By every measure, it appears that the 2011 season will be a special one in Northern California.
The state has more top-level talent than seemingly ever before, according to MaxPreps/CBS Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
"I think it's one of the best years I've seen in NorCal in a long, long time," Lemming said.
In fact, of the 12 players from the Golden State in Lemming's updated 2012 Top 100, eight hail from the northern part of the state.
One of those eight is previously unranked Aziz Shittu
from Buhach Colony (Atwater, Calif.)
, who now checks in at No. 60. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive lineman had 76 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a junior.
"I watched him against Turlock and he was fantastic," Lemming said. "He stops everything up the middle and gets a great push. He's one of the best defensive tackles in the country."
Another top Californian who hails from above the traditionally fertile talent-producing grounds of Southern California is Deontay Greenberry
, from Washington Union (Fresno, Calif.)
"He catches everything within reach," Lemming says of the 6-3, 188-pound receiver who runs 100 meters in less than 11 seconds.
Northern California is well-represented in the preseason edition of the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings
. Bay Area power De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
is ranked No. 3 overall, thanks in large part to the play of quarterback Bart Houston
, who enters the rankings at No. 78.
"He's a big surprise. He's the best quarterback in California," said Lemming, who ranks Houston over San Ramon Valley signal-caller Zach Kline
, already committed to California. "He completed 77 percent of his passes in the playoffs, which is phenomenal."
There were other shifts in the rankings involving non-California players as well.Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.)
offensive lineman D.J. Humphries
rises from No. 15 to No. 12, while Lakes lineman Zach Banner drops to No. 17 from the No. 12 spot.Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
receiver Dorial Green-Beckham
still checks in at No. 1.
If any player is going to challenge him for the final overall top ranking, it could be quarterback Gunner Kiel
, or defensive ends Noah Spence
or Mario Edwards
, according to Lemming.
However, Lemming expects Green-Beckham will be hard to dislodge from the top spot.
"I don't think anyone is going to knock him off," he said. "He's too big of a talent."Updated list, including commentary from Tom Lemming, of the players who moved in to the new Top 100.