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January 29, 2010

Fla. headlines final state rankings releases

Postseason State Rankings:

VIDEO: Florida rankings | Tennessee rankings

The Sunshine State annually produces its share of big time football prospects.

This year is no different.

There are great athletes from top to bottom in the Rivals.com postseason Florida Top 100.

Leading the way is the nation's top cornerback prospect, St. Thomas Aquinas standout Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner, who is 5 feet 8 and weighs 166 pounds, has also starred over his high school career at safety, receiver and as a kick returner.

"If anyone has earned the top spot in Florida, it's Joyner," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons said. "He dominated at Southwest Miami then transferred to one of the nation's top programs at St. Thomas Aquinas and dominated there. He has taken on all comers at camps around the country and at all-star games.

"Despite his height limitations, Joyner has terrific physical skills, long arms and elite speed. On top of that, he's just a great competitor that seems to thrive on a challenge."

Checking in at No. 2 is outside linebacker prospect Christian Jones from Winter Park Lake Howell High School. Jones, 6-4 and 220 pounds, is a versatile athlete that played a variety of positions for his high school team.

"Jones is a tall, lean, and athletic athlete that really reminds me a bit of Jevon Kearse," Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Barry Every said. "He played linebacker, defensive end, running back, tight end, wide receiver and punted for his high school team. I just love his frame and versatility."

West Palm Beach Dwyer has a great athlete of its own in Matt Elam. He's the No. 3 prospect in the Florida Top 100. Elam has been an outstanding high school player at safety, running back and receiver. Hialeah defensive end Corey Lemonier comes in at No. 4 in the rankings, and Miramar wide receiver Ivan McCartney is No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10 are Port St. Lucie linebacker Jeff Luc, Tampa offensive tackle Chaz Green, Cape Coral cornerback Jaylen Watkins, Tampa athlete Christian Green and Fleming Island offensive lineman Ian Silberman.

"As usual, Florida is heavy with skilled athletes and defenders and very short on top quarterbacks and offensive linemen," Every said. "I would say this is a typical year for talent in the state. The guys that really stick out to me as potential-difference makers are Christian Jones, Christian Green, Ivan McCartney, Cory Lemonier and Roy Finch.

Who's winning the in-state battles for the elite Florida prospects? It's close right now between Florida and Florida State. The Gators have six of the top 20 prospects locked up, while Florida State has four - including Joyner and Luc. Only three of the top 20 are leaving the state thus far: Jacksonville offensive lineman Brent Benedict (Georgia), Jacksonville defensive tackle Louis Nix (Notre Dame) and Niceville running back Roy Finch (Oklahoma).

Currently, five of the top 10 and seven of the state's top 20 have yet to make their commitments. So who has the best group of prospects from the Sunshine State is still up in air.

Surprisingly, Miami only has one prospect committed in the top 25 - Miami running back Eduardo Clements (No. 25). Overall, the Hurricanes have 11 commitments in the Florida Top 100. The Gators lead the way with 13, while Florida State currently has nine. Right now, USF and UCF both have two commitments each.

Louisville and Marshall lead the out-of-state schools with top-100 Floridians committed with four each. Collectively, 23 out of state programs have at least one Florida prospect committed.

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