football Edit

Position rankings: Breaking down the 2017 class

Markail Benton

The first rankings of two new position groups highlights the pre-season update of the class of 2017 Rivals rankings. Prospects like Rivals100 defensive end LaBryan Ray highlight the biggest movers in this position rankings update.

RELATED: Class of 2017 Rivals250 | Class of 2017 Position Rankings

PRO-STYLE QUARTERBACKS

COMPLETE PRO-STYLE QUARTERBACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Chase Garbers, Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona Del Mar (Up 2 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: The pro-style quarterback position sees very little difference from the pre-summer ranking, with the only changes in the top 10 coming from prospects moving in or out from other positions. Oklahoma commit Chris Robison comes over from the dual-threat quarterback position and checks in at No. 4 in this ranking. Garbers, a Cal commit, nearly cracks the top 10, but lands at No. 11 after his upward move.

DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACKS

COMPLETE DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: N’Kosi Perry, Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard (Up 3 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Lowell Narcisse, St. James, La. (Down 6 spots)

COMMENTS: Ohio State commit Tate Martell remains No. 1, but the gap between he and Alabama commit Tua Tagavailoa is shrinking after Tagavoiloa’s bump up. Texas commit Sam Ehlinger moves over from pro-style and lands at the No. 4 ranking on this list, while Texas A&M commit Kellen Mond slides up a spot to round out the top five. Narcisse’s drop means he is out of the top 10, but just barely as he sits at No. 11 on this list.

ALL-PURPOSE RUNNING BACKS

COMPLETE ALL-PURPOSE BACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Darrian Felix, Fort Myers, Fla. (Debuts at No. 9)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: It was a very uneventful update at the all-purpose back position, where Felix’s move from a 5.5 to 5.6 Rivals Rating and debut in the top 10 accounts for the only changes to the ranking. USC commit Stephen Carr and Florida State commit Khalan Laborn remain Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, after doing battle at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour back in June.

RUNNING BACKS

COMPLETE RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Ty Chandler, Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy (Up 3 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: Cam Akers is a new five-star, but he was already No. 2 in this ranking and retains that spot behind the new No. 1 overall player in the class, Alabama commit Najee Harris. Chandler, a Tennessee commit, cracks the top 10 after his bump, while Ohio State commit J.K. Dobbins moves from No. 6 to No. 4 after a rise in his Rivals Rating. The biggest jump comes from LSU commit Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who now ranks No. 21 on the list.

FULLBACKS

COMPLETE FULLBACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Tory Carter, Leesburg (Fla.) Lee County (Debuts at No. 1)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: The fullback position is certainly less prominent in college football than it was 20 years ago, and the dearth of good fullbacks is evidenced by this being the first ranking of the position in the 2017 class. Each of the players in this top five has a 5.5 Rivals Rating. The ranking is topped by LSU commit Tory Carter and also includes Nebraska commit Ben Miles and Central Michigan commit Charles Jones.

WIDE RECEIVERS

COMPLETE WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Tarik Black, Chesire (Conn.) Academy (Up 7 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: James Robinson, Lakeland, Fla. (Down 5 spots)

COMMENTS: While many of the top receivers were able to face off in Atlanta at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour, their performances mostly validated what we had seen earlier. The top four remains unchanged, with Robinson’s drop to No. 10 and new five-star Jerry Jeudy replacing him at No. 5 being the first change. Black and West Virginia commit Mike Harley make positive moves further down in the four-star range.

TIGHT ENDS

COMPLETE TIGHT END RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Cole Kmet, Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator (Up 3 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Jimmy Jaggers, Roseville, Calif. (Down 2 spots)

COMMENTS: It was an overall positive update for prospects at the top of the tight end ranking. Notre Dame commit Brock Wright remains No. 1, but three of the next four prospects on the list all saw their Rivals Rating increase, including Kmet, Wright’s future teammate, who is up to No. 3. The highest debut was made by Washington commit Cade Otton, who lands at No. 19 in the ranking after a ratings bump.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

COMPLETE OFFENSIVE TACKLE RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Trey Smith, Jackson (Tenn.) University School (Up 19 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Kai-Leon Herbert, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage (Down 17 spots)

COMMENTS: New five-star Foster Sarell takes over at No. 1, displacing fellow five-star Isaiah Wilson, who slides down to the second spot. Alabama commit Alex Leatherwood also earns his fifth star in this updated, and rounds out the top five. Miami commit Navaughn Donaldson cracks the top 10 after moving over from guard and earning a ratings bump. Herbert was a positive mover in the last update, but ends up back where he was in the winter after a slide.

OFFENSIVE GUARDS

COMPLETE OFFENSIVE GUARD RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Marquis Hayes, Maryland Heights (Mo.) Pattonville (Up 4 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: This is now a net gain of 13 spots over the last two updates for Hayes, an Oklahoma commit, which puts him at No. 4 in the ranking behind Rivals100 members Wyatt Davis, Netori Johnson and Tyrese Robinson. Wisconsin commit Kayden Lyles rounds out the top five after a couple players moved out to other positions. New four-star Saahdiq Charles, and LSU commit, comes over from defensive tackle and debuts at No. 13.

OFFENSIVE CENTERS

COMPLETE OFFENSIVE CENTER RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: None

NOTABLE DROPPER: Jack Anderson, Frisco, Texas (Down 2 spots)

COMMENTS: The biggest change to the offensive center rankings is the addition of five new players, extending the list from a top five to a top 10. IMG Academy’s Cesar Ruiz still tops the list, but TCU commit Wes Harris has ascended to the No. 2 spot and USC commit Brett Neilon lands at No. 3 after coming over from the offensive guard ranking. Among the new additions in the 6-10 range is Maryland commit Johnny Jordan.

WEAKSIDE DEFENSIVE END

COMPLETE WEAKSIDE DEFENSIVE END RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Isaiah Thomas, Tulsa (Okla.) Union (Up 8 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: K’Lavon Chaisson, Houston (Texas) North Shore (Down 12 spots)

COMMENTS: With former No. 2 overall prospect Josh Kaindoh sliding in this update, five-star Jarez Parks takes over as the No. 1 player in this ranking. Ohio State commit Chase Young gets a slight bump and now rounds out the top five. Thomas, an Oklahoma commit, is now at No. 13 after earning his fourth star, while Wake Forest commit Michael Allen and Chaisson drop out of the top 10 and top 20, respectively, with their slides.

STRONGSIDE DEFENSIVE ENDS

COMPLETE STRONGSIDE DEFENSIVE END RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: LaBryan Ray, Madison (Ala.) James Clemens (Up 10 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Martin Andrus, Los Angeles, Calif. (Down 12 spots)

COMMENTS: Ray makes a huge jump and now ranks as the No. 2 player on this list behind only Iowa commit A.J. Epenesa. Clemson commit Jordan Williams moved higher in the Rivals250, but remains at No. 5 in this ranking, while Maryland native Josh Paschal cracked the Rivals250 and jumped two spots up to No. 8 in this ranking. The ranking grows by five prospects in this update to include a total of 35 players.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

COMPLETE DEFENSIVE TACKLE RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Noah Elliss, Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian (Up 18 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Greg Rogers, Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View (Down 1 spot)

COMMENTS: The top eight remains unchanged, but at No. 9 is Alabama commit Akial Byers who continues his ascent after starting the spring outside the top 35. The 11-20 range sees significant movement, with Elliss, Elijah Conliffe and Washington commit Marlon Tuipulotu all moving into that range after positive bumps. Further down the list, Georgia commit Devonte Wyatt debuts at No. 26 after his Rivals Rating increase to 5.7.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

COMPLETE INSIDE LINEBACKER RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Jacob Phillips, Nashville (Tenn.) East Nashville Magnet (Up 1 spot)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Will Ignont, New Market (Ala.) Buckhorn (Down 6 spots)

COMMENTS: Phillips bump now places him in the second spot on this list behind five-star Nate McBride. Three players from the previous top 10 dropped in Rivals Rating, but only Ignont fell from the top 10. Cairo, Ga., native Walter Grant makes the highest debut in this update at No. 15 after breaking out of relative obscurity. South Carolina commit Sherrod Greene also sees a slight bump and now ranks No. 18 on the list.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

COMPLETE OUTSIDE LINEBACKER RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Markail Benton, Phenix City (Ala.) Central (Up 7 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Bruce Jordan-Swilling, New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin (Down 11 spots)

COMMENTS: Benton cracks the top 10 with his move, joining fellow Alabama commit Vandarius Cowan in that group. No. 1 overall Baron Browning did improve his standing in the Rivals100, but was already tops in this ranking. Further down the list Washington commit Ariel Ngata is up to No. 36 after an eight-point bump and Clemson commit Logan Rudolph debuts at No. 42 after moving over from the strongside defensive end position.

CORNERBACKS

COMPLETE CORNERBACK RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Elijah Blades, Pasadena (Calif.) Muir (Up 11 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Jermani Brown, Midlothian, Va. (Down 10 spots)

COMMENTS: Five-star Lamont Wade has reclaimed his spot atop this ranking after an MVP performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour. Florida State commit Stanford Samuels joins Wade in the top five after his bump from a 5.9 to a 6.0 Rivals Rating. Miami commit Trajan Bandy cracks the top 10, and nearly the Rivals100, after a strong summer. Blades, a Florida commit, makes the biggest jump, though, and now sits at No. 13 in this ranking.

SAFETY

COMPLETE SAFETY RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Bubba Bolden, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman (Up 5 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: Isaiah Pryor, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy (Down 3 spots)

COMMENTS: Georgia commit Richard LeCounte and Tennessee commit Maleik Gray were already in the top 10, but positive movement in both of their stocks results in higher placement in that group. Neither make the top five, though, which remains unchanged from the last update. Bolden is up to No. 15 after his bump, and Florida State commit Daniel Wright debuts at No. 17 after moving over from the athlete position.

ATHLETES

COMPLETE ATHLETE RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Salvon Ahmed, Kirkland (Wash.) Juanita (Up 14 spots)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: A couple of prospects from this position moved out to other positions, opening up room for Ahmed and Jamyest Williams to crack the top 10. Phoenix native Isaiah Pola-Malo also gets a ratings bump and makes a slight jump up to No. 12. Further down the ranking, Oklahoma commit Grant Calcaterra and Elijah Hicks earn their fourth stars in this update and rank at Nos. 26 and 27, respectively.

KICKERS

COMPLETE KICKER RANKINGS

NOTABLE RISER: Brandon Ruiz, Gilbert (Ariz.) Williams Field (Debuts at No. 1)

NOTABLE DROPPER: None

COMMENTS: This is the first ranking of the kicker position in the 2017 class and Ruiz, an Alabama commit, leads off the list. He is followed by Georgia Tech commit Pressley Harvin III, Ohio State commit Blake Haubeil, Auburn commit Anders Carlson and Tennessee commit Brent Cimaglia to round out the top five.