Given the early nature of evaluation for college football, 247Sports elects to release an initial list for a given class following the spring of those prospect’s sophomore seasons. Immediately following the initial list release, there will be additions, subtractions and frequent updates as more prospects are uncovered and more information is known about the prospects that are currently rated and ranked. So it’s time, after releasing the first Class of 2015 Top247 last month, for the first update.
Daron Payne is 6-foot-3, 324 pounds as a rising high school junior and has elite quickness and ability.
Truth be told, minor adjustments highlight this release as there is only one new five-star prospect and the current top six remained untouched.
Here is a look at several risers of note.
Daron Payne, DT, Birmingham (Ala.) Shades Valley
New Ranking- No. 7 overall
Notes- The 6-foot-3, 324-pound tackle continues to ascend physically since the end of the 2012 season. The freshly minted five-star prospect and top ranked defensive tackle in the class not is explosive with an impressive motor, but also naturally as strong as one will find at a young age. He sports a 395-pound bench press and 305-clean. Both in-state programs and a host of others have offered him and at least three college assistants have said he has “future first round pick” written all over him.
Jay Bradford, RB, Splendora (Texas)
New Ranking- No. 35 overall
Notes- The 5-foot-10.5, 190-pound running back continues to ascend (up from No. 54 overall) both physically and in terms of performance. The Texas 3A 100-meter champion (10.49) continues to mature physically, while also seemingly getting quicker and faster. Bradford recently clocked a 4.29-second 40-yard dash at the Texas A&M camp June 2 and followed that up with a 4.27 40 at the Texas camp June 9.
Iman Marshall, CB, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
New Ranking- No. 41 overall
Notes- Further review of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Marshall shows us that the cornerback has legitimate size and athleticism and rarely, if ever, gives up a touchdown pass (one source can’t remember it happening during his first two years of following him). That warranted a jump well into the top 50 and puts Marshall in the discussion early for top cornerback prospect of the 2015 cycle.
Hjalte Froholdt, DT, Warren (Ohio) Harding
New Ranking- No. 59 overall
Notes- Froholdt was originally evaluated as a defensive end, but after he measured in at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds at the Columbus Nike Camp and then proceeded to shine during one-on-ones, we changed his long-term projection to defensive tackle and moved him up 94 spots into the top 60 nationally. There isn’t a more tenacious defensive line prospect in the Buckeye State for 2015 that we’ve seen thus far,
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Stephenville (Texas)
New Ranking- No. 64 overall
Notes- Stidham continues to earn offers as Texas and Texas A&M have jumped in with tenders for the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder with good speed and mobility. Stidham could end up much higher when all is said and done - he just hasn’t taken a varsity snap at quarterback yet (though he did pile up yardage as a receiver during his sophomore year).
Torrance Gibson, QB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage
New Ranking- No. 106 overall
Notes- The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Gibson is not only one of the most impressive athletes in the Sunshine State in 2015, but is on his way to emerging as a top dual-threat quarterback prospect. The jack-of-all-trades in 2012 has offers from Miami, Notre Dame, Nebraska, North Carolina and a growing list of others and made his debut in the Top247.
Darrin Kirkland Jr., OLB, Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor
New Ranking- No. 139
Notes- The 6-foot-1 Kirkland likely projects higher as an inside linebacker in college, but after seeing him in person at the Columbus Nike Camp, digging further into his film and getting feedback from college coaching sources (one major program simply stated- “we love him”) the feeling is that Kirkland has as much of a spot in the 2015 Top247 as several of the linebackers who made their debut on the initial list.
Lorenzo Nunez, QB, Kennessaw (Ga.) Harrison
New Ranking – No. 143 overall
Notes- The 6-foot-2.5, 183-pound Nunez caught our attention on sophomore video, but most recently at Auburn one-day camp. His blend of quick feet, agility, quick arm and deceptive arm strength stood out during the in-person evaluation on June 9. Since that time, he has picked up offers from Ohio State, Clemson and others. Nunez is making his debut in the 2015 Top247.