CSTV's Tom Lemming Unveils 2007 Top 100 Football Recruits List :: Highly touted quarterback Clausen leads the pack
CSTV's Tom Lemming Unveils 2007 Top 100 Football Recruits List

Aug. 24, 2006

By Brian Hardy




Brian is an assistant editor for CSTV.com and contributes on a regular basis.
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It's never too early to start thinking about college football's National Signing Day, and to get you ready for the upcoming recruiting period, CSTV Recruiting Expert Tom Lemming has released his Top 100 recruits for the Class of 2007.


In a class that Lemming says has more depth than the two that preceded it, there is talent across the board in all positions.


"At almost every single position, there is a good number of ball players this year, including two positions that rarely see a lot of depth: cornerback and defensive tackle," Lemming said. "It's unique in the fact that there's no overloaded position. They're all above normal, which is unusual."


At the top of Lemming's list is quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds has committed to Notre Dame. The quarterback out of Westlake Village Oaks Christian High School in California has put up some big numbers the past two years and received praise from Lemming.


"This is my 28th year doing this and Jimmy may be the most accomplished quarterback I've seen at this stage," Lemming said. "He's got the innate ability to make things happen at the quarterback position."


At No. 2 in Lemming's Top Ten is running back Caleb King. The 5-foot-11 tailback averaged 8.9 yards per carry as a junior.


"He's a back with tremendous speed, vision and burst. He takes defenders by surprise with that good speed," Lemming said. "He's a breakaway threat and in a year of breakaway threats, he's right now the top-rated guy."


Third in Lemming's rankings is 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who Lemming says is a bigger version of Warren Sapp and stands in as the nation's top-ranked defensive player in Lemming's rankings.


In the fourth spot is John Clay, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound tailback out of Wisconsin. Clay averaged 12.5 yards per carry as a junior and led his team to a state title.


"When it's all said and done, he could be the best back in the nation," Lemming said. "He's got terrific all-around speed and he's a big guy. He's kind of like a prep version of Jim Brown. He is a true impact player and will be an impact player"


Fifth in Lemming's rankings is Ryan Mallett. A big 6-foot-6, 235-pound QB, Mallett has committed to Michigan.


"He's a typical Michigan-type quarterback: pro style, big time arm, and a pocket passer," Lemming said. "He's got all the ingredients to follow in the footsteps of Drew Henson, Brian Griese and Tom Brady."


Running back Joe McKnight is No. 6 in Lemming's rankings. According to Lemming, the tailback possesses similar skills as Reggie Bush.


"Joe is one of three or four backs in the country that have Reggie Bush-type instincts and bursts," Lemming said. "He's an exceptionally creative ball player in the open field and could play running back, wide receiver or defensive back, and is one of the nation's premier punt/kickoff returners."


The first wide receiver steps in at No. 7 on Lemming's list, as the spot belongs to wideout Arrelious Benn.  Comparing him to a prep version of Michael Irvin, Lemming says that Benn has all the tools.


"He's got the great size, strong hands, strength," Lemming said. "He's also able to create in the open field. And above all, he's very productive: he averaged 22 yards per catch last year."


Linebacker Chris Strong is ranked No. 8 by Lemming. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker, who led his team to a state title last season, is committed to Ole Miss.


"Chris is a big linebacker who has the quick feet and instincts despite his great size to remain at linebacker," Lemming said. "He makes plays from sideline to sideline."


At No. 9, offensive tackle Josh Oglesby stands in as the lone offensive lineman in Lemming's Top Ten. The 6-foot-8, 310-pound tackle is the "No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation," according to Lemming, who says Oglesby reminds him of Jonathan Ogden. Oglesby has committed to Wisconsin.


Rounding out the top 10 is tight end Mike Ragone, out of Camden Catholic High School in New Jersey. Although he had knee surgery this past February, Lemming says that when Ragone is healthy, "no tight end in the country can do as much as he does."


Ragone, who Lemming says might just be the next Jeremy Shockey, averaged over 20 yards per catch and had six touchdowns of over 60 yards last season. He is committed to the Irish, giving Notre Dame two early commitments in Lemming's Top Ten.



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