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Rivals Ranking Week: Breaking down 2021 team rankings

Manny Diaz
Manny Diaz (USA TODAY)

Rivals continues to roll out its updated rankings for the 2021 class and our focus today moves to team side of things. Now that we've tweaked things at the top and across the board, analyst Sam Spiegelman takes a closer look at the updated team standings and provides a few predictions for how things will shape out down the stretch.



Monday: Top 10 revealed

Tuesday: Rivals100 revealed | Mind of Mike on updated ranking

Wednesday: Rivals250 revealed

Thursday/Friday: Position rankings revealed

Saturday: Team rankings breakdown

Sunday: State rankings revealed

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State



1. Does The U have sticking power?

Savion Collins
Savion Collins (Nick Lucero/

It's become a routine story at this time of the year. Miami tends to load up on a bevy of early commitments that begin to disperse from the class once junior days and college visits get underway. The Canes are sitting No. 6 nationally with eight verbal commitments, which is good for tops in the nation.

Of the early pledges, the headliners are four-stars Savion Collins, Chamon Metayer and Laurence Seymore, all of whom are local products. The question, of course, is whether Manny Diaz and his staff will be able to buck the trend of having the class come apart at the seams or be able to not only hold onto to their early foundational pieces but build on the haul.



2. Is this it finally the Buckeyes' turn?

Jack Sawyer
Jack Sawyer (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

Fun fact: Ohio State has never took home a recruiting title in the Rivals era. In fact, the Buckeyes have flirted with it on multiple occasions. In 2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, they have been inside the top three of the national recruiting rankings, with runners-up finishes in 2013 and back-to-back from 2017-18.

Can Ryan Day and his staff rewrite history with their 2021 haul, though?

Currently, Ohio State sits second behind only Notre Dame with six total commitments for 2021, including five-star Jack Sawyer, the No. 7 overall prospect in the country. Kyle McCord, the No. 2-ranked pro-style quarterback, and four-stars Marvin Harrison Jr. (No. 67 overall), Ben Christmas (No. 73 overall) and Jayden Ballard (No. 98 overall) are also big reasons why.

Ohio State is also squarely in the mix for other elite targets such as Beaux Collins, Camar Wheaton, Emeka Egbuka, Donovan Jackson, Tunmise Adeleye and Tony Grimes, among others -- enough to make a convincing push for that top spot for the first time in the Rivals era.



3. Herman's Horns have early momentum for 2021

Jalen Milroe
Jalen Milroe (Sam Spiegelman)

Over the summer, Texas took over the recruiting trail with some major fireworks in not only its 2020 class, but the foundation for the 2021 haul as well. Among the headliners are Rivals100 prospects Ja'Tavion Sanders, Jalen Milroe and Billy Bowman Jr., as well as Hayden Conner and Derrick Harris Jr., members of the Rivals250.

The Longhorns have made several in-roads within the state for 2021 and currently hold commitments from seven Lone Star State recruits. If that momentum continues to mount, then Texas may be able to not only win the state, but make a case for a top-five class in 2021.

Camar Wheaton, Tommy Brockermeyer, Savion Byrd, Rueben Fatheree, Donovan Jackson, Landon Jackson, Quay Davis and LJ Johnson Jr. are just a few of the high-profile in-state targets on Texas' wish list for this cycle. There's a bevy of local talent for 2021 and if Texas improves its batting average, it may pay dividends nationally.



4. Dawgs poised to make noise

David Daniel
David Daniel (Nick Lucero/

One thing you can always count on the Dawgs to do is compete for a recruiting championship. Georgia has finished with a top-three class each of the past three seasons under coach Kirby Smart, including No. 1 overall finishes on Rivals each of the past two cycles. The Dawgs currently stand at No. 14 for 2020 heading into the Early Signing Period.

As it stands today, Georgia holds an early commitment from four-star defensive back David Daniel and three-star lineman Jared Wilson. There's a lot of room for star power in this class and the Dawgs are knocking on the door with some elite talent.

There are early FutureCasts favoring Georgia for the No. 2 prospect in the country, five-star Amarius Mims, as well five-star safety James Williams, four-stars tackle Payton Page and Terrence Ferguson, four-star linebacker Smael Mondon. Should the Dawgs start rolling on the recruiting trail, it may become their year to get back on top.



5. It's early, but LSU has the potential to repeat

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams (

Like Georgia, LSU is sitting right at the edge of the Top 25 as it pertains to 2021 recruiting rankings. Makes sense -- given that the Tigers hold two early commitments in next year's class. Coach Ed Orgeron's team is ranked No. 1 heading into the College Football Playoff and the Tigers seem poised to finish with a top class – possibly No. 1 overall – for the 2020 cycle.

While they are behind early in 2021, they might ultimately have a shot to replicate that success again next year. For one, LSU is searching for its 2021 quarterback. Five-star Caleb Williams sits atop their wish list, but Rivals100 passers Preston Stone and Garrett Nussmeier are very intriguing options as well.

LSU is sitting pretty with quite a few of the nation's top offensive linemen in next year's cycle. Five-stars Tommy Brockermeyer and Bryce Foster have recently visited. As has Rivals250 tackle Tristian Leigh. LSU is the perceived favorite for in-state five-star defensive lineman Maason Smith and Rivals100 defensive backs Sage Ryan and Kaine Williams along with Rivals100 receiver Chris Hilton Jr. and Rivals250 receiver Destyn Pazon. Ruling out the Tigers? Not so fast for 2021.