A New No. 1 for 2015

Kahlil McKenzie

Kahlil McKenzie is Scout's new No. 1 prospect in 2015, one of many rankings changes from The Opening...

It started with a move up to No. 1 in the West after the Oakland NFTC in May.

It continued with a move up to No. 1 in the national after The Opening.

The ascension of Kahlil McKenzie, from the middle of the Scout 300 midway through his junior year, to the top of the Scout Class of 2015 rankings, has happened quickly and emphatically.

Much like the way McKenzie plays.

After a dominant junior season, in which he shined in the CIF State Open Division Bowl Game, McKenzie moved from the middle of the pack to the top 50 nationally.

Then came an MVP performance at the Oakland NFTC, where he was the DL MVP, but essentially was the top performer there.

That moved McKenzie to the top prospect in the West, and in the conversation and contention for the No. 1 prospect in the country.

All he needed was another similar showing, this time in pads, at The Opening, in front of the whole Scout recruiting team and against the most talented and deepest group of offensive linemen he'd face all year.

Mission accomplished.

McKenzie matched his honors in Oakland, surpassing his performance there, and was named The Opening's DL MVP.

He wrapped up his trip to Beaverton by announcing his commitment to Tennessee.

And now, as we're just weeks away from the beginning of the 2014 campaign, McKenzie is the new No. 1 prospect in the country by Scout.com.

"McKenzie wasn't rated in anyone's top 100 going in to his junior season," said national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins, who covers the West. "Fast forward a year later and the defensive tackle is now the No. 1 rated player in the entire country. McKenzie did it with a dominant junior season and an even more dominant spring. At 6-foot-4, 341 pounds, the big tackle is an absolute load in the middle and combines incredible raw power, violent hands, advanced technique and plus athleticism as well. After a strong week at The Opening in Oregon this past week, McKenzie rise to the top was complete."

And now, as we're just weeks away from the beginning of the 2014 campaign, McKenzie is the new No. 1 prospect in the country by Scout.com.

The updated Class of 2015 Scout 300

Corona (Calif.) Santiago quarterback Blake Barnett was the star of the Elite 11, earning MVP honors over the five-days, and moved to No. 3 overall at quarterback and a five-star.

"I think it was good to see Blake Barnett in a setting like The Opening, because he puts up Tecmo Bowl numbers in a no defense league for Corona Santiago in California," said director of scouting, Scott Kennedy. "Barnett showed everyone that he is much more than just a system quarterback as he led his team 7v7 team to the championship in what was a brand new system for everyone. He's a fantastic runner, which wasn't on display at The Opening, but his strong arm and quick decisions certainly were needed. He's got a bit of a long release, but not so bad that it will hurt him on the college level. As good as he's been, he's still getting better every time I see him."

Other major changes in the Scout 300 after The Opening by region:

The East

Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's center Tommy Hatton had a terrific showing at The Opening and he moved up as a four-star.


Tommy Hatton earned a fourth-star after The Opening

I always loved Hatton's aggressiveness and competitive fire, and a desire to be the best, but I wondered how he would fair against elite competition. I no longer need to wonder. He was outstanding," said national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn, who covers the East. "His lower body strength, his quick hands and his ability to play low were the cornerstone pieces of a very strong performance at The Opening, and merited him earning a fourth star in our rankings.

-Brian Dohn, National Recruiting Analyst (East)

The South:

The biggest mover out of the south is Calvin Ridley. He did not waste any time showing his skills at The Opening and we (Scout team) new day one that he was going to add a fifth star at the end of this event. He could easily be a five-star corner too, but we have decided to make him a wide receiver. He is such a smooth athlete with speed and big, strong hands. Alabama has themselves a gem here.


Calvin Ridley moved to the No. 2 receiver in the country

Deon Cain is another wide receiver who made a strong move at The Opening. Each event we see Cain at, he makes a move for the positive. He has moved up into the top 50 and he has such a high ceiling. He knows very little about playing wide receiver due to playing quarterback in high school, so it will be fun to watch him at Clemson. The Tigers know a thing or two about developing wide receivers.

Not all move up when rankings are updated and a couple of five-star prospects have been moved to four-star on Scout. George Campbell is an elite athlete, but where will he play in college? That is a question that is still to be determined. He has so many traits you look for in an elite wide receiver, but he is still dropping too many passes. He fights the ball at times and free safety could be his future.

Torrance Gibson competed at The Opening and when it wasn't quarterbacks only at the Elite 11, he worked at wide receiver. He has a long way to go as a quarterback. He is a freakish athlete and still highly thought of by Scout, but he was dropped to a high four-star this cycle. He has the ability to make plays at any time and he will continue to be evaluated as a quarterback and athlete.

-Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst (South)

The Midwest:

East St. Louis (Mo.) defensive tackle Terry Beckner made the biggest jump of any prospect in the region.


Terry Beckner shined at The Opening

The few Midwest guys performed well at The Opening, but Beckner was the kid who really moved himself up on our board.  He was dominating. He's up to 298 pounds, but still moved very well and showed a lot of intensity and fire.

He's done it for East St. Louis, but this time it was against the best in the country. Should he continue to play that way this season, he'll undoubtedly continue to move up.

-Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst (Midwest)

The Midlands:

Jarrett Stidham – No quarterback drew more praise from the national Scout recruiting team than Stidham. He was the top player coming out of the Elite 11 only portion of The Opening event and led his team to touchdown drives while leading his seven-on-seven team. He has a plus arm, is very accurate and performs well when challenged.


Stidham is now the No. 2 quarterback nationally

Drew Lock – Lock has the look of a player who was just born to play the quarterback position. He has a great frame to go with a laser for an arm. He actually reminds me a bit of Sam Bradford coming out of high school, because he carries himself with a certain confidence and is not afraid to press the action. He has a very high ceiling. All of this makes him the deserved No. 1 overall player in the Show Me State.

P.J. Mbanasor – It is scary to think of how he is able to cut and move for a player with his size and frame. He was one of the premiere lock down players of the 7v7 tournament, helping the Land Sharks advance to the championship game. The Sooners are getting a corner who can be put on an island to challenge the competition’s top outside threat.

-Greg Powers, National Recruiting Analyst (Midlands)

The West:

Elite 11 MVP Blake Barnett, a quarterback committed to Alabama, moved up from outside the Top 100 to a five-star and No. 3 in the country at quarterback.


Elite 11 MVP Blake Barnett

Very few players have seen their stock rise more in the last year than Barnett.  He has grown from a raw quarterback with great size but was more dangerous running the ball than throwing it, to a quarterback who just won the Elite 11 MVP last week at The Opening. Few players work harder than Barnett and it shows on the field. He has all the physical tools you could want, the game is slowing down for him, he's still a dangerous player running the ball and can now make every throw on the field. You can make an argument that no quarterback in this class has a higher upside than Barnett."

Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton linebacker Osa Masina moved up to a five-star. The last time the state of Utah produced a five-star was in 2008.

-Greg Biggins, National Recruiting Analyst (West)

Check out highlights of the nation's new No. 1 prospect, Kahlil McKenzie from The Opening.

GoBlueWolverine.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets