Jnews is about news!

Tuesdays with Gorney: Position-by-position on new 2023 rankings

The new Rivals250 has been released and there is a lot to go over so in today’s Tuesdays with Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney goes position-by-position with some thoughts and takeaways.

*****

RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars | Latest recruiting news on five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released | Biggest Risers | Gorney’s thoughts | Teams that should be pleased

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released

Saturday: Roundtable

*****

QUARTERBACK

Texas commit Arch Manning stayed No. 1, Tennessee pledge Nico Iamaleava jumped Oregon commit Dante Moore to No. 2, USC commit Malachi Nelson stayed as a five-star and now Oklahoma commit Jackson Arnold has joined the five-star club. The Denton (Texas) Guyer quarterback is such a gamer and was arguably the best quarterback at Elite 11 over the summer. I love guys who just win, put up numbers and get the job done and move on. Arnold is a big-time winner and he could move even higher up the position rankings after the all-star games.

There was also a change at the top of the dual-threat quarterback rankings. It was just impossible to ignore the season Kansas State commit Avery Johnson had. Mixed with his athleticism – he’s a multi-sport guy who also plays basketball – he moved to the top spot. Louisville pledge Pierce Clarkson stays high, though, especially because he showed out in a big playoff win over fellow powerhouse Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.

I still think that group from 6-15 in the pro-style rankings could see a significant amount of movement following the all-star games.

*****  

RUNNING BACK

Rueben Owens II

Rueben Owens II (Rivals.com)

We still don’t have a five-star running back in this class. I’m not crazy about that because there is a lot of high-end talent up top. However, I do understand the logic from an NFL Draft consideration and that does play a role in our rankings process.

Louisville commit Rueben Owens II would get the first look because of his dual abilities of running and catching the ball and he’s so dynamic in any offense when he has the ball in his hands.

But Alabama commit Justice Haynes is not far behind him. Texas commit Cedric Baxter deserved a move up and he got one. Georgia pledge Roderick Robinson had such a great senior season, plus he fits the mold of the great ones in Athens, that he could not be ignored.

Alabama pledge Richard Young dropped a few spots and I have a sneaky suspicion he’s going to prove us wrong at the all-star events and will move right back toward the top. Oregon commit Dante Dowdell might also be a little low at No. 7 and I like the move of Jamarion Wilcox to ninth overall.

At all-purpose, Auburn commit Jeremiah Cobb has been more behind the scenes but I love his game.

*****  

WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END

The debate goes on about the No. 1 receiver in the class as we’ve flip-flopped between Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate. For Ohio State fans that’s great news since both are committed to the Buckeyes and both five-stars are elite players.

Two players moving up are Ole Miss commit Ayden Williams and USC pledge Makai Lemon as both not only had great senior seasons but have elite abilities and still might not be high enough in the rankings. If LSU pledge Shelton Sampson impresses at an all-star game, he could move higher quickly as well.

Duce Robinson, who’s highest on USC, Georgia and Texas, got bumped to five-star status after a great senior season and conversations I had with two people who made a very good point: He’s not really a tight end, he’s more of a split-out receiver whose size only dictates his position. It’s a good point because Robinson plays more of a receiver role and that elite athletic and playmaking ability make him really special. I also think Georgia commit Pearce Spurlin is fantastic and Miami commit Riley Williams could do great things if he gets the ball more.

*****  

OFFENSIVE LINE

Iowa commit Kadyn Proctor is one of those players who could easily move into the top 10 with a dominant performance at the All-American Bowl. He has incredible size and is a ferocious blocker so seeing him against national competition is going to be crucial in the coming weeks.

The rest of that offensive tackle group could still see some movement between five-stars Samson Okunlola and Francis Mauigoa. We’re warming up more and more to LSU pledge Zalance Heard, who hasn’t been to many events but when we saw him late in the season he was outstanding. Seeing Notre Dame pledge Charles Jagusah at a national event will be important as well.

Texas A&M commit TJ Shanahan Jr. remains the lone five-star offensive guard although Penn State pledge Alex Birchmeier is coming into the conversation. This is a deep group of interior offensive linemen who could see more movement after the all-star events.

*****  

DEFENSIVE LINE

This is shaping up to be one of the best defensive end classes in Rivals history dating back to 2002. Let’s start with the strongside defensive ends led by Texas A&M pledge David Hicks Jr., Damon Wilson and Matayo Uiagalelei. Hicks is so versatile, Wilson has the length and physical tools, and Uiagalelei is dominant off the edge and also outstanding on offense.

But we might not be done with five-stars here because Florida commit Kelby Collins, Georgia commit Gabriel Harris and Tennessee pledge Daevin Hobbs are all elite and I really hope to see Brenan Vernon in person at an all-star event. Miami (Fla.) Central’s Rueben Bain is a sack master so having him at No. 12 speaks to the talent in this group.

At weakside defensive end, Georgia commit Samuel M’Pemba and Keon Keeley lead the way but then there’s a whole host of players on the fringe of five-star status. Adepoju Adebawore is special but Jaquavious Russaw is the one who’s especially caught my eye and could be among the five-stars soon. The Montgomery (Ala.) Carver prospect makes so many plays and impacts the game so much it’s hard to ignore. I also really like the guys behind him, especially Alabama commit Yhonzae Pierre.

Defensive tackle is not as incredibly loaded as years past and we’re jostling the rankings a little bit there as Russaw’s teammate, James Smith, takes over the top spot. Clemson pledge Peter Woods moved up and I still love the versatility and upside of Ohio State commit Jason Moore.

*****  

LINEBACKER

The only five-star linebacker remains Denton (Texas) Ryan’s Anthony Hill, who had been committed to Texas A&M but it now looks like he’ll end up at Texas. He’s a tackling machine and excellent in the box and in space, and has put up big numbers throughout his career.

But there will be others under consideration including USC commit Tackett Curtis, a physical specimen who loads up on the stats as well. At outside linebacker, Notre Dame commit Drayk Bowen took over the No. 1 spot because of his outstanding season and upside.

The one to watch is Ole Miss pledge Suntarine Perkins, who is also phenomenal on the offensive side of the ball and is a pure playmaker. It’s why Alabama is trying to flip him so badly.

*****  

DEFENSIVE BACK

Miami commit Cormani McClain, Desmond Ricks and Javien Toviano are the three five-star cornerbacks but the guys behind them will really push for moves higher, especially at the all-star events.

Georgia commit AJ Harris is right there on the fringe, Texas pledge Malik Muhammad is really talented and Texas A&M recruit Bravion Rogers is excellent as well. The sleeper in this group who might move up real fast is Ohio State commit Calvin Simpson-Hunt.

I’m not crazy about five-star safeties but with Caleb Downs and Peyton Bowen in this group it’s hard to say no. Both are so instinctual and have such playmaking ability that it was impossible to not move them up. It will all shake out in time but I still think Ohio State commit Malik Hartford is a top-five or -six safety in the class.

*****

ATHLETE

Nyckoles Harbor is one of the rarest athletes in Rivals history and whether it’s at tight end or defensive end, the Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll prospect has star potential. But Malachi Coleman from Lincoln (Neb.) East is also elite as an offensive or defensive prospect and his length puts him in the elite category. With a big showing at the all-star events, Coleman could be somebody in the five-star discussion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *