Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: A player who jumped out and surprised me, and went from the bottom portion of the Rivals100 well into the top half of that ranking, was Memphis (Tenn.) Central defensive end Frank Herron. Even amongst a loaded East defensive line, and going head-to-head with some of the top offensive linemen in the country, Herron was a noticeably impactful player at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Another pleasant surprise was Herron came in looking taller and bigger than his listed 6-foot-5, 236 pounds. Normally, listed weights tend to be inflated, but Herron's numbers were underreported.
Rob Cassidy, West: I'm not beating my own chest here. Really, I'm not. Ok, maybe a little. But Priest Willis played safety at the Under-Armour All-American Game and was nothing short of incredible. I've been saying he's more suited to play inside than to play corner all along, and he proved me correct during the all-star season. Willis is a very good cornerback, but he's a top-tier safety. He runs well and closes with speed and aggression. His performance at the position was enough to earn him a serious bump in the final rankings.
oody Wommack, Southeast: The guy I really like after we saw him perform well at two different all-star events is Lewis Neal. The only thing that kept him from making a big move up the rankings is concern about where exactly he'll play at the next level. I think he has the talent to play defensive end or perhaps a hybrid linebacker position; but in the end, he didn't quite get the bump that I fought for because he doesn't have a true position.
This post was edited on 1/21 at 10:44 am