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August 30, 2011

Most difficult decisions in Rivals250

MORE RIVALS250: Rankings | Full story | Live chat

Rivals.com analysts discuss the decisions with which they wrestled most for the latest Rivals250 rankings.

Mike Farrell: For me it was Abner Logan. I know he doesn't have any huge offers, but after seeing him again this summer I think he's just too good an athlete to let slide out of the 250. We had to make some tough decisions and some very good players slid out of the 250. That's always hard and he was a kid I debated about, but I have a good feeling about him being a potential star for someone down the road once he plays better competition.

Adam Gorney: My toughest call was having Scott Starr move down 30 spots. It seems like a drastic drop, especially after Starr looked good at the Stanford NIKE Camp, but we felt that the Norco (Calif.) linebacker was rated maybe a little high in the earlier rankings. The thing that was so tough about that decision was I love Starr in games - and I think that's way more important in rankings considerations than camp performances. But some players moved up ahead of him after having big-time summer showings and he wasn't out on the circuit a lot so we dropped him a little bit. In no way is that an indictment on his talents because I love how Starr plays the game and the intensity he brings to the field. He is poised to have a big senior season and that can help his future rankings.

Josh Helmholdt: I had a difficult time with Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights quarterback Zeke Pike. I saw him twice this off-season and he really struggled both times. The ball came out of his hands wobbling and off the mark throw after throw. Now, Pike apparently had surgery soon after his NIKE Camp appearance in May and did come back stronger at the Elite 11 in California, I am told. He is a big kid and a great athlete but he's really going to have to show me something this fall.

Chris Nee: Citra (Fla.) North Marion wide receiver Latroy Pittman was a prospect that, going into the re-ranking process, I felt would see a good-sized bump up, but when the dust settled his adjustment was minor. Despite going from No. 37 in his positional rankings to No. 29, Pittman only went up 28 spots overall in the Rivals250, from No. 240 to No. 212. With a lot of new names in the 250 and numerous other receivers still ahead of him, his move just couldn't be more significant. It is the nature of the beast when it comes to rankings. Pittman had a strong offseason, capped by his good performance at Gridiron Kings. He is a very good, well-rounded wide receiver who has solid hands and outstanding body control. To see him continue to rise in the rankings throughout the remainder of the year would not be surprising.

Keith Niebuhr: Justin Thomas, the 5-11, 175-pound Prattville (Ala.) ATH, is an enormous talent. The question is, which position will he play in college. At Prattville, he's a quarterback. And over the summer, the Alabama commit told us he'd get a shot at that spot in Tuscaloosa. In our opinion, though, he'll likely end up at receiver or defensive back. When you take someone who's playing one position and project them somewhere else it's difficult. Part of me thinks he could be a terrific receiver because he's so good with the football in his hands. Part of me thinks he'll make a great corner because of his speed and toughness. Then again, he's such a great athlete he very well might get a look at QB before he ends up anywhere else. One thing is certain: Thomas is a heck of an athlete and deserved to be somewhere in the 250.

Brian Perroni: Mesquite (Texas) Horn cornerback DeVante Harris had several strong showings this spring and summer. The Oklahoma commit proved to have an innate ability to blanket a receiver. He is able to turn and run with just about any wideout and sticks to them like glue. The big knock on him is his lack of ideal size. He is incredibly skinny at this point and you have to wonder if he can handle the big, physical receivers in the Big 12. We ranked him ahead of another Texas cornerback in Colin Blake, who is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. Was that the right decision? I'm still 50/50 on it, to be honest.



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