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August 18, 2014

Rivals100: Meet the new five-stars

2015 RIVALS100: MEET THE NEW FIVE-STARS
After more summer evaluation, seven players broke through to earn their coveted fifth star, giving us a total of 30 five-stars in the class of 2015. We've added three players on offense, three players on defense and one athlete. Here's what you need to know about our latest five-star prospects.
Complete rankings for the class of 2015
Rivals100: Risers and sliders
VIDEO: Analysis of the new five-stars
PHOTOS: See the five-stars in action
DT
DT Kahlil McKenzie
Concord, CA - Clayton Valley Charter
McKenzie is a 340-pound defensive tackle who moves like a much smaller man and can not only hold the line of scrimmage and clog the run gaps, but can get after the passer. He has excellent change of direction ability for a big man, which allows him to excel in pursuit and he's active outside the tackle box. He's big and he hustles. - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com National Recruiting Director. -- Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Director

McKenzie made a major move up the rankings after a stellar junior season and a phenomenal performance in the state championship game against St. John Bosco where he absolutely dominated on almost every down. Then, after seeing him during the camp circuit, it was clear the Tennessee commit is one of the best defensive tackles in the country because he has an awesome mix of power and speed for someone his size. His father is the general manager of the Oakland Raiders, so McKenzie is around elite football players and knows what it takes to play at the highest levels. He has the ability to one day make it to the NFL if he continues to work at his craft. -- Adam Gorney, West recruiting analyst

VIDEO: Junior season highlights
OT
Martez Ivey
Apopka, FL
Ivey has a great, long frame to fill out, he's an accomplished run blocker. The big question he answered this summer was his ability in pass protection. He moves his feet well, uses his long arms to steer opponents either into traffic or outside the pocket and he re-sets very well, rarely lunging or getting off balance. He's an elite offensive tackle in a great year at the position. -- Farrell

At 6-foot-5, 271 pounds, Ivey may appear on the lighter side for an offensive lineman, but he's all muscle and about athletic as you can get for the position. He has great coordination and footwork and can get to his post off the line very quickly to open up holes in the running game. In the passing game, he not only protects his quarterback, but uses his speed to get downfield to continue to lay out hits once the ball is in the receiver's hands, never giving up on the play. -- Adam Krohn, Southeast recruiting analyst

VIDEO: Junior season highlights
ATH
Ray-Ray McCloud III
Tampa - Sickles
McCloud is an exceptional athlete who can play numerous positions at the next level. He has shown his ability as a wide receiver and as a slot and he could just as easily play running back or be an all-purpose back. You could flip him to defense and he'd be a standout cornerback as well. His versatility and explosiveness pushed him over the top here. -- Farrell

Versatility is an obvious word that comes to mind when hearing the name Ray-Ray McCloud. He's one of the country's best athletes with the type of speed, shiftiness, acceleration and even physical strength that will allow Clemson to line him up just about anywhere on the field at the skill positions. He also has the "it" factor in the sense that he's an ultra competitor who wants to be on the field at all times and make the big play. -- Krohn

VIDEO: McCloud wins MVP at RCS Orlando
S
Deionte Thompson
Orange, TX - West Orange-Stark
Thompson showed he could cover in space as a cornerback this summer and has the ball-hawking instincts of a rangy free safety as well. It's rare for long prospects like Thompson to be so fluid and disciplined in their backpedal and to change direction so fluidly. He could easily be a cornerback at the next level with some additional work and safeties who can play corner are highly coveted. -- Farrell

Thompson has shown some dramatic improvements in coverage. He has always shown tremendous range and ball skills. He has great size and length for a defensive back, and he has shown himself to be a top athlete. In the past, he has struggled with his footwork. He not only showed the range needed to play on the back end of the defense, but he also showed the ability to cover even the best receivers like a cornerback. -- Jason Howell, Mid-South region analyst

VIDEO: Thompson shines at Five-Star Challenge
OT
Drew Richmond
Memphis, TN - Memphis University School
Richmond is a massive offensive tackle that makes you think guard or right tackle instantly with his girth. However, when you see him move, adjust, re-set and use his arms, left tackle is certainly within reach at the next level. He's huge, he has light, basketball feet and he is technically sound. He makes it hard to go around him and he anchors well, so you can't go through him. -- Farrell

It was a successful summer for Richmond, who continues to improve his blocking skills to match his already impressive physical attributes. At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, without much bad weight, Richmond already has the size of an elite tackle, but what finally sold us on his five-star status was his improved footwork. Now he can not only overpower with his size, but he has the quick feet to keep up the new breed of athletic, rush ends. -- Woody Wommack, Southeast region analyst

VIDEO: Junior season highlights
WR
WR Christian Kirk
Scottsdale, AZ - Saguaro
Kirk isn't the tallest receiver, but he's added an inch or so since last season and he's simply consistently dominant each time we see him. He has powerful hands, he catches everything out in front, he gets enough separation to make things easy for his quarterback and he is shifty and physical after the catch. He's a slot at the next level who will be a nightmare for safeties and nickel backs. -- Farrell

Kirk never seems to have an off day, which is doubly impressive because he's been under the microscope for a long time. He was in the running for MVP honors at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge for a second consecutive year and has consistently shown that he stands out even among the best players in the country. Kirk has grown significantly since the onset of his junior season and now measures 5-foot-11. His strengths are his quickness and the sudden nature of his cuts, but the fact that his game is without a single glaring weakness is what makes him special. -- Rob Cassidy, Midlands/Southwest region analyst

VIDEO: Junior season highlights
OLB
Keisean Lucier-South
Orange, CA - Lutheran
Lucier-South is this year's Lorenzo Carter with one small difference which has allowed him to earn his fifth star while Carter lost his: Lucier-South is more physical at the point of attack and sheds blockers better. He will be moving to outside linebacker at the next level and his length, quickness and ability to get after the passer in blitzing situations will make him a terror. -- Farrell

The decision was made not to move Lucier-South to a five-star ranking based on his junior season because I felt defensive end is not the best position for him and he didn't show that dominance expected of players with that ranking. The news that he was moving almost exclusively to outside linebacker was welcoming because of his size, athleticism, intelligence and his ability to make plays and cover so much ground. He's still relatively untested at that position, but after seeing him work out at OLB this summer, it's clear he can have a tremendous impact there and be a special prospect in space. -- Gorney

VIDEO: Junior season highlights
Complete rankings for the class of 2015
Rivals250: Risers and sliders
VIDEO: Big movers in the Rivals250
New four-stars outside the Rivals250

Mike Farrell
National Recruiting Director

Rob Cassidy
Midlands/Southwest Recruiting Analyst

Adam Gorney
West Recruiting Analyst

Jason Howell
Mid-South Recruiting Analyst

Adam Krohn
Southeast Recruiting Analyst

Woody Womack
Southeast Recruiting Analyst



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