Justin Fields is the new No. 1 football recruit in the nation, according to the updated Top 247 rankings released Monday.
Fields, a dual-threat quarterback from Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), has moved ahead of Trevor Lawrence, a pro-style quarterback prospect and Clemson commit from Cartersville (Ga.). Lawrence had been No. 1 since the Top 247 initial rankings for the Class of 2018 were released two years ago.
“Fields looked like the best player in the country this spring and summer,” 247 national recruiting director Barton Simmons wrote. “He certainly looked like the best quarterback. In fact it wasn’t close. That’s not a commentary on the other quarterbacks. We actually think this is a strong crop of arms. It’s a commentary on Fields. He’s just that good.”
Simmons noted that Fields has not yet been able to showcase his speed and strength in camp and 7-on-7 settings and that Fields also plays baseball in the offseason.
In comparing the players on the football field, Lawrence has led Cartersville to a 30-0 record and threw for 3,900 yards playing 4A in Georgia. Fields threw for 2,700 yards and ran for nearly 1,200 against 6A competition in the same state.
According to Simmons, Fields led Harrison to its first 10-win season since 2002 and its first playoff win since 2008. He points to Fields’ ability as a program changer, given that Cartersville excelled even before Lawrence arrived.
“These are two great quarterbacks but don’t call Fields a camp guy,” Simmons wrote. “He has already transformed his high school team and he’s got every No. 1 trait we could ask for.”
Of course, the chase for No. 1 is not over and don’t forget IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and Clemson commit defensive lineman Xavier Thomas.
“His strength and edge power, his maturity and competitiveness are No. 1 worthy and in a different year he’d be sitting comfortably at the top of the rankings,” Simmons wrote of Thomas. “Playing at IMG Academy this fall, Thomas will have every opportunity to prove that himself.”
Micah Parsons, a defensive end from Harrisburg (Pa.), moved up four spots to No. 4. He is a former Penn State commit.
Patrick Surtain Jr., a cornerback from American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), added a fifth star and jumped 10 spots to No. 5.
Georgia commit running back Zamir White from Scotland County (Laurinburg, N.C.) is No. 6, followed by Justin Shorter, a Penn State committed wide receiver from South Brunswick (N.J.) who added a fifth star. He moved up 30 spots and is now the top receiver in the class over Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) star Amon-ra St. Brown, who comes in at No. 8.
Green Hope (Cary, N.C.), wide receiver Jordyn Adams, who committed to North Carolina last week, added a fifth star and is No. 9.
Another new five-star, Jamaree Salyer, is the top offensive lineman in the class and is ranked No. 10. He is from Pace Academy in Atlanta.
Tight end Jeremy Ruckert from Lindenhurst (N.Y.) moved 24 spots to No. 11 and added a fifth star.
The other new five-star is Talonoa Hufanga, an athlete from Crescent Valley (Corvallis, Ore.) who is ranked No. 13.