Top New England talent leaving the area

The state of Delaware and the New England region are not typically known for producing upper-echelon football prospects, particularly compared to other areas across the country. College recruiters who pass through New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and even Massachusetts typically look for athletes on the ice, not the gridiron.

In 2010, the upper-tier talent is down, and the midrange, three-star depth in this region has seen better years. Connecticut still appears to be the strongest state in the region and continues to prove it can compete on a national level. The Constitution State boasts three prospects rated in the top 20 at their respective positions in this class. Stout inside run-stopper Khairi Fortt (Stamford, Conn./Stamford), speedy running back Silas Redd (Stamford, Conn./The King and Low Heywood Thomas) and explosive outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Lewis (Stamford, Conn./The King and Low Heywood Thomas) are all regarded nationally. Fortt actually checks in as the No. 2 inside linebacker and No. 67 overall prospect in the ESPNU 150.

Pierre-Lewis and Redd are teammates at a small private school in Connecticut, which appears to be the theme for New England's top prospects in 2010. Schools with strong academic reputations are producing some of the better talent this year. Unfortunately, with smaller enrollment comes a lower tier of competition -- an inherited red flag that will accompany these prospects to the major college level.

To learn who is the top player in the New England area, a name to remember who might not be the highest-rated prospect and which programs are doing the best job of recruiting this year, become an ESPN Insider.Insider