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March 11, 2009

Breaking down the first five-stars for 2010

MORE: The Rivals100 | Texas big on Rivals100 talent | Five-star gallery | Vote: Who's your No. 1?

They are the best of the best. The players that are wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond. So what makes them so special?

We take a closer look at the first five-star prospects in the 2010 class.

The First Five-Stars
12. LB Chris Martin, 6-4/224, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Martin Highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "This tall, rangy linebacker is a pass-rushing specialist who wreaks havoc before a play has the chance to take shape. Martin also is the true definition of a hustler, turning himself into a guided missile on kickoff coverage. Don't be surprised if he grows into a weakside defensive end, in the mold of Jevon Kearse." - Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst Barry Every
MARTIN SAYS: "I see plays develop really well. My Dad always taught me since the day I started playing football that even though the play is on the other side of the field, that doesn't mean the play is over. That always stuck in my head."
TOP SCHOOLS: Martin committed to Notre Dame on Feb. 4 over offers from Cal, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Colorado, Nebraska and others.
11. RB Malcolm Jones, 6-0/210, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Jones highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He could project as a big back or speedy outside 'backer at the next level. He is not afraid to lower the boom as a ballcarrier or a defender. Jones, like Lattimore, can really wear out a defense in the second half, leaving many hands on hips. Look for him to lead his school to a state championship in the fall." - Every
JONES SAYS: "I think I have very deceptive speed, like people don't look at me and think I'm fast but once they see me on the field, I am. I also have some pretty good vision so I see plenty of cutback holes and I have pretty strong legs so it is pretty hard to bring me down."
TOP SCHOOLS: Jones' offers include Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, USC, Stanford and UCLA. His brother Marshall plays for the Trojans.
10. LB Jeff Luc, 6-1/230, Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Treasure Coast
Luc highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He may be the best form tackler on film that I have seen. He gets into a perfect tackling position and explodes from the hips while wrapping his arms around the ballcarrier. Luc tackles someone all the way to the ground and through the sound of the whistle blowing." - Every
LUC SAYS: "I have been playing since the 6th grade and I have been coached well. I think my strengths are tackling. I try and beat everyone to the ball. If I am not the first one to ball I try and get a piece of something."
TOP SCHOOLS: Luc's growing list of offers includes Miami, Florida, FSU, USC, Notre Dame, LSU, North Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, and Southern Miss. He admits growing up a fan of the Miami Hurricanes.
9. RB Michael Dyer, 5-9/201, Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian
Dyer highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "This muscular pinball has good speed, vision and superior balance. Dyer can't be brought down without being wrapped up because he will bounce off and scoot for more yardage. His height (5 feet 8) is an asset because he is extremely hard to see coming through the line of scrimmage. Dyer will remind some fans of Barry Sanders." - Every
DYER SAYS: "I'm not a big fan of statistics and worrying about scoring. I just like to play. There are points in the game where I feel I have to score but that's just to help my team. When I play and focus on that, everything comes together."
TOP SCHOOLS: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and Oklahoma lead a long list of schools in the mix for Dyer.
8. OT James Hurst, 6-6/284, Indianapolis (Ind.) Plainfield
Hurst highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He has the size, the smarts and the nastiness to be one of the top offensive tackles in the country. He is tremendous at both pass protection and run-blocking. It is not often that an offensive lineman wins MVP honors at a camp or combine, let alone the U.S. Army National Combine." - Every
HIS COACH SAYS: "Hurst is so intelligent, he is eighth in his class right now with a 4.1 GPA, and he has the rare combination of strength, speed, agility matched up with the intelligence you need in a top tier offensive lineman. You look at what NFL coaches are looking for, and some of the smartest players every year are the offensive lineman." - Plainfield head coach Brian Woodard
TOP SCHOOLS: Hurst, whose father played at Alabama, has over 18 offers from many of the nation's top programs.
7. CB Lamarcus Joyner, 5-8/166, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Joyner highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He has the skill set to be the best true cover corner in the country, and he also has the mentality of a hard-hitting safety. He is fast, physical and a ballhawk. Joyner possesses short-term memory, and being beaten once will not affect him on the next play." - Every
JOYNER SAYS: "I have it in my mind every time I take the field that I'm the best player out there and that I'm out there to dominate. I don't go out there to just make some big plays, but where as I expect to make every play."
TOP SCHOOLS: Florida leads a long list of schools in the mix for Joyner.
6. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, 6-5/230, Plano (Texas) Plano West
Jeffcoat highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He is a huge, athletic end who has the ability to be a pass-rushing threat and a true run-stopper. Jeffcoat uses his long arms and huge hands to keep offensive linemen at bay and under control. He also is a well-conditioned athlete because he plays basketball." - Every
JEFFCOAT SAYS: "I think my knowledge of the game is a strength of mine. I watch a lot of game film. I've studied my dad (former Dallas Cowboy DE Jim Jeffcoat) and watched him. All the other stuff, the physical stuff, he just wants it to come naturally."
TOP SCHOOLS: Jeffcoat lists Houston, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and USC as some of the schools that he's watching closely.
5. ATH Matt Elam, 6-0/205, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer
Elam highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "He is possibly the most versatile athlete in Florida. He has great speed and hands, and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Defensively, he is not afraid to lower the shoulder and blast the ball carrier or intended receiver into the next world." - Every
ELAM SAYS: "I am growing still and just turned 17. So I will go (to Florida) to play safety knowing I could grow into a linebacker."
TOP SCHOOLS: Elam committed to Florida on Oct. 8 over interest from Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Boston College among others.
4. RB Marcus Lattimore, 5-11/210, Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes
Lattimore highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "A big power back who can carry the ball 25-plus times a game and really wear down defenses by the second half. The best chance to stop this back is before he crosses the line of scrimmage. If he is allowed to get up to speed, he will outrun everybody." - Every
LATTIMORE SAYS: "Everyone always asks running backs what they do best and we all say something a little different. But the bottom line is that we all just run and do it a little differently. For me, I break tackles and get stronger as the game goes on. I have great vision, good speed, and good acceleration in the hole."
TOP SCHOOLS: LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn. Tennessee, North Carolina, FSU, South Carolina, Clemson, Maryland, Duke and Michigan are some of the schools currently being mentioned by Lattimore.
3. WR Darius White, 6-4/205, Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar
White highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "Has good overall size and speed, but what sets him apart is his body control and hands. His name can be tossed around with the likes of A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Rueben Randle. White makes the tough catches look easy and is a serious deep threat." - Every
WHITE SAYS: "I started playing football when I was four years old. I was supposed to be in a touch league, but I was playing tackle instead. I've been working for this since I was four."
TOP SCHOOLS: White's offer list includes Texas, Oregon, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, LSU, TCU, Houston, Texas Tech, Kansas St., Minnesota, Buffalo, Baylor, Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Rice.
2. RB Lache Seastrunk, 5-11/192, Temple (Texas) High
Seastrunk highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "One of the fastest football players in the country, and he has tremendous change of direction and overall balance. It was amazing to watch him do flips between reps during agility drills at the FBU Top Gun Camp last summer. Seastrunk is the true definition of a home-run threat." - Every
SEASTRUNK SAYS: "People will slander your name and say bad things about without knowing you. I hear people say bad things about me all of the time. They say I'm cocky, I'm conceited and that I disrespect my coaches. People don't know me, but they judge me anyway."
TOP SCHOOLS: LSU, Texas, USC, Florida, Miami are among the long list of schools recruiting Seastrunk.
1. OT Seantrel Henderson, 6-8/301, Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall
Henderson highlights
WHY HE'S A FIVE-STAR: "Could possibly be one of the most athletic offensive lineman in the past 10 years. He is a natural knee-bender who runs like a gazelle. Henderson has the ability to slide his feet while staying in contact with a defender." - Every
HENDERSON SAYS: "I have a better future in football. There are a lot of 6-8 guys that are a dime a dozen in basketball."
TOP SCHOOLS: Henderson has a long list of suitors that includes Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA and Wisconsin.

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