9. DE DaQuan Bowers
In most years, Bowers would be the unanimous top prep football player in the country. He’ll start at Clemson from day one and should terrorize ACC offenses just as quickly.
OJ Mayo will likely leave now that USC has been knocked out of the tournament, but DeRozen will replace him nicely. A gifted shooting guard blessed with explosive athleticism, look for DeRozen to be one of next year’s top freshmen.
7. RB Joe McKnight
It’s hard to remember a college program ever having the type of positional glut that USC had last season at running back, but McKnight should now begin to get the bulk of he carries. The New Orleans native has drawn comparisons to former Trojan Reggie Bush.
6. OF/SS Justin Upton
Though he got too many at-bats last season to be considered a rookie for 2008, Upton is one of baseball’s brightest young players. It took a few years for his brother BJ to break out in Tampa Bay, but Justin’s learning curve is expected to be much quicker with the Diamondbacks.
5. PG Ricky Rubio
Though the Spanish point guard likely won’t enter the NBA Draft until 2009, he already has scouts drooling over him. Rubio has drawn comparisons to Pete Maravich.
It’s hard to fault Clausen for the Fighting Irish’s miserable 2007. If the offensive line can keep him upright, Notre Dame may have found their next great quarterback.
3. OF Jay Bruce
Only in the deranged mind of Dusty Baker would a player as productive as Bruce not be allowed to start 2008 in the major leagues. Bruce, 20, was named Baseball America’s top prospect last season and projects as a corner outfielder with power.
2. QB Terrelle Pryor
Few prep stars have received more attention from the national media than Pryor, a two sport star out of Pennsylvania. He’s been called one of the best quarterback prospects ever and he recently lead his basketball team to a state title. Pryor will play football for Ohio State next fall.
1. P Yu Darvish
Whenever the 21-year old Japanese pitcher decides to come to the United States, he’ll likely go for a posting fee around $75 million. Darvish has already dominated the Japanese leagues, winning their equivalent of the Cy Young last season, and has a fastball that registers at 97 MPH. By most measures, he is further along in his progress than Daisuke Matsuzaka was at the same age.