Last year, the defensive end position received tremendous attention.
Jadeveon Clowney, one of the most impressive prospects in recent memory, headlined a deep group that featured Aaron Lynch, Ray Drew, and Jeff Pagan.
Several defensive ends from the class of 2012 have already emerged as high-end talents, led by Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.)
star Noah Spence
Spence has been on colleges' radars since his freshman season in which he recorded 42 tackles and 8.5 sacks in helping the Crusaders to a 10-3 record.
As a 6-foot-2, 210-pound ninth grader, he certainly stood out, earning a scholarship offer, even then, from Pitt.
In the two seasons since, Spence's stock has exploded, as he now holds offers from every major program with the exception of Texas, according to Bishop McDevitt head coach Jeff Weachter.
"I have some college coaches telling me he's the No. 1 kid in the country," Weachter recently told MaxPreps.
According to Tom Lemming, Spence is No. 1, at least among defensive ends.
"The sky is the limit for Noah," Weachter said.
Weachter estimates that Noah is now 6-4 and close to 240 pounds, yet is fast enough to race Brian Lemelle
, the team's fastest player in sprints.
Spence wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks, posting 23 sacks in 2010. However, his impact on defense stretched far beyond that.
"Take away his sacks, and he still had 30 tackles for loss and eight forced fumbles," Weachter said.
With plenty of time until National Signing Day, Spence is wide open when it comes to his recruitment.
Spence's father played at North Carolina State and is helping his son through the recruiting process.
"They're taking their time, listening to what everyone has to say," Weachter said.
Weachter expects Spence to make his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Game in January.
In the meantime, Spence will help Bishop McDevitt try to erase a one-point in the championship game last season and lead the Crusaders to a AAA title in 2011.Look for feature on top defensive back and top athlete on Tuesday. Tom Lemming's 2012 Top 100 will be released on Wednesday.