Ultimate ESPN 300: Top 50 players

Updated: January 29, 2014, 4:26 PM ET
ESPN RecruitingNation

The Ultimate ESPN 300 is RecruitingNation's ranking of the best prospects since we began evaluating high school athletes in 2006. Producing this list was a challenging, yet intriguing process. The evaluation of high school prospects is not an exact science, by any means. By revisiting our initial scouting reports, we saw just how those unknown variables, and circumstances in general, can affect a player's college production and success rate.

Our version of the Ultimate ESPN 300 is a hypothetical ranking that blends what we know now with what we projected back then.

For the Ultimate ESPN 300 ranking, we incorporated both the prospect's grade and projection out of high school with his actual college impact and production. In the interest of objectivity, we also included prospects that were not included in our rankings. However, we did not include players we did not evaluate in high school, so there are notable names left off this list, like Michael Crabtree.

We certainly had our misses on prospects over the last eight years -- and they are reflected within this ranking -- but we did give the edge to prospects we projected highly out of high school who lived up to their predicted stock or expectations. So this ranking is not simply a list of the top college performers over the last eight years, as our talented college football writers could produce that version. Our version of the Ultimate ESPN 300 is essentially a hypothetical ranking that blends what we know now with what we projected back then.

It should be noted that we did not include the 2014 class in this edition, and for the 2013 class, we incorporated freshman prospects that we felt had significant roles and their placement was based on forecasting similar production over the next three years. All prospects are listed at the position they were projected to play at out of high school and the original school they signed with.

Join the conversation

Agree with our selections? Outraged by those who missed the cut? Let us know. Tweet to @RecruitingESPN using the hashtag #Ultimate300.

See the full Ultimate ESPN 300.

See the full Ultimate ESPN 300.

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