Ask Farrell: Who is primed for a big jump up the rankings?
The 2021 rankings are just getting kicked into high gear and there are going to be plenty of major moves over the coming months as the offseason evaluation period is an invaluable time to see all the top prospects on the road.
Following the Under Armour Future 50 event in Orlando and the National Combine in San Antonio over the holidays along with a bunch of events through January and into February, there is already some major movement in the newly-released rankings.
Florida defensive end commit Tyreak Sapp made a huge jump up 108 spots to No. 12 after his showing at the Future 50. Offensive tackle Tristan Leigh is on the cusp of five-star status after dominating at the National Combine. The Fairfax (Va.) Robinson standout moved up 131 spots to No. 26 overall.
There were plenty of other major movers up as well.
RIVALS RANKING WEEK (2021 CLASS) SCHEDULE
Friday: New state rankings released
Michigan offensive line commit Giovanni El-Hadi bumped up 105 spots; Clemson tight end pledge Jake Briningstool advanced 88 spots; Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central tight end Thomas Fidone moved up 144 spots to No. 60 nationally; and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy offensive tackle JC Latham moved ahead 76 spots to No. 73 overall.
Those are just the big moves within the Rivals 100.
Other notable movers up: Ohio State linebacker commit Reid Carrico, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro defensive back Denzel Burke, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett cornerback Jordan Hancock, Wisconsin defensive back pledge Hunter Wohler, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake athlete Nathaniel Wiggins and many, many others.
As more evaluation opportunities come about, there will be many more chances to move up players.
We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell to name some prospects that he has his eye on for potential big moves up, guys who could really shine on the biggest stages this offseason or sleepers who could emerge as legitimate national targets once they’re seen against elite competition.
"Leigh is a guy I could see continuing to move up as he develops because he has that nasty edge to him and his frame is great. I also like the quartet of offensive linemen from Michigan, but especially El-Hadi. He could be special as a guard prospect. Latham has arguably the best ceiling in this class and I really like Marcus Tate as well. Fidone is a very interesting prospect at tight end because of his athleticism.
"On defense, I like athlete Chase Smith as a linebacker prospect. He’s a little raw but I like his athleticism and the way he runs things down.