Five biggest storylines in final update of 2021 class rankings
The book on the 2021 rankings cycle is now officially closed. A handful of states around the country played this spring, prompting one final look at the rankings. Now, with all the senior film evaluated, here are the biggest moves of the final update to the 2021 class rankings.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
1. CALIFORNIA SHAKING THINGS UP
The state of California was able to get in its football season this spring and a few major prospects saw their rankings change. USC signees Raesjon Davis and Kyron Ware-Hudson were very close in the Rivals250, but now there is a sizable gap. Davis moved up one spot in the outside linebacker position rankings and saw his rank in the Rivals250 increase a couple spots. Ware-Hudson, on the other hand, fell to No. 20 in the receiver rankings and No. 151 in the Rivals250.
USC’s team ranking did not change because of the moves by Davis and Ware-Hudson, but Virginia Tech rose in the team rankings because one of its signees added a fourth star. Hokies signee DJ Harvey (Sierra Canyon/Chatsworth, Ca.) landed his fourth star after an outstanding senior campaign. Harvey also moved up in the cornerback rankings to No. 33.
2. WISCONSIN SIGNEE MAKES A BIG JUMP
Future Wisconsin Badger Braelon Allen is a very intriguing prospect and his journey has been fun to follow. The Wisconsin native started out as a 2022 prospect and joined the 2021 class this past fall so he could start his college career sooner rather than later. Allen, who was listed as a safety, played both offense and defense this spring. Now up to 240-pounds, Allen looked good on defense but seemed to be turning more into a linebacker. A move to inside or outside linebacker was likely until he really started excelling as a running back. He’s impressed so much at running back that it appears likely he gets a shot at playing running back once he gets to Wisconsin. Allen finishes the 2021 rankings cycle ranked No. 5 at the athlete position and No. 134 in the Rivals250.
3. PAC-12 BOUND EDGE DEFENDER EARNS HIS 4TH STAR
Jabril McNeill’s senior season proved to be a really important one when it comes to his ranking. The Oregon signee had a very impressive spring and earned his fourth star. McNeill looks like an excellent edge defender with the athleticism to play in space but also rush the passer with his hand in the ground. He’s at his best when he’s coming downhill and able to use his speed and strength to make plays in the backfield. McNeill ended the 2021 rankings cycle as a four-star ranked as the No. 15 weakside defensive end.
4. GEORGIA JUMPS SEC FOE TO FINISH IN THE TOP FIVE
A fairly small rankings change made a huge difference for the Georgia Bulldogs. Offensive guard Jared Wilson and his Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth team played this spring, and Wilson looked like he was really coming into his own. We’ve always known Wilson had a lot of potential and appears to have used the extended offseason to his advantage. Wilson took some big steps in his development and was moved up in the rankings. The future Bulldog finished the rankings cycle as a three-star with a Rivals Rating of 5.7, up from 5.5, and landed at No. 21 in the offensive guard rankings. This small move in the rankings pushed Georgia into the No. 5 spot in the team rankings, passing Texas A&M.
AUBURN SEES A BUMP IN THE TEAM RANKINGS
Jared Wilson wasn’t the only offensive lineman from North Carolina that moved up in the rankings because of their spring season. Offensive tackle Colby Smith saw his ranking increase and Auburn moved up a couple spots in the team rankings as a result. Smith is a big, powerful lineman with a lot of potential. He still has some work to do on his technique but the coaches at Auburn are very excited to get a player with his ceiling in the program. Smith saw his Rivals Rating increase from 5.5 to 5.7, remaining a three-star, and ended up as the No. 54 offensive tackle in the class.