Everything you need to know about the newest ESPN 300 update (2024)

Jan 22, 2020, 07:40 AM ET

We are just a few weeks away from college football's next national signing day and putting a bow around this talented 2020 class.

Our final rankings are reflective of senior season production and post All-Star Game performances. While many positions saw significant movement, the big men in the trenches highlight the final edition of the 2020 ESPN 300.

Five-star versatility

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DT Jalen Carter
ESPN 300 rank: No. 12
Previous rank: No. 36

Carter earned his fifth star with a dominant showing on both sides of the ball during the Under Armour All-America Game. Embracing a position change is not always easy for young prospects, especially when that change may include giving up some of the spotlight that may come with catching passes. Carter has done that and seen his value skyrocket as a result.

Just two years ago, the Georgia signee was a jumbo tight end with quality ball skills, athletic enough to be competitive in that role. His greatest upside though was in the trenches, a move he has since embraced, and the Bulldogs will benefit from it. Carter not only excelled on the field, but demonstrated a team-first attitude and willingness to contribute on both sides of the ball.

Carter has the size and athleticism to develop into an impact SEC defensive lineman while also flashing the intangibles that will allow him to maximize his abilities. It would not be surprising to see Georgia at some point still put together a package for Carter at his old position of tight end.

Big movement in the trenches

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OT Broderick Jones
ESPN 300 rank: No. 9
Previous rank: No. 13

Whenever a movie features a character portraying an offensive lineman, Hollywood seems compelled to cast a huge, overweight person to play that role. Someone in casting needs to do more research because that doesn't represent the modern OL. A perfect example of that is Jones. Despite being roughly 300 pounds, he carries his weight very well with good length and an athletic build. The massive five-star prospect has good body quickness as well as lower-body flexibility and balance that can allow him to be an outstanding college offensive tackle. Jones finishes as the top-ranked tackle. As an unsigned prospect, he's someone to keep an eye on down the homestretch.

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DT Gervon Dexter
ESPN 300 rank: No. 17
Previous rank: No. 43

New five-star Dexter is a "first-off-the-bus" kind of player; he is a big, physically impressive defensive lineman. He has also shown he can be a disruptive force once he steps between the white lines. A powerful big body, the Florida signee can be a stout presence in the trenches able to battle double-teams and stuff the run. He also possesses good initial quickness and agility for his size that can allow him to be a handful as an interior pass-rusher. Dexter can continue to refine his technique to maximize his outstanding physical tools, but with some further development, he has shown he can be a three-down impact type presence in the trenches for the Gators.

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ILB Noah Sewell
ESPN 300 rank: No. 27
Previous rank: No. 49

Brother Penei Sewell has wasted no time making an impact for Oregon as an offensive tackle. Outside of an injury as a freshman, he has been an immediate starter and already won the Outland Trophy as a sophom*ore. We bring this up because what is impressive is that the outstanding offensive lineman's little brother, Noah, has the tools to be even better. Not quite as big as his 6-foot-6, 325-pound older brother, Noah is still a big body that possesses excellent athleticism for his size. A jumbo athlete (6-2, 245), he can and has played multiple positions in high school, but projects at linebacker, where he now is listed in the final rankings. He has the size to be a punishing downhill plugger, but moves very well for his size. Coupled with his high-motor style, Sewell can be a factor from sideline-to-sideline. Penei has set a high bar, but Noah could make a similar if not greater impact for the Ducks.

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DE Zykeivous Walker
ESPN 300 rank: No. 93
Previous rank: No. 196

Many prospects made a jump in the final ESPN 300 update off strong performances on the All-Star circuit, but Walker's senior season tape proved to be enough to warrant a big jump. The Auburn signee possesses nice length with a frame that can continue to be developed within the Tigers program. A powerful player, he displays good flexibility and can play with leverage and be a physical and dominating force at the point of attack. He can also be disruptive within the trenches with good initial quickness and agility. With Auburn losing three key contributors on the defensive line -- Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe -- the addition of a prospect like Walker is key, as he is arguably worthy of a little more attention among the 2020 class and can be a quick contributor for them.

Top skill movers

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QB Bryce Young
ESPN 300 rank: No. 5
Previous rank: No. 24

Young had about as good a high school career as any quarterback could possibly have, and concluded it with an excellent showing in the All-American Bowl. While he is size deficient (6 feet, 180 pounds), he compensates with tremendous instincts and playmaking ability on the fly. He is a player who will need to get in the weight room and spend a lot of time developing his body to avoid durability issues. His accuracy, timing and anticipation is some of the best we've seen in recent classes. We put some stock in quarterbacks from strong programs where there is a high expectation level to perform. This often lessens the learning curve when making the transition from high school to college, as we expect Young will get on campus in Tuscaloosa and compete for the starting position.

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WR Kayshon Boutte
ESPN 300 rank: No. 33
Previous rank: No. 52

We knew he was fast on tape, but boy is he fast in person. Boutte has one of the fastest 200-meter scholastic times in the country, and it translates to the field. He's a big mismatch because he can run by defenders with explosiveness and win footraces downfield. What surprised us up close during Under Armour Game week was how effective he is on the jump ball. He competes and elevates to make plays when things aren't perfect. Finally, he is one of the finest route runners of any young player we have seen in a long time. While LSU has depth at this position, expect Boutte to find early reps.

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QB Hudson Card
ESPN 300 rank: No. 40
Previous rank: No. 60

Card is a dangerous player because he is a sneaky good athlete, and his release is so quick it's tough to rush him. The ball comes out fast and he can change arm angles if he must. His feel for timing and throwing the ball to a spot allow for him to get the ball into tight spaces and make routes difficult to defend. He is an innately accurate player who has shown the ability to change ball speeds, yet still has enough arm talent to drive the ball with power. We expect the Texas signee to spend the early part of his career building up his frame and developing physically.

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RB Tank Bigsby
ESPN 300 rank: No. 20
Previous rank: No. 41

Bigsby transitions to the running back position full-time after a phenomenal senior season. We believe he could be an impact player in the Auburn offense as his blend of speed and physicality are in high demand. He has improved ball skills, vision and open field awareness, making him a dangerous player in space, yet at the same time can push the pile and run over defenders. He is a big-play back, which should earn him rotation time next fall but eventually we project a three-down starter as his career blossoms at Auburn.

Welcome to the 300

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RB Jahmyr Gibbs
ESPN 300 rank: No. 178

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Georgia Tech commit made a huge jump physically from junior to senior year, and the result was more than doubling production to the tune of 2,554 yards rushing and 40 touchdowns on just 233 carries. The latest in a long line of talented Peach State running backs, he totaled nearly 2,900 all-purpose yards in just 11 games. One of the nation's most coveted runners with a balance of initial burst, quick feet in the hole, lower-body power and leg drive to bounce off tacklers, he also has enough long speed to maximize runs. Gibbs' decision to not sign early means the Yellow Jackets are in a battle with Florida and other SEC programs for Gibbs' signature come February.

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DE Van Fillinger
ESPN 300 rank: No. 255

The one-time Texas verbal was a huge in-state win for Utah. The 6-foot-4 defensive end with an 80-inch wingspan and 10-inch hands is a disruptive edge player with deceptive pass-rush ability who can also hold the edge in the run game. The No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of Utah in the 2020 class was dominant as a senior, posting 88 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, helping lead Corner Canyon High to its second consecutive state championship. Fillinger, who considered Oregon and USC along with Utah and Texas among more than 20 offers, doubled his tackles for loss and sack totals from his junior to senior season, ending up as one of the 2020 cycle's most improved prospects from junior to senior year.

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WR Marcus Fleming
ESPN 300 rank: No. 270

One of several big wins on the recruiting trail for Nebraska in the 2020 cycle for Scott Frost, Fleming will bring elite quickness, speed and playmaking to the Cornhuskers from South Florida. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound blur signed with Nebraska after making official visits to Florida State, Georgia and Maryland. The one-time Miami Hurricanes verbal will bring top-end speed, the ability to track the ball in the air and punt- return skills to the Nebraska program, and is expected to see the field quickly in Lincoln.

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TE Maliq Carr
ESPN 300 rank: No. 274

The Purdue signee doubles as a star on the hardwood with a family tree that includes a father and mother who played college basketball. On the gridiron, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound receiver with 4.7 speed will be a mismatch weapon for Jeff Brohm in West Lafayette with the ability to win foot races against linebackers and win 50-50 balls against safeties and corners. As impressive as Carr's talents on the field is his physicality after the catch. He has shown he can bounce off would-be tacklers and maximize yards after the catch with a strong stiff arm. This marks the third class in a row Purdue has inked an ESPN 300 pass catcher.

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QB Evan Prater
ESPN 300 rank: No. 296

Prater has been overshadowed in the 2020 class of quarterbacks nationally, but he has as much physical ability and upside as any. The first ESPN 300 quarterback signee by Cincinnati in the ESPN recruiting era went 40-2 as a high school starting quarterback. A legitimate two-sport star at Wyoming High in Ohio who doubles as a Division I basketball prospect, Prater was dominant as a dual-threat quarterback, ending his high school career with 5,699 passing yards and 4,124 rushing yards with 146 combined touchdowns passing and running.

Everything you need to know about the newest ESPN 300 update (2024)
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