Rivals250 released: Analysts discuss rankings debates

Rivals.com, Staff
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The Rivals250 for the 2020 class has been released. Our analysts discuss some of the biggest debates, questions and concerns that went on behind the scenes in the latest round of rankings updates.

NEW RELEASE: CLASS OF 2020 RIVALS250

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

RIVALS RANKINGS RELEASE: New Rivals100 | Breaking down the new five-stars | Top 10 breakdown | Who could still finish in the top 10? | Why is Bresee No. 1? | Farrell's thoughts

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1. Who did you personally go to bat for that will make you look wise down the road?

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Matt Moreno/GOAZCATS.com

Rob Cassidy (Florida): I led the charge on Derek Wingo adding a fifth star and did so because he’s as consistent and well-rounded a linebacker as there is in the country. Only Justin Flowe seems like more of a sure thing to me. Wingo has an extremely rare blend of size and athleticism and also has the qualities it takes to lead a defense. There aren’t a lot of complete high school linebackers out there, but the hyper-athletic Wingo is just that.

Mike Farrell (National): I stood on the table for RB Tank Bigsby to be the No. 1 running back (non all-purpose) in the country and he’s going to have a huge career in college. He can also catch the ball so he’ll impact there as well.

Adam Friedman (Mid-Atlantic): After the season he had, I was really pushing for running back Blake Corum to move up the rankings. The Michigan commit really improved his ability to effectively run between the tackles and runs much harder than defenders anticipate. Corum's game is also really well-rounded. He is a big contributor in the passing game and should had a very successful career in Ann Arbor if used correctly.

Adam Gorney (National/West Coast): Four-star quarterback Shane Illingworth is a tall, rangy kid with a big arm who posted huge numbers during his high school career. And he’s committed to Oklahoma State. Illingworth moved up to No. 116 nationally and in coach Mike Gundy’s offense he should be able to sit back in the pocket and throw the ball all over the field. I know this season the Cowboys used Chuba Hubbard a lot in the run game but Gundy wants to throw the ball and Illingworth should be a perfect fit in Stillwater.

Josh Helmholdt (Midwest): Iowa commit Deontae Craig makes the leap into the Rivals250 and takes over as No. 1 in Indiana after this update. I loved his junior film, but with his atypical size we needed more evaluation points before we made the four-star move. Craig took his game to the next level as a senior, and I see him being a Shawne Merriman type for the Hawkeyes, and likely beyond.

Chad Simmons (Southeast): Jimmy Callaway went from a 5.6rr to a 5.7rr over the summer, but after seeing his senior tape, he has taken that next step to 5.8rr and four stars. He is committed to Tennessee, and the Vols offered early, so they look very smart at this time. Callaway is a versatile athlete that played quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback this season. He rarely left the field and he could be a star on either side of the ball on the next level. Georgia Tech and Kentucky have still tried to get him on campus, but he seems strong to the Vols at this time. If Jeremy Pruitt and his staff hold on, Callaway will make an impact next fall in Knoxville.

Sam Spiegelman (Texas/Louisiana): Donovan Kaufman. He was a three-star because he's undersized, he's a bit of a tweener in regards to his position and he probably doesn't have the offer sheet he deserves, but when he steps on the field he's usually the most impactful player. Kaufman is a modern-day Honey Badger, and when you're talking about a player from New Orleans, that comparison should not be taken lightly. He's a natural playmaker, an aggressive defender with 4.4 speed and plays with a humongous chip on his shoulder. We're going to be hearing his name frequently on Saturdays in the SEC soon.

Woody Wommack (Southeast): This go-round I really went to bat for Jay Hardy. Because of some injuries in the offseason, he wasn't involved on the camp circuit and sort of fell off the national radar. He entered the fall in the Rivals250, but after getting a chance to see him play live and the amount of athleticism and playmaking ability he showed at his size led me to move him into the Rivals100 and to the top spot in the state rankings. Hardy is headed to Auburn, where the Tigers hope he can step in and help fill the void that will be left by several quality defensive linemen heading to the NFL.

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2. Who do you fear that we may have too high?

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Sam Spiegelman

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