We had to make some tough, tough choices for TheInsiders.com/CNNSI.com All-America Team, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Two positions in particular were very difficult to determine, quarterback and wide receiver. This season there are three elite quarterbacks -- Kyle Wright, Chris Leak and JaMarcus Russell.
Wright is the total package, blessed with everything a quarterback needs to be successful at any level -- size, arm strength, knowledge of the game, mobility, leadership, confidence and the ability to make the big play. Leak also has those intangibles, plus the stats to back it up.
He has thrown for a mind-boggling 15,593 yards and a national record 185 touchdown passes in his high school career. Russell is the "rawest" of the bunch but he has the best arm in the country. He has terrific size and mobility. In the end, with coaching and the right system, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Russell become the best of this elite bunch. But Wright gets the nod as he has all season as TheInsiders.com's No. 1-rated quarterback.
Wide receiver was also difficult but we ended up going with Whitney Lewis and Andre Caldwell. This duo is summed up in two words -- play makers! They both make big play after big play. Lewis is the most elusive and physical, while Caldwell is the most explosive. They edged out Chad Jackson for the two wide receiver spots.
Greg Olsen is an outstanding two-way standout -- at TE and DE -- but he's a gifted tight end who really reminds you of Jeremy Shockey.
In the trenches, it isn't a great year for tackles, but it certainly is for guards and centers. The No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation is center Jordy Lipsey. He is flanked by the overpowering Ofa Mohetau and the athletic Eric Young. Tackles Jorrie Adams and Mike Jones round out the offensive line.
Defensively, this team is led by the linebackers -
- Ernie Sims, Wesley Jefferson and Earl Everett.
Sims is the nation’s top overall prospect and the other two are not too far behind. Jefferson is the biggest hitter of the bunch while Everett has the most unlimited potential. Prescott Burgess, a super recruit from the Buckeye state, was barely edged out of this group.
The defensive front consists of Lamarr Woodley, Lawrence Jackson, Nate Robinson and Lawrence Dampeer. Woodley is a high school outside linebacker, but at 6-2 and 250 pounds, I sincerely think he'll become an end. Robinson and Dampeer are two 300-pounders that are athletic and move exceptionally well.
The secondary is a great group with safeties Brandon Owens and Tony Cade and cornerbacks Donte Whitner and Tarell Brown.
Top 22 high school players in the nation, listed by position.
Offense And Defense
QB: Kyle Wright
Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista
Committed to Miami
DE: Lamarr Woodley
Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Michigan St.
RB: Demetris Summers
S.C. leads Florida, FSU, Miami, Okla.,Tenn.
DE: Lawrence Jackson
Committed to USC
RB: Kregg Lumpkin
Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson
Committed to Georgia
DT: Nate Robinson
Committed to Miami
WR: Whitney Lewis
Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Florida State leads USC, Texas, Miami
DT: Lawrence Dampeer
Decatur (Ill.) McArthur
Illinois, Miami, Tenn., Okla., Purdue
WR: Andre Caldwell
Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson
Florida, Miami, FSU, USC and LSU
LB: Ernie Sims
Tallahassee (Fla.) N. Fla. Christian
Auburn, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Miami
TE: Greg Olsen
Wayne (N.J.) Hills
ND, Michigan, Tenn., and Miami
LB: Wesley Jefferson
Brandywine (Md.) Gwynn Park
MD, Miami, ND, Ohio St., Penn St., UVA
OL: Jordy Lipsey
Altamonte Springs (Fla.) L. Brantley
Committed to Virginia
LB: Earl Everett
Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter
Florida, Miami lead Nebr., FSU, LSU
OL: Ofa Mohetau
Eluess (Texas) Trinity
Arizona St., BYU, Miami, Texas
S: Brandon Owens
Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic
Committed to Iowa State
OL: Eric Young
Clemson, UNC, S. Carolina, Tenn., UVA
S: Tony Cade
Committed to Oklahoma
OL: Jorrie Adams
LSU, Okla., Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA
CB: Donte Whitner
Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
Committed to Ohio State
OL: Mike Jones
Oak Lawn (Ill.) Richards
Mich., ND, Tenn., Miami, Iowa
CB: Tarell Brown
Mesquite (Texas) N. Mesquite
Committed to Texas