risers. Miami commit Keith Brown, Florida State commit Markuss Eligwe and Nebraska commit Michael Rose were all players that were unranked in the Top 247 prior to this release. With some performances that were impossible to ignore, the trio has landed at Nos. 159, 171 and 172, respectively.

With the Top 100 and Top 247 in the books, more four-star releases will roll out over the next couple of weeks. Updates to the three-star and two-star ranks will also be added as the 2012 recruiting cycle marches on quickly.