South: 2014 Scout 300 Moves

Chad Thomas

We are closing in on the 2013 football season and we are less than six months from signing day 2014. Scout updated their 2014 Scout 300, released it Monday, and there are some movers in the South. Here is an update…

2014 Scout 300

We have now ranked over 2,000 high school football seniors on Scout and 29 of those are now five-star prospects. Two new names are on that list and they are wide receiver Ermon Lane and defensive end Chad Thomas.

Both have been Scout 100 prospects from the beginning and both showed they were five-star talents over the summer.

Lane, a 6-foot-2, 197 pound senior out of Homestead, Fla. recently committed to Florida and the Gators got a good one. He does so many things well and he is really starting to come into his own. He has great size, he displays elite body control, he can stretch the field, and he can be as good as he wants to. He is now the No. 2 wide receiver in the country on Scout.

Thomas (6-5, 240 pounds) is a defensive end who has filled out physically and his game has taken off. It started in the spring for this Miami commitment at the NIKE Football Training Camp in Miami, then he shined at The Opening, he dominated at camps like Alabama and Florida State in July, and he is now one of the premier rush ends in America.

His head coach Ice Harris thinks highly of his new five star.

Lane should have a big senior season.
"Chad has really developed over the last couple of years. He understands what it takes to give maximum effort every play and that has really elevated his play. Each time we are on the field he has been more consistent with that. The more we played last year, the better he got. He still has so much upside going to the next level," said Coach Harris.

"His work ethic is so good and we want to make sure he continues to show his ability to lead. That is a key for him at this point. He is quiet to a point where he wants to just do it all on the field, but we would like to see him become more vocal in the weight room, off the field, and things like that too. The kids respect him and they know he is going to bring it every day and every night, but we want him to show others how to rise to that level. That is really the next growing point for Chad."

Some look A.T. Thomas at think he is just a speed rush guy off the edge, but that is not the case. The new five-star out of Booker T. Washington is balanced.

"Chad can really be balanced as a defensive lineman. We sometimes move him inside to help us, so that has helped him play the run. He understands how to stay low and help there, but he is great coming off the edge too. He can do whatever we need him to do at a high level and he is only getting better. I see Chad as someone who can play the run or rush the passer."

Thomas is the No. 17 overall prospect in the country.

Adding a Fourth Star

Five prospects added four stars this cycle and they are Johnnie Dixon, Johnny Dwight, Nolan Kelleher, Jalan McClendon, and Travis Rudolph.

Dixon and Rudolph are wide receivers out of the Sunshine State and both have shown they belong in this group. Dixon, more of a physical wideout out of Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer could end up playing inside at slot on the next level. He is strong and he knows how to get open. Rudolph is a fluid wideout that has that subtle quickness on the edge. The West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman senior has been impressive all summer at each stop and he is now to No. 207 overall prospect in the country.

A couple of linemen moved up in the rankings as well and they are Alabama commitment Johnny Dwight and Florida commitment Nolan Kelleher. If you follow Scout's rankings, Kelleher is not a new name to the Scout 300. He dropped out a couple months ago as others moved up, but after we got our first live look at the 6-5, 296 pound offensive tackle out of Wando (S.C.) Mt. Pleasant we knew he needed to be back in this group. He could play right tackle or guard on the next level.

Dwight has academic concerns and he is working hard to be ready to enroll at Alabama in 2014, but you cannot deny his talent on the football field. He moves very well for a prospect 6-3, 296 pounds and he is someone who could excel in Tuscaloosa. Dwight is a star in Rochelle, Ga. at Wilcox County and this small town is known for producing talented prospects over the years.

McClendon is the No. 41 quarterback in the country.
Someone who has grown on Scout over the past six months is quarterback Jalan McClendon. The North Carolina State commitment has really matured as a quarterback and improved his overall game dramatically. He has become a much more consistent passer, he is better fundamentally, and we are impressed with his improvement. He still has a lot of room to grow as a signal caller. The 6-5 ½, 196 pound signal caller out of Charlotte (N.C.) West Mecklenburg can hurt defenses with his arm and legs.

Quick Hits

  • A couple prospects moved out of the Scout 300 and they are linebackers Sharieff Rhaheed and Petera Wilson.

  • Auburn, Ala. outside linebacker Rashaan Evans cracks the top 50. He is down to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and UCLA. He is so athletic, so quick off the edge, and athletic enough to drop into coverage. He checks in at No. 44 overall.

  • One, two, and three comes from the South. Leonard Fournette (RB – New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine), Cameron Robinson (OT - Monroe (La.) West Monroe), and Lorenzo Carter (DE – Norcross (Ga.)) are the top prospects in the country.

  • The state of Florida leads the way when talking four and five star prospects in the 2014 class. 38 prospects come out of Florida. Georgia is next with 26.

  • A couple of position changes to make note of are Ja'Von Harrison and Jamoral Graham. Harrison was moved from safety to wide receiver. The Virginia Tech commitment could play either position on the next level. Graham, a Mississippi State commitment was moved to cornerback from wide receiver. He is a versatile athlete who plays a lot of quarterback in high school.
    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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