Nine Senior Recruits Debut in Postseason SI99 Rankings
In the most unusual evaluation cycle of the modern college football recruiting era, the SI All-American staff included considerable change in the SI99 prospect rankings following the 2020 season.
For the states participating in high school football, several prospects played their way towards SI All-American and/or SI99 recognition.
Our staff breaks down the fresh faces in the final ranking of the 2021 cycle (in order of overall ranking).
Prince Kollie / Jonesborough, Tenn. (Crockett) - Notre Dame
One of the prospects our staff has scratched its collective head over most is the Notre Dame linebacker signee out of Tennessee. Not in how back and forth the conversation was to include him in the preseason rankings, but head-scratching as to why he wasn't in the thick of what has become a banner linebacker class nationally. Kollie left no doubt as a senior in 2020, solidifying SI99 and first-team SI All-American status by registering 109 tackles, including 11 for loss, along with two sacks and an interception as a senior. He also served as the focal point of the Crockett offense, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards at running back, the type of athletic foundation that validates three-down athleticism and potential at the next level.
Jaxson Dart / Draper, Utah (Corner Canyon) -- USC
There may not have been a prospect who played his way into the national recruiting spotlight the way Dart did this fall. Utah was the first state to really ramp up the regular season and an early nationally-televised game gave Power 5 programs, and evaluators alike, the chance to see one of the most productive passers in America at work. It didn't stop there as Dart led Corner Canyon to an undefeated state title run with gaudy production in both the passing and running game. The Quarterback finished 2020 with a Utah state record 67 passing touchdowns (against just four interceptions) and 79 total touchdowns while registering 5,886 total yards (4,691 passing) as a senior. Dart didn't have a P5 offer when the season began and now he's signed to play ball at USC as an SI99 member and first-team SI All-American.
Corey Kiner / Cincinnati, Ohio (Roger Bacon) -- LSU
As productive a running back over the course of four years as any in America, Kiner shined brightest as a senior in taking home Mr. Football in the state of Ohio. A first-team SI All-American selection, the LSU signee rushed for 1,866 yards and 35 touchdowns, including seven in one game, in 2020. Kiner wrapped up his career as a top 10 rusher in state history, tallying more than 7,000 yards on the ground. He projects as a three-down running back in Baton Rouge.
Ezra Dotson-Oyetade / Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial) -- Arizona State
The Arizona State offensive line recruit was on the cusp of SI99 status in the summer and stamped his case with a dominant 2020 season. Our staff has Dotson-Oyetade as the top true center prospect in the class of 2021 due to adequate size and true athleticism on the offensive interior. He fits what modern offenses want to do up front in terms of mobility but also displays plus technique, footwork and power at the point at both the first and second levels.
Jake Briningstool / Brentwood, Tenn. (Ravenwood) -- Clemson
The towering tight end, who is listed at 6-foot-6, proved most productive as a senior. A second-team SI All-American selection, Briningstool registered 12 touchdowns as a senior. He averaged a score per game in 2020 in addition to amassing 774 yards for the campaign. As he adds weight to fill out his frame and round out his ability as a blocker, Briningstool has a chance to see considerable playing time sooner rather than later at CU.
Donovan Edwards / West Bloomfield, Mich. -- Michigan
24 total touchdowns and 0 fumbles with at least two state playoff games still to be played and the running back has been among the most dominant skill prospects in America. Edwards, who is averaging nearly 10 yards per offensive touch to date, has a great combination of size, power, speed along with the ability to make plays out of the backfield. Our staff discussed him considerably in the preseason ranking and he's only rounded out his game further in 2020 to force our hand.
Jake Garcia / Loganville, Ga. (Grayson) -- Miami
The much discussed Miami QB signee has long possessed the physical tools, with great size and a powerful right arm, to contend with just about any passer in the class of 2021. But this fall Garcia showcased both the tangible and intangible to break into the SI99 field for good. Making the cross-country move from California after it postponed the football season, he thrived in the state of Georgia to compete as a senior. All the SoCal native did was win over two of the most high-profile locker rooms in the region in Valdosta High and Grayson High to maintain each program's winning ways. In finishing up his prep career at Grayson, Garcia commanded an offense that dominated opponents all the way through the AAAAAAA state championship game. The Rams averaged 34.4 points per game in the state playoffs.
Jaeden Roberts / Houston, Texas (North Shore) -- Alabama
One of the biggest offensive line prospects in the cycle, Roberts was one of the first few out when the original SI99 was published. The Alabama signee sneaks into the postseason ranking as a true phone booth punisher with lighter feet to compete in the passing game than one would expect at 350 pounds or so. Roberts is a true guard prospect with good leverage and enough snap quickness and lateral movement skills to win on a reach despite the size. He can combo with an easy anchor, too.
Nyland Green / Covington, Ga. (Newton) -- Georgia
There is no 'athlete' position ranking at SI All-American and prospects like Green make it that much tougher to peg positionally at the next level. The do-it-all nature may have kept the future Georgia defensive back out of the summer ranking but his head-turning athleticism on offense, scoring 16 total touchdowns, and in the secondary (five interceptions) in 2020 was too much to ignore. Green towers at 6-foot-3 plus, hence the safety projection, but he simply has some of the best ball skills in America in addition to relatively rare pound-for-pound speed. Whether as a rover or zone cornerback type, we found it near impossible to wrap up this cycle's rankings without the unique athlete making the cut.
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