The preseason update to the Top247 rankings for the class of 2020 is out. It’s where players stand entering their last season of high school football. At this point, we’ve got extensive junior film, college coach feedback, loads of in-person evaluations at camps, combine results and a network of information built on these prospects.
Let’s take a look at the five biggest risers in the latest update.
Noah Sewell, ILB, Orem, Utah: One of six new five stars in the latest update, Sewell is a 266-pound inside linebacker who is as good in space as the guys 50 pounds lighter. At that frame, Sewell has a 35-inch vertical, runs a 4.75 40-yard dash and plays running back in addition to linebacker for his high school. We’ve compared him to Devin White, but he could just as easily be compared to another first-round draft pick if he wanted to change positions: Ed Oliver. Sewell is the younger brother of Oregon starting tackle Penei Sewell and also has brothers playing at Utah and Nevada, but the SEC has a very real chance of landing him with Georgia, Alabama and LSU among the favorites.
Jalin Conyers, TE, Gruver, Texas: The tight ends are invading the Top 100. Conyers jumped up to No. 44 in the rankings after taking a big picture view of the nation and understanding how rare it is to see a prospect of his caliber. He’s a four-sport athlete with outstanding ball skills and size that has run as fast as 4.7 this offseason. The small-town product is only scratching the surface both physically and athletically, and is the type of player that will really accelerate developmentally on the next level. He’s committed to Oklahoma where he’ll join Lincoln Riley’s incredible fleet of skill talent. Canadian-native Theo Johnson, Notre Dame commit Michael Mayer, 6-foot-7 freak Darnell Washington and five-star Arik Gilbert are the other four Top 100 tight ends.
Peter Skoronski, OG, Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South: Moving all the way from No. 173 up to No. 29 in the newest rankings, Skoronski is an embodiment of the things that we love on the offensive line. The Northwestern commit is an athlete first and foremost with great movement skills, lateral quickness and the ability to lock on to defenders in space. He’s also really nasty and physical with film that holds up alongside any lineman in this class. Additionally, Skoronski has NFL bloodlines with a grandfather in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, outstanding athleticism outside of football evidenced by a 57-foot shot put and a fantastic reputation among college evaluators. He’s a huge get for Northwestern and a guy we believe is one of the truly elite linemen in this class.
Demorie Tate, CB, Orlando (Fla.) Freedom: Tate was one of the real revelations of The Opening Finals this summer. In a class that is thin at the top in terms of elite cornerback prospects, Tate appeared to emerge as one of the select few. He plays a lot of offense for his high school team and the film can be inconclusive, but seeing is believing in person when it comes to this prospect. The Florida State commit is long-armed, extremely fast and has great ball-tracking skills with the ability to make plays downfield. He also checks the athleticism box with a 10.8 100-meter dash time to his credit. Tate’s bump pushes him all the way up from No. 125 to No. 37 in the country and the No. 4 ranked cornerback.
Ohio State wide receiver commits: The Buckeyes have the No. 1 wide receiver in the country committed in Julian Fleming. That didn’t change with the latest update, but opponents hoping to employ some sort of bracket coverage in the future got some bad news with the rise of Fleming’s future teammates Gee Scott Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Scott is up from No. 58 to No. 26 with as much polish as any receiver in this class and testing numbers that top those of D.K. Metcalf at the same stage in high school. Smith-Njigba is one of the most productive wide receivers in the country and he showed why in some offseason settings with as smooth and efficient route-running ability as you will find. He’s up from No. 71 to No. 47 nationally and Ohio State has three of the top eight wide receivers in the country committed.