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February 6, 2013

History of No. 1: Rivals.com top prospects

MORE: Nkemdiche to Ole Miss | Countdown to NSD

Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, committed to Ole Miss on National Signing Day during a press conference at his high school. Nkemdiche originally committed to Clemson in June but backed off that pledge in November.

Here's a look back at past No. 1 players in the Rivals.com rankings, including high school video, when they committed, the other schools involved in their recruitment and how they fared at the school of their choice.

History of No. 1: How Rivals.com Top Prospects Have Fared
Class of 2013: Robert Nkemdiche, DE, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson
College choice: Ole Miss
Commit date: 2/6/13
Finalists: Ole Miss, LSU, Florida, Georgia
Buzz: After a regular season that was not as dominating as many expected, there was a chance Nkemdiche would drop from the No. 1 spot if he didn't turn in a great week at the Under Armour All-American Game. But with all eyes were on him to see if he could hang on to the top spot wire-to-wire, Nkemdiche turned in a dominating week in Florida and actually distanced himself from the field.
Watch: Robert Nkemdiche prospect highlights

Class of 2012: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest
College choice: Missouri
Commit date: 2/1/12
Finalists: Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas
Buzz: Green-Beckham showed flashes of why he was the nation's top prospect during his freshman season, appearing in 11 games and starting one. He caught 28 passes for 398 yards and a team-leading five touchdowns, including an 80-yarder vs. UCF and a 70-yarder vs. Syracuse. Green Beckham played a key role in a 51-48 quadruple-OT win over Tennessee, grabbing the tying touchdown on 4th-and-12 with 47 seconds left and then scoring again in the third overtime.
Watch: Dorial Green-Beckham prospect highlights

Class of 2011: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
College choice: South Carolina
Commit date: 2/14/11
Other finalists: Alabama, Clemson
Buzz: Clowney didn't waste any time making an impact for the Gamecocks, finishing second on the team in 2011 with 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He was named SEC freshman of the year. In 2012, he took things to another level, joining George Rogers as the Gamecocks' only unanimous first-team All-Americans. He finished his sophomore season with 54 tackles, including 40 solo stops. He logged a school record 23.5 tackles for loss, including a school record 13.0 sacks. He also forced three fumbles and recovered one. He tied for second in the country in tackles for loss and was tied for third in sacks.
Watch: Jadeveon Clowney prospect highlights

Class of 2010: Ronald Powell, DE, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde
College choice: Florida
Commit date: 1/9/10
Other finalists: USC
Buzz: Powell missed the entire 2012 due to injury and was awarded a medical redshirt. He had played in all 25 games since arriving at Florida, picking up 57 total tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss in his two seasons.
Watch: Ronald Powell prospect highlights

Class of 2009: Bryce Brown, RB, Wichita (Kan.) East
College choice: Tennessee
Commit date: 3/16/09
Other finalists: Clemson, LSU, Oregon, Missouri, Kansas State, Miami
Buzz: Brown played as a freshman and ran for 460 yards and three touchdowns for the Vols before transferring to Kansas State. He appeared in just two games for the Wildcats, carrying three times for 16 yards. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he rushed for 564 yards on 115 carries in 2012. In back-to-back starts replacing the injured LeSean McCoy, Brown put up 178 yards vs. Carolina and 169 yards vs. Dallas, scoring twice in each game.
Watch: Bryce Brown prospect highlights

Class of 2008: Terrelle Pryor, QB, Jeannette (Pa.)
College choice: Ohio State
Commit date: 3/19/08
Other finalists: Michigan, Penn State, Oregon
Buzz: Pryor was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and twice earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. The 2010 Rose Bowl MVP left early for the NFL following a suspension for NCAA violations and is now with the Oakland Raiders.
Watch: Terrelle Pryor prospect highlights

Class of 2007: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
College choice: Notre Dame
Commit date: 4/22/06
Other finalists: Tennessee, UCLA
Buzz: A three-year starter, Clausen threw for more than 8,000 yards and 60 touchdowns at Notre Dame. He skipped his senior season and headed to the NFL, where he was a second-round pick by the Carolina Panthers.
Watch: Jimmy Clausen prospect highlights

Class of 2006: Percy Harvin, WR, Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown
College choice: Florida
Commit date: 12/19/05
Other finalists: Florida State, Miami, USC
Buzz: Harvin was a three-year contributor at Florida, racking up 2,755 total yards and 19 touchdowns in last two seasons. A major part of Gators' 2008 national title team, he was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings after his junior season.
Watch: Percy Harvin prospect highlights

Class of 2005: Derrick Williams, ATH, Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt
College choice: Penn State
Commit date: 12/22/04
Other finalists: Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas
Buzz: Williams was a three-year starter at WR for the Nittany Lions but was a threat all over the field. He finished his career with 594 yards and eight touchdowns rushing, 1,743 yards and nine TDs receiving and added five TDs on kickoff and punt returns. He was a third-round pick of the Detroit Lions after his senior season.
Watch: Derrick Williams prospect highlights

Class of 2004: Adrian Peterson, RB, Palestine (Texas)
College choice: Oklahoma
Commit date: 1/3/04
Other finalists: Arkansas, Texas, UCLA, USC
Buzz: Peterson burst onto the scene at OU, setting an NCAA freshman record with 1,925 rushing yards and finishing second in the Heisman Trophyvoting. He finished his Sooners career with 4,045 yards and was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings after his junior season.
Watch: Adrian Peterson prospect highlights

Class of 2003: Ernie Sims, LB, Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian
College choice: Florida State
Commit date: 2/5/03
Other finalists: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami
Buzz: A three-year starter for the Seminoles, Sims was an All-ACC and All-America selection as a sophomore. He entered the NFL Draft after his junior season and was the No. 9 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.
Watch: Ernie Sims prospect highlights

Class of 2002: Vince Young, QB, Houston Madison
College choice: Texas
Commit date: 1/13/02
Other finalists: Arkansas, Miami
Buzz: Young redshirted before starting his final two-and-a-half seasons in Austin. He won 24 of his last 25 starts, including the 2005 BCS title game in which he passed for 267 yards and rushed for 200 more and three touchdowns. After finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a junior, he skipped his senior season and was a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
Watch: Vince Young prospect highlights

(Gabe DeArmond, publisher of PowerMizzou.com, contributed to this report.)

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