Just who are we supposed to believe?


L-R: DE Darryl Baldwin, LB Jordan Hicks, OL Andrew Norwell

Yesterday we unveiled the Ohio High preseason Top 150 prospects for the Class of 2010.

Today, in the second part of our series on Ohio’s senior recruiting class, we take a look at how Ohio High’s rankings stack up against national level rankings.

Who would have thought comparing apples to apples would acquiesce such

As the summer camp, combine and scouting season concludes
and the nation’s top players for the Class of 2010 prepare to take the
field for their senior
campaigns, high school football recruitniks are being flooded with lists. There are lists ranking players nationally, lists ranking
players regionally, lists ranking players statewide, lists ranking players
locally, lists ranking players by positions, lists ranking players by college

There may as well be a list ranking all the lists.

And for as many lists as there are comparing and ranking
the same players, inconsistencies between lists are common more often times
than not.

Comparing apples to apples? Seems more like the lists are comparing apples to chainsaws.

We here at JJ’s Ohio High are guilty of being ‘list-full
as well having ranked the top high school football teams in the state, top teams
in Central Ohio and even the top teams regardless of division. We have also
ranked the top Ohio high school football players for years now and we like to
think we are pretty good at it.

We start with close to 600 videos and information on 700
players from our affiliate site ScoutingOhio.com operated by Scout Mark Porter, knowledge
and insight from Recruiting Analyst Bill Kurelic from our sister site Bucknuts,
and, of course, our Ohio High staff. Coupled with coverage from over 100 games from the 2008 season,
spring camps and combine performance information and input from college coaches, we feel we
have covered all our bases when ranking players.

All told,
released the Top 150 preseason rankings for the Class of 2010 yesterday.

But when Scout.com* released

The Scout 300
earlier this month ranking the top 300 players in the
nation’s Class of 2010, its evaluation of the top Ohio players didn’t quite
match up with ours.

What’s more, the Scout rankings and the

ESPN 150
* * also released earlier this month aren’t even close to being in the same

Let’s take a look at the rankings between the three

Ohio High Top 150 Scout.com 300 ESPN Scouts, Inc 150
1. LB

Jordan Hicks
– Lakota West
9. OL Andrew Norwell 2. LB Jordan Hicks
2. OL

Andrew Norwell
– Cin. Anderson (Ohio State)
24. LB Jordan Hicks 112. DE Darryl Baldwin
3. OL

Matt James
– Cin. St. Xavier
 71. ATH Spencer Ware 115. OL Andrew Norwell
4. TE

Alex Smith
– Lakota West
 78. OL Matt James  
5. DE

Darryl Baldwin
– Solon (Ohio State)
89. S Christian Bryant  
6. QB

Andrew Hendrix
– Cin. Moeller (Notre Dame)
97. TE Alex Welch  
7. WR

Tyrone Williams
– E. Cle. Shaw
103. LB Scott McVey  
8. ATH

Spencer Ware
– Cin. Princeton (LSU)
117. RB/ATH Latwan Anderson  
9. TE

Alex Welch
– Cin. Elder (Notre Dame)
140. QB Andrew Hendrix  
10. DT

Jibreel Black
– Cin. Wyoming (Indiana)
204. WR Tyrone Williams  
11. S

Christian Bryant
– Cle. Glenville
205. DE Jamel Turner – Youngs. Ursuline * * *  
12. LB

Scott McVey
– Cle. St. Ignatius (Ohio State)
238. DT Jibreel Black – Cin. Wyoming  
13. S

Latwan Anderson
– Cle. Glenville
244. OL Andrew Donnal  
14. OL

Andrew Donnal
– Anthony Wayne (Iowa)
251. WR Jerald Robinson  
15. OL

Skylar Schofner
– Sunbury Big Walnut
270. TE Alex Smith  
18. WR

Jerald Robinson
– Canton South (Michigan)
294. DT J.T. Moore  
21. DT

J.T. Moore
– Boardman (Ohio State)
295. OL Skylar Schofner  

At First Glance

  • The top 15 players in order in the Ohio High Top 150 are mentioned in
    either Scout’s or ESPN’s rankings, so at least all three parties can
    recognize the premiere talent in the state.
  • Scout has six Ohio players in it’s top 100 while ESPN only has one
  • Scout lists DE Jamel Turner as an Ohio player though he has transferred
    to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy – most likely and mere oversight on
    Scout’s part

At Least We Agree On…

Jordan Hicks and Andrew Norwell are the top two players in Ohio for the Class
of 2010. Both are listed in at least the top three players on all three lists.
We have Hicks as the top player in the state this year and ESPN has him as the
No. 2 player in the country. Unless the top player in the country is from Ohio,
we are in perfect agreement there.

When Ohio High and Scout are compared, the
order is flip-flopped. So, Hicks and Norwell could be considered the top two
players (or even 1a and 1b) in
Ohio this year in that regard.


Once the state rankings are settled on, there is a major difference in
opinion between Scout and ESPN with Hicks and Norwell on the national scale.
With Hicks ranked No. 2 in the country by ESPN and No. 24 by Scout, there is a
mentionable difference
of opinion. In an even bigger discrepancy, Scout has Norwell ranked No. 9 in the
country and  ESPN has him at No. 115!

To break it down even more, ESPN ranks Hicks as the No. 1 outside linebacker
and Scout lists him at No. 2 OLB – not that much of a difference. But for ESPN,
being the top OLB in the country is good enough for a No. 2 ranking in the
country. For Scout, the No. 2 OLB ranking in the country is only good enough for
No. 24 in the country.

Maybe Scout doesn’t like linebackers…

The top-rated OLB in the country according to Scout is Justin McKay of
Shawnee Mission (Kansas) and he is ranked No. 16 in the country.

As mentioned, the comparison between ESPN’s and Scout’s rankings for Norwell
is even more staggering. Norwell is rated as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the
country by Scout and No. 9 overall. ESPN, on the other hand, has him ranked as
the No. 12 OT in the country and No. 115 overall.

Maybe ESPN doesn’t like offensive tackles…

The top-rated OT in the country according to ESPN is Seantrel Henderson
of Cretin-Durham Hall (Minnesota) and he is ranked No 4. in the country.

Scout also has Henderson rated as the No. 1 OT in the country as well as the
top player in the overall.

Confused yet?

The Next Best

Are Darryl Baldwin and Matt James. Both are ranked in the top five in two of the three lists.
However, Baldwin is not ranked in the Scout 300. Huh?

At This Point…

The biggest discrepancy among the three lists (besides Norwell’s rankings) rears its head.
Ohio High has Alex Smith rated as the No. 4 player in the state while
Scout has Smith at No. 17 in Ohio (270 in the country) and ESPN isn’t even in the discussion.

While Scout recognizes Smith, the No. 17 ranking is a bit low for a former Cincinnati verbal that
has scholarship offers to Kentucky, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Indiana, North Carolina,
Wisconsin, Penn State and Illinois.

Going Deep

Both Ohio High and Scout agree on the top quarterback and receiver in Ohio,
though Scout has both ranked lower overall. Moeller signal caller Andrew Hendrix
and Shaw receiver Tyrone Williams are ranked No. 6 and 7 by Ohio High while
Scout has Hendrix and Williams ranked No. 9 and 10, respectively.

Tying Up The Loose Ends…

Jibreel Black and Skylar Schofner join Hicks, James, Smith, Hendrix
and Williams as players ranked higher in the Ohio High rankings than Scout. In
addition to Norwell, Scout has Spencer Ware, Alex Welch, Christian
Bryant, Scott McVey, Latwan Anderson and Jerald Robinson all ranked higher in
the state than Ohio High.

So, Which Rankings Are The Best?

They all are!

Rankings are fun and comparing the rankings to each other is even more fun.
It makes for great discussion and even better debate.

But why the discrepancies (and similarities) between the rankings if all the
players are the same?

Well, everyone has there own opinions, methodologies and (*ahem*) biases – and
those subjectivities will always affect where players are ranked.

So, instead of comparing different player rankings as apples to apples, think
of it more as
Red Delicious
to Granny Smith Apples to McIntosh Apples to Red Gold Apples to Fuji Apples to…

Each apple (player) is unique (talented) in its (his) own way – just like all
the rest of them.

*     *     *

* Scout.com is an integrated sports publishing company
consisting of two separate divisions that work closely together to deliver a
unique and highly integrated Internet and print product offering. The Internet
publishing division consists of a network of more than 200 web sites that
publish inside and exclusive content focusing on College, NFL, MLB, High School
and other professional team sports.

* * The ESPN 150 is compiled by “breaking down film and watching
players in person at combines, camps, tournaments and other workouts,” according
to the ESPN Web site. For more on ranking the ESPN 150,


* * *
Jamel Turner is
now at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy


*     *     *


Click here for Part 1 of our series on Ohio’s top prospects in the Class of 2010



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