With the release of Tom Lemming's 2011 Top 100 coming in the next few weeks, it's time to take a look at the group of players who are battling to sit atop the list.
Last year, Seantrel Henderson was the cream of the 2010 class, making him the first offensive lineman to be the top-ranked player in the last 20 years.
repeat that feat a year later?
Kouandjio is a 6-foot-7, 290-pound tackle playing for the famed Stags of DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
who is currently being courted by top programs nationwide.
His older brother, Arie, signed with Alabama in February. Cyrus has a bigger frame than his brother, with plenty of room to fill out.
"He'll be a 6-7, 320-pound first round draft pick," Lemming predicted.
It will be a very strong year for offensive linemen. In addition to Kouandjio, La'el Collins and Brandon Shell could represent three of the top 10 recruits in the country, something that's never happened before, according to Lemming.
Christian Westerman, already committed to Texas, is also in that conversation.
There's also a candidate for the No. 1 slot that lines up on the opposite side of the line.
South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been a standout since his sophomore season for the Stallions.
At 6-6, 225 pounds, Clowney is extremely quick off the ball and his long frame allows him to wrap up quarterbacks at an eye-popping rate. In 2009, he amassed 23 sacks. As a sophomore, Clowney collected six sacks and forced four fumbles en route to all-region honors as well as MaxPreps Sophomore All-American status.
The biggest threat to claim the No. 1 spot from the defensive side of the ball, however, is likely a linebacker.
Plant (Tampa, Fla.) sensation James Wilder is a dual-threat athlete who excels at both running back and linebacker. Defense is probably his calling card, but he's talented enough to play on either side of the ball in college.
As a junior, Wilder stretch sideline to sideline on defense, recording 19 sacks while deflecting six passes and causing four fumbles.
At running back, his bruising style added an important dynamic to the Panthers offense. Against Lakeland in the 5A semifinals, he recorded an extremely memorable run that left little doubt of his talents at the position and further cemented his resume to be 2011's top overall recruit.
Stephone Anthony is another linebacker that Lemming figures in the discussion for No. 1. His stock has soared, and he's developed into one of the finest players in the country.
At 6-3, 200 pounds, he's a menacing linebacker with exceptional quickness. He intercepted 14 passes over his first two seasons at Anson. Last year, he was responsible for 120 tackles and four more picks. He's being recruited by top programs nationwide.
One other candidate for Lemming's top spot is running back Kenny Hilliard. It's a very deep year at the position, and Lemming thinks Hilliard is at the front of the classroom.
"It's a very good year for running backs," Lemming said. "Hilliard and the three from Texas may all be in the top 25."
The Texas trio is Malcolm Brown, Aaron Green and Herschel Sims. Brown is probably the most complete runnner, Green the most dynamic. Sims was the most productive high school player last year, compiling a whopping 2,337 yards and capturing a state title.
2012 No. 1?
It's too soon to try to pinpoint the top player in the class of 2012, as that group of players is just wrapping up it's sophomore year in high school. However, there are a handful of players that are standing out early on.
Lemming points to Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.) running back Rushel Shell as one possibility. Shell was the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year in 2008 after a dominant debut season against a challenging WPIAL schedule.
Another 2012 recruit receiving high praise from Lemming is Lakes offensive lineman Zach Banner, a 6-8 giant with great athleticism and much promise.
Don't rule out wide receiver phenom Dorial Green. Green, the top football-basketball player combo in the state of Missouri this year, has been doing his best Randy Moss impression over the last two years.
On the gridiron, he set a state record for receiving yards with 1,616. Green also scored 23 touchdowns on just 66 catches, making him unimaginably potent as a home run threat.
Averaging 18.7 points and 8.4 rebounds a game on the hardwood, Green was named a MaxPreps Sophomore All-American in basketball as well, helping lead Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.) to a 4A crown.